The next time a member of the House of Representatives reaches for a Coke, it will be from a greener vending machine.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) joined Dan Beard, House Chief Administrative Officer and leaders from Coca-Cola this week to unveil 35 new climate friendly Coca-Cola vending machines for the Capitol buildings including the House, Senate and Visitor’s Center.
The new vending machines are hydro-fluorocarbon-free (HFC-free) and feature a natural refrigerant gas that substantially reduces direct greenhouse gas emissions by 99%.
“I am proud of the work by the House Green the Capitol Program to reduce our environmental footprint here on the Hill,” said House Majority Leader Hoyer. “I am encouraged that Coca-Cola stepped up to provide these new vending machines, demonstrating how public and private sectors can work together to bring innovative solutions to the marketplace.”
The House of Representatives is the first location in the U.S. to feature Coca-Cola’s new HFC-free vending machines. The new HFC-free cooling technology has approximately 1,430 times less global warming impact than the typical HFC refrigerant gas used in the U.S. and is expected to reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions by more than five tons over the lifetime of the machine. Coca-Cola North America will install more than 400 HFC-free vending machines and coolers in locations throughout the U.S. in 2010. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola showcased HFC-free vending machines and coolers in Vancouver, Canada to support a green Winter Olympic Games. Coca-Cola and its bottling partners set a global goal to transition to HFC-free vending machines and coolers for new purchases by 2015.
“The conversion to HFC-free vending machines will produce a dramatic reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions over time,” said Chief Administrative Officer Beard. “This new technology from Coca-Cola supports the spirit of the Green the Capitol program and gives the House staff yet another green option. Through Coca-Cola’s environmental efforts as well as our own, we are setting an example of the greener future we hope to achieve as a nation.”
Coca-Cola has introduced a series of innovations throughout the Capitol designed to reduce the Company’s environmental footprint at each step in the manufacturing, distribution and sales processes. These include: HFC-free coolers and vending machines, hybrid-electric delivery trucks and trailers, a closed-loop recycling program for the Capitol buildings and facilities, and a new recycling program for the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
“We value our relationship with the House of Representatives and the opportunity to showcase innovative solutions that accomplish our mutual environmental goals,” said Steve Cahillane, president, Coca-Cola Enterprises North America. “Our efforts at the Capitol, throughout Washington, D.C., and around the country are examples of how we engage with our stakeholders to ensure that environmental sustainability is at the core of our business every day.”
Bottles and other plastic materials collected from recycling bins and centers in the metro-Washington, D.C. area are processed and recycled for reuse at Coca-Cola’s bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in Spartanburg, S.C., representing a true “closed loop” system.
The Spartanburg facility is the world’s largest bottle-to-bottle recycling plant, capable of recycling 100 million pounds of recycled PET for reuse back into bottles each year.
In the metro-D.C. area alone, Coca-Cola Enterprises has deployed 20 hybrid electric delivery trucks and tractor trailers in the last year. CCE’s hybrid electric trucks produce about 30% fewer emissions than standard trucks, and use technology to drastically reduce emissions when they’re idling or in traffic. The Company has 336 hybrid electric trucks in its fleet, giving it the largest private fleet of hybrid electric vehicles in North America.
Coca-Cola also partnered with the National Park Service (NPS), the National Park Foundation (NPF), and the Trust for the National Mall (TNM) last year to create a recycling program for the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Coca-Cola Recycling is working with NPS and TNM to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the waste stream at the National Mall and develop a sustainable recycling program. The program will be designed to suit the needs of special events and include recycling education for visitors to the parks.