WASHINGTON -- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard joined leaders from the Coca-Cola Co. and Coca-Cola Enterprises to introduce 35 new climate-friendly Coke venders being installed in buildings on Capitol Hill. The unveiling took place at the Cannon House Office Building on April 29.
The HFC-free vending machines use a natural refrigerant gas said to reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions by 99%.
The new machines support the House's Green the Capitol program, which seeks to reduce the environmental footprint of the House's buildings, the first locations in the U.S. to use HFC-free vending machines. HFC-free machines are being deployed in the House of Representatives, Senate and visitor's center.
"I am proud of the work by the House Green the Capitol program to reduce our environmental footprint here on the Hill," Hoyer said. "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."
PHOTO: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer unveils HFC-free Coca-Cola vending machine at press conference on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Max Taylor for Coca-Cola Enterprises)
Beard believes that over time, the conversion to HFC-free vending machines will produce a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. "This new technology from Coca-Cola supports the spirit of the Green the Capitol program and gives the House staff yet another green option," he said. "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."
In addition to eco-friendlier vending machines, Coca-Cola is introducing other initiatives throughout the Capitol designed to reduce the company's environmental footprint. These include HFC-free coolers, 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. The plan is to reduce pressure on the environment at each step in the manufacturing, distribution and sales processes.
Bottles and other plastic materials collected from recycling bins and centers in the metro-Washington, DC, area are processed and recycled for reuse at Coca-Cola's bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in Spartanburg, SC, 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-DC area alone, Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world's largest bottler, has deployed 20 hybrid-electric delivery trucks and tractor trailers in the past year. The vehicles are said to reduce emissions by 30% compared with conventional trucks. The company has 336 hybrid-electric trucks in its fleet, giving it the largest private fleet of hybrid-electric vehicles in North America.
"We value our relationship with the House of Representatives and the opportunity to showcase innovative solutions that accomplish our mutual environmental goals," said CCE president Steve Cahillane. "Our efforts at the Capitol, throughout Washington, DC, 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."
Last year, Coca-Cola partnered with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation and the Trust for the National Mall to create a recycling program for the National Mall and Memorial Parks. The partnerships are evaluating the waste stream at the National Mall and developing a sustainable recycling program.
More information about CCE's sustainability programs is available at cokecce.com.
Coca-Cola said it will install an additional 400 HFC-free vending machines and coolers in locations throughout the U.S. this year. Coca-Cola and its bottling partners have set a global goal of transitioning to HFC-free vending machines and coolers by 2015.
In February, the beverage giant showcased HFC-free vending machines in Vancouver to support a green Winter Olympic Games campaign. Coca-Cola and its bottling partners in Canada used the occasion to set in motion a global goal of transitioning to HFC-free vending machines and coolers for new purchases.