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Carbon Dioxide Reduction Strategies by Coca-Cola and Unilever


Global warming is a problem that is threatening the intricate balance of nature. For this reason, efforts have been made to address the problem by targeting its cause. The main cause of the problem is the increased emissions of carbon dioxide especially through industrial processes such as manufacturing and transportation. Most of the efforts to curb the problem of global warming have been conducted by governments and nongovernmental organizations. With increased awareness of this problem to the public, more people have become conscious of the problem and even willing to contribute to addressing it. Companies have responded by integrating green approaches in their production in order to attract those customers who are conscious about global warming. This paper will examine the strategies that Coca-Cola Company and Unilever Company have adopted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in a bid to curb the problem of global warming. The paper will as well evaluate the success of these strategies.

Carbon Dioxide Reduction Strategies by Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola Company has adopted a number of strategies that are aimed at reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. In 2007, the company set a target that will see it reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by half by 2020. To achieve this target, the company has targeted certain areas where energy efficiency is required. These areas include manufacturing, refrigeration and transportation. In manufacturing, the company has adopted the use of equipments that are energy efficient (Pike, 2009). New production lines that are more energy efficient have been installed to replace the older production lines which were less energy efficient. The company has also adopted the use of green energy where it has invested in the use of solar energy for heating purposes.

In refrigeration, the company has adopted the use of more energy efficient refrigerators which have a higher capacity than the previous models. These new refrigerator helps conserve energy in two ways. First, the amount of energy required to run them is reduced. As a result, the amount of fossil fuel that is burned to produce the energy is also reduced. As a consequence, the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is reduced. Second, due to the high capacity of the new refrigerators, the number of refrigerators required to keep the drinks cold are reduced and this leads to reduced energy consumption (Pringle, 2012). In addition, the company has adopted the use of new refrigerators that do not contain hydro fluorocarbon which have been known to emit carbon dioxide. In this way, Coca-Cola has succeeded in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from the refrigerators.

A lot of carbon dioxide is produced through transportation. The Coca-Cola Company has instituted measures to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from transportation of its products. First, the company has reduced transportation distance by setting up production plants near the market thereby reducing the distance required to transport these products to the market. Second, the company has adopted a distribution strategy that requires suppliers and customers to combine deliveries in order to use one truck as opposed to multiple trucks. Third, the company has embraced the use of alternatives vehicle technologies so as to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (Winston, 2013). A good example of a country that has adopted such technology is the Netherlands where the Eco-Combi technology has been used in transporting the Coca-Cola products. In addition, this company has adopted the use of backhauling strategy. The strategy entails cooperation with other transporters to ensure that vehicles do not return empty on return trips. In this way, the numbers of trucks required for transportation are reduced as one truck can transport goods that would ordinarily have been transported by two trucks (Denton, 2011). By the use of this strategy, the amount of fuel required to transport these goods is almost halved and this helps greatly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon Dioxide Reduction Strategies by Unilever

Unilever Company is among those companies that have succeeded in curbing carbon dioxide emissions in their operations. Between 2008 and 2013, the company had managed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by one million tons (See, 2013). The achievement was remarkable considering the fact that the company recorded a 26 per cent growth in production over the same period. The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions was occasioned by the green strategies that Unilever Company has adopted. These strategies has seen the company reduce its emission by more than half a billion tons annually.

One of the strategies that Unilever has taken in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide is the use of eco-friendly energy. The company has adopted a policy of sourcing its energy from renewable sources. Although in some cases renewable energy is more expensive than non renewable energy, the company is ready to incur the high cost of energy in a bid to lower its carbon dioxide emissions (McGovern, 2013). The policy on the use of renewable energy has made the company to be very keen when deciding where to purchase their energy. At the moment, most of the Unilever companies use energy from renewable sources. In America and Europe for example, all the factories uses electrical energy from renewable sources only. The use of renewable electricity strategy has seen the company reduce its emission significantly.

Unilever Company has as well managed to reduce considerable carbon dioxide emissions through its strategies that have made transportation to be more efficient (Coddington, 2013). An efficient transportation system helps in saving fuel that is associated with wastages occasioned by poor logistics. To improve efficiency in transport, Unilever has set up a transport control tower known as ultra logistics at Katowice in Poland. This tower makes it possible to coordinate all the transport activities through rail, air, road and sea. In addition, the company has established distribution hubs in the different regions that it operates so as to ease transportation of its products. These distribution hubs have increased efficiency and helped in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The company has adopted the use of biomass to run its boilers in a bid to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions. The company has been replacing its old boilers which were run on oil with new boilers which are run by biomass. This strategy has seen the company reduce its emissions significantly. In the recent past, Unilever has adopted a new strategy of designing its new factories in ways that reduce energy needs (Dewick, 2012). The strategy is aimed at reducing the energy requirements of these companies by half as compared to the old companies. For example, the building that houses the deodorant company in India was designed in such a way that it maximizes penetration of natural light as well as reflection of heat (Sarkis, 2012). The design reduces the need for cooling, lighting and ventilation thus making it possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions since less fuel will be burned to produce the energy.


Companies are increasingly adopting green strategies in their operations in a bid to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that they release into the atmosphere. The increasing awareness about global warming by customers is one of the reasons that have made companies to invest in green strategies. These efforts have significantly reduced the amount of carbon dioxide that is being emitted by these companies.


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