The Coca-Cola Company has set a goal of replenishing 100% of the water used in finished beverages. Water restoration is not just about water volumes. By restoring nature and providing ecosystem services, water replenishment can bring many additional societal benefits.
For The Coca-Cola Company, water replenishment projects are an instrument for managing risks in the watersheds in which they operate. Through the co-benefits of ecosystem services, water replenishment projects act as Nature-Based Solutions to societal challenges. TCCC wants to understand the added value of these co-benefits for nature in order to be able to better optimize project investment and prioritization. The potential of Nature-Based Solutions is clear, but the challenge lies in measuring, understanding and managing this potential across the diverse range of projects worldwide.
We developed a methodology via which The Coca-Cola Company can measure the ecosystem service co-benefits of Nature-Based Solutions, using the Natural Capital Protocol as a basisWe developed a materiality analysis to determine the key ecosystem services to focus on. We then developed methodologies for measuring and valuing the benefits of:
- Improved water provisioning
- Water quality improvements
- Carbon sequestration
- Flood protection
- Recreation and education
- Food & raw materials production or savings
The methodology was piloted on 7 Coca-Cola projects in Europe, including wetland restoration, afforestation, sustainable agriculture, and water access & sanitation (WASH) projects. The methodology was independently reviewed by 2 external experts. We have since evaluated a further 7 European projects, plus 5 in the Asia-Pacific region, covering a range of activities, including reducing agricultural pollution in the Great Barrier Reef, investments in improving rice farmer livelihoods, and various projects for the reduction of deforestation and afforestation projects. The results of our work have been published in two reports here and here.
Using the methodology developed, the co-benefits of Water replenishment projects as nature-based solutions can be measured for any future project and can also be applied as a screening tool at the pre-feasibility stage. The method combines up-to-date science and valuation approaches while being aimed at non-specialists, seeking a practical approach that recognizes the data limitations that project implementation often faces. We are continuing our work with Coca-Cola and rolling out the method globally.