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Coca-Cola Cares About the Environment, Just Not the Size of Your Ass

Apparently there is reason to cheer in Heilongjiang, China, as Coca-Cola officially broke ground on construction of its new “green plant” in New South Harbin Industrial City.

This new US$100 million asset is part of a three-year, US$4 billion investment plan that highlights the beverage behemoth‘s commitment to China.

Coca-Cola has been in the Heilongjiang area—located in Northeast China, just above North Korea, and beside Mongolia—since 1994. The company was one of the very first international companies to establish a plant there.

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The new plant is said to be 200,000 sq. m. of eco-friendly ingenuity, accommodating nine production lines for both sparkling and still beverages and with an annual production capacity of 1.2 million (beverage) tons.

Plans to launch the first phase of the move from the old plant to the new are scheduled to begin in 2016.

Details are vague, and no specifications have been released so far, but the company says that green building best practices will be used in all areas of construction, such as site selection, building environment, water and energy-saving initiatives, air protection, material and resource utilization, indoor environment quality, and design innovation.

Coca-Cola claims that the plant will strictly enforce the U.S.-based silver certification requirement of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The LEED certification carries four certifications: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. I guess if you’re a multi-billion dollar company, one of, if not, the biggest beverage producers in the world and in more countries than the United Nations, aiming for 3rd out of a possible 4 levels of certification ain’t bad, yeah? (Reading with sarcasm encouraged but not required.)

While it’s great to see Coca-Cola trying to take environmentalism seriously, still a bit hard not to take without a grain of salt. Let’s be honest here, a company whose entire business model is built on making our asses as large and gluttonous as possible by selling you sugary drinks in disposable plastic bottles with our most precious resource is hardly the picture of sustainability. But maybe my assessment of the situation is unfair… you can decide for yourself here.

H/T: China Daily