Share-Owner Proposal that the Company Report on Beverage Container Recycling Goals (Item 4)[page 38]
Walden Asset Management,40 Court Street, 9th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02108, owner of 7,400 shares of The Coca-Cola Company Common Stock,submitted,along with other co-filers, the following proposal:
WHEREAS Our Company has repeatedly emphasized its commitment to environmental leadership, and its brand value depends on excellence. CEO Douglas Daft has stated "Our long-term success depends on quenching the thirst of consumers each day in an environmentally sound and sustainable way."
The majority of Coca-Cola's beverage containers in the U.S. continue to be disposed in landfills, incinerated or littered and are therefore diverted from the national supply of recycled plastic.
We commend the Coca Cola Company for making substantive progress in the use of recycled content in 2001 by incorporating the equivalent of 7.5% recycled content resin into its plastic beverage containers in North America, and encourage further efforts toward 25% recycled content.
We commend the company for engaging in a process known as the Multi-Stakeholder Recovery Project with Businesses and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling (BEAR). In this project, stakeholders throughout the beverage and recycling value chain are working together on a Task Force to identify innovative strategies to increase beverage container recycling rates from 40% to 80%. However, the task force's work has been completed and the company remains without publicly stated, quantitative goals for enhanced rates of beverage container recovery in the U.S.
The U.S. recycling rate for plastic soft drink containers declined from 50% in 1994 to 35% in 2000, with rates of 72% and higher achieved in 10 states with container deposit legislation (or bottle bills). Significant container recovery rates are possible, as evidenced in these 10 states, and in countries like Norway and Sweden where companies have achieved beverage container recovery rates of more than 80%. In the U.S., states with beverage container deposit systems recover three times as many bottles as states without deposits. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola actively opposes a bottle container deposit system, the only method proven to increase recovery significantly.
WHEREAS setting quantitative goals for higher rates of beverage container recovery will complement the Coca-Cola Company's quantitative goals for higher rates of recycled content in beverage containers.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Shareowners of The Coca-Cola Company request that the board of directors report to shareholders by September 1, 2002, on its efforts to adopt a comprehensive recycling strategy.
The report should detail the means and feasibility of achieving, by January 1, 2005, a recovery rate of 80% for its beverage containers bottled in North America as well as the company's plans to increase recycled content in beverage containers. The report should:
The Coca-Cola Company has some programs in place to improve beverage container recovery rates. However, Coca-Cola does not have a quantitative goal or timeline to increase beverage container recovery rates equivalent to its goals for the use of recycled content.