Coca-Cola presented environmental award

Downey - When it comes to businesses saving energy and being environmentally conscious, Coca-Cola Enterprises in California is striving to be at the forefront.The Coca-Cola bottling plant in Downey illuminates a newly integrated lighting system and environmental efforts which include solar power generating panels, energy efficient vending equipment, hybrid trucks, sustainable packaging, and recycling. Coca-Cola's major lighting retrofit project in its California facilities will decrease energy consumption by 113 million kilowatt hours and decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 74,301 tons over the next 20 years. Acknowledging the near completion of the project, Coca-Cola Enterprises was awarded the Orion Energy Systems Environmental Stewardship Award during a ceremony Jan. 9 at the bottling plant in Downey. Public officials in attendance included the city of Downey Mayor Mario Guerra; city council members Roger Brossmer and Luis Marquez; 27th District, California State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach); California Governor Arnold Swarzenegger's Deputy District Director Araceli Gonzalez; and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's Field Representative Elizabeth Delgado. "At Coca-Cola Enterprises, corporate responsibility and sustainability is where the world touches our business and where our business touches the world," said Terry Fitch, general manager and vice president of Coca-Cola Enterprises' West Business Unit. "We're doing everything we can to help reduce our carbon footprint in California and across the country, because we believe that responsible and sustainable business practices like this will not only help us manage through these complex times, but will also ensure the long-term growth of our company, sustainable development in our communities, and protection of the environment." The Orion fixtures are engineered to optimize input energy and maximize lighting output. The systems include high-intensity fluorescent lighting that uses 50 percent less energy and provides 50 percent more light. The amount of energy saved is enough to power 537 homes a year. "This is a historic moment," Lowenthal said. "Corporate citizens such as Coca-Cola Enterprises and Orion Energy Systems are saying that the solution to pollution is prevention. The solution to pollution is sustainability. The solution to pollution is reducing our carbon footprint." The energy and environmental issues that Coca-Cola Enterprises has been addressing are energy conservation and climate change, water stewardship, and sustainable packaging and recycling. Orion Executive Vice President Michael Potts said that the environmental efforts of Coca-Cola Enterprises takes significant power off the electrical grid which tends to lessen the upward pressure that exists on power prices and the need for new power plants. ********** Published: January 16, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 39