Friday, April 12, 2024

The Coca-Cola Company and bottling partners create sustainability-focused venture capital fund

The Coca-Cola Company and eight bottling partners from around the world have announced the closing of a new, $137.7 million venture capital fund focusing on sustainability investments.

Greycroft, a seed-to-growth venture capital firm, will manage the Greycroft Coca-Cola System Sustainability Fund. The fund is the first of its kind for Greycroft, which invests in enterprise and consumer solutions across life cycles and industries.

The Coca-Cola system’s carbon footprint is a major priority for the fund, so it will focus on five key areas with the most potential impact to start: packaging, heating and cooling, facility decarbonization, distribution, and supply chain.

“This fund offers an opportunity to pioneer innovative solutions and help scale them quickly within the Coca-Cola system and across the industry,” said John Murphy, president and Chief Financial Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “We expect to benefit from getting access to emerging technology and science for sustainability and carbon reduction.”

The fund will seek to invest in companies at the point of commercialization. For Greycroft, partnering with the Coca-Cola system presents an attractive opportunity to help scale innovations alongside some of the top bottling operations in the world.

“The market for sustainable supply chain and manufacturing technology has continued to grow as consumer brands rise to meet the demands of environmentally conscious customers,” said Dana Settle, Greycroft co-founder and managing partner. “Greycroft has an ‘invest anywhere’ approach that we believe allows us to identify promising startups with climate tech solutions ready to scale.”

The fund’s $137.7 million in capital comes primarily from $15 million of committed capital from each of the following companies: The Coca-Cola Company, Arca Continental, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Coca-Cola FEMSA, Coca-Cola HBC, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling, and Swire Coca-Cola.

Together, these bottlers represent nearly half of Coca-Cola system volume around the world.

The system has a long history of investment in sustainability-focused projects that continue to make a difference in issues of global importance. For example:

  • In Latin America, The Coca-Cola Company and Arca Continental have invested in leading recycled PET processing company PetStar; Coca-Cola FEMSA has invested in IMER and a high-tech PET recycling plant, PLANETA.
  • In the Philippines, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines and Indorama Ventures invested in PETValue, the largest PET recycling plant in the country.
  • In Indonesia, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners and Dynapack invested in the Amandina PET recycled content production facility; in Australia, as part of a cross-industry partnership with Cleanaway, Asahi Beverages and Pact Group, CCEP has invested in PET plastic recycling and production facilities.
  • In Europe, The Coca-Cola Company provided Ioniqa with a loan to help develop technology to transform mixed-color, partly contaminated PET waste into clear, food-grade PET.
  • CCEP, through CCEP Ventures, has invested in recycling start-up CuRe Technology, which uses polyester rejuvenation to target plastics that cannot be recycled by mechanical recycling methods and prevents them from being incinerated, downcycled or sent to landfill.
  • Coca-Cola HBC has invested in in-house rPET production in Italy, Poland and Romania, while implementing a transition to 100% rPET portfolios in Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Similar transitions in Romania and the Island of Ireland are planned for later this year.
  • Several system bottlers have issued green bonds, including Arca Continental, Coca-Cola FEMSA and Coca-Cola HBC.
  • Swire Coca-Cola has invested in establishing the first food-grade ready plastic recycling facility in Hong Kong.

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