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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Biodiversity & Land Use | FEMSA Retail - opportunities to reduce impact

Retail – and opportunities to reduce impact


FEMSA image

As a consumer company with soft drinks, juices, water, and retail operations, FEMSA shows how major sustainability successes are possible on a large scale. Its core businesses are Coca-Cola FEMSA and the chain of OXXO convenience stores. With over 100,000 employees, the company serves more than 200 million consumers across Latin America.

Voluntary steps and impressive results

For the third year running, Coca-Cola FEMSA submitted its Voluntary Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and committed to ensuring, by 2015, its CO2 emissions (in absolute terms) will be the same as those generated in 2004.
As a result of improvements in processes around refrigeration, Coca-Cola FEMSA reduced, by almost 2%, the energy required to produce one litre of product. In 2009, this meant more than 47,000 GJ of electricity were saved and the emission of 6,000 metric tons of CO2 to the environment was prevented. This is equivalent to the carbon uptake of 880,000 pines.

The OXXO convenience stores use a system to control the lighting, refrigeration, and air conditioning equipment of its stores in real-time. Its air conditioning and cooler equipment are furthermore chlorine free – avoiding damage to the ozone layer, while saving energy.

All of the coolers used by FEMSA are free from CFC emissions. And coolers bought by Coca-Cola FEMSA today are 80% more efficient in energy consumption than those bought in 2001.

Tackling water usage

FEMSA image

Coca-Cola FEMSA sets the global benchmark for efficiency of water use. In 2009, the company saved 630,000 cubic metres compared to its 2008 consumption, while increasing production. More than 95% of the wastewater generated by the operations of Coca-Cola FEMSA is treated.

The company has participated in the reforestation of water sources, such as the Japi Range in São Paulo, Brazil, and worked in alliance with The Coca-Cola Company and other organisations to support the reforestation of various regions of México. Over 4,500 hectares were forested with more than 4.2 million trees in 2009.

Measures include state-of-the art equipment, recovery systems, energy efficient wastewater treatment plants, and awareness-raising campaigns for employees and their families. Last year, it built a wastewater treatment plant in Venezuela and authorised investments for three more plants, to add to its collection of 37 wastewater treatment plants in Latin America.

Water Stewardship

The FEMSA Foundation has two programmes – one is focused on the access and conservation of water resources, and the other on health, biotechnology, and the improvement of nutrition. Projects within both areas are supported via wider alliances and partnerships offering shared financing, and access to applied education, science, and technology. They are co-financed by different organisations including Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Tecnológico de Monterrey University, The Nature Conservancy, other NGOs, and the public sector.

As part of this, the Foundation created the Water Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, in collaboration with the IDB and Tecnológico de Monterrey. The Centre produces scientific research on water sustainability and offers professional training courses around water. It is the only private institution to coordinate one of the roundtables for the 2030 National Water Agenda in México.

In 2009, the Foundation joined the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), which seeks to promote responsible use of freshwater so it is socially beneficial and environmentally sustainable. To this end, AWS will create a global stewardship system and the long-term organisation to house it. Diverse regional stakeholder roundtables will define voluntary water stewardship standards and recognise large-scale water users and managers through a branded certification program. FEMSA Foundation and the Water Centre have been a fundamental part in the organisation of the regional initiative for AWS throughout 2010.

FEMSA believes it should, and does, constantly seek opportunities to reduce its environmental footprint through technological improvements and sustainable practices applied at every level of the organisation and in all the countries where
it operates.

FEMSA logo

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