Image from an E-card, part of the Cokespotlight campaign, which successfully changed Coke's policy on climate-killing refrigerants.
So with the good folks at Adbusters, we set up "Cokespotlight," an online
action which generatedmessages from all over the world telling the
Coke CEO to go truly greenand phase out the climate-killing
chemicals. It worked so fast, wenever got a chance to roll out the
banners or stage the confrontationswe'd been planning for the
games: a clear victory for online activism.
Now, almost five years later, the US government's
EnvironmentalProtection Agency is applauding improved practices by
Coca-cola, alongwith Unilever, and McDonalds.
We called on the global corporations to scrap the use
ofhydrofluorocarbons (HFC) refrigeration. HFCs are one of the
mostpotent greenhouse gases ever invented. According to a report bythe International
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), HFCs contribute moreto global
warming than originally thought. Natural refrigerationsystems,
known as "Greenfreeze," are
commercially available and can beused instead of HFCs.
Coca-Cola quickly agreed to phase out the use of HFCs in
refrigerationby the start of the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. It
promised to expandits research into refrigeration alternatives and
insist that suppliersannounce specific time schedules to use only
HFC-free refrigeration inall new cold drink equipment by 2004.
McDonald's and Unileversoon followed suit.
In June 2004, the corporations' commitment to promote innovative
waysto fight global warming was strengthened at the "RefrigerantsNaturally"
conference held in Belgium. The three powerhousesshowcased new
refrigeration technologies that are viable, efficient andreliable.
They called on others in the food and drink industry tojoin their
Greenpeace Executive Director, Gerd Leipold,
commended the Coca-Cola,Unilever and McDonald's alliance at the
Refrigerants Naturallyconference. He said their good example
should be "a wake-up" callto governments and competitive businesses
around the world. Gerdwent on to say that HFCs are a "disaster and
a scandal," and thatwithout government action "the planet will be
at the mercy ofindividual corporate whims and greed."
On May 4, 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency drove the
pointhome by awarding the companies the Climate Protection Award
for theirleadership in developing technologies that reduce the
global warmingimpact and energy usage of commercial refrigeration
These companies have taken the first step in fighting global
warming bydeveloping more climate friendly refrigeration. Now,
however, is thetrue test of Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Unilever's
commitment toconfronting this issue; we urge them to implement this
technology inNorth America, where its use is most important, as
quickly as possible.
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