Greenpeace Unveils Global Campaign Challenging Olympic Polluter Coca-Cola

July 6, 2010

Greenpeace today unveiled a global Internet campaign challenging Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola for undermining the Environmental Guidelines of the Sydney 2000 Games and for its worldwide use of global warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) gases. The campaign features polar bears, the icon Coca-Cola uses to sell billions of drinks. Ironically, scientific studies show Arctic polar bears are under threat of starvation due to climate change.1

The CokeSpotlight Web site, produced in conjunction with
Canadian-based Internet activist organization Adbusters, enables
people around the world to campaign with Greenpeace to change
Coca-Cola’s policy on HFC refrigeration.
provides a comprehensive campaign kit including downloadable
stickers, posters, postcards and e-mail images to lobby Coca-Cola

“Coca-Cola has had seven years to take the initiative and place
environmentally friendly refrigeration at the Olympic site in line
with the Environmental Guidelines,” said Greenpeace Olympics
campaigner, Corin Millais.

“Instead, Coca-Cola will continue its polluting practice of
using HFC and undermining the Green Games. Coca-Cola’s global
refrigerant policy is intensifying the global climate crisis.”

At the Olympic site Coca-Cola will have 1,700 refrigerators that
run on global warming HFC gases and only 100 Greenfreeze coolers
that comply with Sydney’s Environmental Guidelines. This means that
HFC greenhouse gases will cool over 10 million Coca-Cola drinks
during the Sydney Olympics – the world’s first “Green Games.”

HFCs are one of the most potent greenhouse gases ever invented.
On average over 20 years, one ton of HFCs causes 3,300 times more
climate change destruction than one ton of carbon dioxide, the main
greenhouse gas. In 1997 the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on
Climate Change was extended to include HFCs.

Natural refrigeration systems, known as “Greenfreeze,” are
commercially available and can be used instead of HFCs. There is a
wide range of commercially available, cost-effective Greenfreeze
systems available for supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, offices,
ice-cream and drinks chillers, freezer cabinets and air

Internationally, Greenpeace offices will be calling on
supporters and the public to join it in its campaign to pressure
Coca-Cola for a worldwide HFC phaseout.

“Sydney’s Green Games are the perfect opportunity for Coca-Cola
to show its commitment to protecting the environment,” said
Millais. “Coke sells more than 700,000 drinks every minute around
the world so it has real potential to clean up the refrigeration
market worldwide.

“Coca-Cola is a dirty Olympic sponsor while it persists in using
HFCs. The CokeSpotlight Web site enables the public to join with
Greenpeace in calling for Coca-Cola to show true leadership. If
Coke changes its global policy and practice of HFC use then the
environment and all of us, including polar bears, will be the real
gold medal winners.”

Read the Greenpeace report, “Green
Olympics, Dirty Sponsors: How McDonald’s and Coca-Cola’s global HFC
pollution is undermining the world’s first Green Games at the
Sydney Olympics

Notes: 1 A Canadian Wildlife Service study, by polar bear scientists Ian Stirling, Nicholas J. Lunn and John Iacozza, found that the bears’ main food source, ringed seals which live on the ice of Hudson Bay, are becoming less accessible because of a shorter ice season.

Building on a past NASA study which found a 2.9 percent decline per decade in total Arctic sea ice extent over the last 20 years, the new Canadian study further concludes that the sea ice season in western Hudson Bay has been reduced by about three weeks over the same period.

The study says that, as a result of the reduction in sea ice, polar bears have less time to hunt and are returning to land in poorer condition. Weight for both male and female polar bears is declining and female bears are having fewer cubs. Although significant population decline has not yet begun, this is inevitable if the trends continue.

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