The Coca-Cola Company has today (30 October) announced new targets to improve water efficiency and reduce carbon emissions within its system-wide operations.

The targets have been set as part of a partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which was formed in 2007 with US$20m of funding. The targets have now been extended an additional two years (through 2012) with Coca-Cola providing $3.75m in new funding.

"Our sustainability as a business demands a relentless focus on efficiency in our use of natural resources," said Muhtar Kent, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. "These performance targets are one way we are engaging to improve our management of water and energy."

Coca-Cola said the new system will improve its water efficiency 20% by 2012, compared to a baseline year 2004. While water use is expected to increase as the business grows, the water efficiency target will eliminate around 50 billion litres of that increase in 2012.

To support the target, Coca-Cola and WWF have developed a Water Efficiency Toolkit to help reduce water consumption within bottling plants. The software-based instruction manual has been distributed to managers and operators throughout the Coca-Cola system, providing strategies to shrink the water footprint of their operations.

Coca-Cola said it is also working with the WWF to conserve "some of the world's most important freshwater resources", including the Yangtze, Mekong, Danube, Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, Lakes Niassa and Chiuta.