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Coca-Cola beefs up green fleet

August 12, 2011 | 10:28 am

The world's largest soft-drink maker, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., wants you to know that your beverages may be delivered by a new hybrid or electric truck.

Coca-Cola hybrid electric truck Coca-Cola has nearly doubled the size of its greener fleet of trucks since 2010, company officials said, and they are making the claim of having the nation's largest low-emissions bottling fleet at a 1 p.m. event in downtown Los Angeles today.

The event will be held at Coca-Cola Refreshments of Southern California at 12th and Birch streets in downtown Los Angeles.

"We as a company are working very hard to get sustainability into our business practices, so we are transforming a good portion of our fleet with green technology with the intent to push our carbon footprint down and get better fuel efficiencies," said Tim Heinen, vice president of field operations for Coca-Cola's western region.

"By the end of the year, we will have more than 740 alternative-fuel vehicles operating throughout North America, and about 40% of them will be right here in California," Heinen said.

The Coca-Cola fleet currently has 691 hybrid electric medium-duty trucks, for example, with 43 more on order, he said

The total Coca-Cola fleet has about 10,000 trucks, Heinen said.

Ron Stassi, fleet manager for the company's western region, added that Coca-Cola hopes to be rolling out other new technologies, such as forklifts powered by hydrogen fuel cells for use in its warehouse in San Leandro.

He said the newer trucks have helped the company reduce its fuel costs by 22%.

Heinen said that more customers care about sustainability practices and are making purchases based on the efforts that businesses put into reducing their emissions footprint.

"We know that it does matter to people, and we want to show that we are trying to make a difference. We are committed to it," Heinen said.

-- Ronald D. White


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