Soft drink giants Pepsi and Coca-Cola were named among the top 12 Beijing water polluters in a report recently released by the city's economic planning department.
Also named in the list were other beverage bottlers, brewers, and dairy companies. Qu Bing, spokesman for the Beijing Huiyuan Group, China’s top juice maker, said his company’s waste water discharges were “in compliance with industry standards.” The comments were echoed by other beverage makers including Pepsi and Coca-Cola who said their operations adhered to national standards.
A spokesperson for the Beijing Environmental Protection bureau was quoted in China Daily as saying that although the beverage producer’s pollution discharge “reached the Chinese standards for pollutants emission," when it comes to environmental protection, "there is not the best, but better."
He went on to say that if those enterprises listed on the report went a little further in their efforts to run clean productions they could make significant contributions to water savings in Beijing.
However, the report signified more than a superficial call for the drink manufacturers to improve the cleanliness of their production facilities. Companies listed in the report will face quarterly environmental inspections.
Secretary General Zhao Yali of China Beverage Industry Association (CBIA) said, “From situation in Beijing, no matter if it is Pepsi, Coca Cola, Huiyuan Group, they are very sound enterprises in our industry. These enterprises pay higher attention to social responsibility than other corporations.”
According to CBIA, the companies pay close attention to pollutant emissions and have invested in advanced water treatment systems, Yali said. “Their emissions all met China's standard. The water is used for washing, irrigation and part of the municipal water usage.”