When the Vancouver Games commence next Friday, Coca-Cola is aiming for its own gold medal of sorts: its first zero-waste, carbon-neutral Olympics sponsorship. The beverage giant hopes to take sustainable event planning to a new level with drink bottles made from 30 percent plant-based materials, delivered by hybrid cars and electric carts to cafés decked out in furniture that's made from pine-beetle-salvaged wood.
Staff uniforms and welcome bags will be made out of recycled bottles, coolers will be equipped with clean technology, and the company is purchasing carbon offsets to compensate for air travel and on-site transportation. I got my first glimpse into event sustainability at last year's SF Chefs. Food. Wine., but doing so at Olympic proportions takes another level of commitment entirely. I hope other food and beverage sponsors take note. Are you surprised by Coca-Cola's commitment to sustainability?