Coca-Cola uses Olympic sponsorship as environmental call to action

Coca-Cola nominates 2010 Olympic Torchbearers for their Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

TORONTO, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - Today, in an effort to create an environmental legacy and encourage Canadians to adopt sustainable environmental practices, Coca-Cola Canada is highlighting some well-known environmentalists as Olympic Torchbearers for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. Gerry Butts, WWF Canada, Julie Sommerfreund, Pollution Probe, and Deirdre Laframboise, Clean Air Champions, were chosen through Coca-Cola's unique torchbearer nomination program because of their enduring commitment to environmental sustainability. Coca-Cola Canada is using its sponsorship of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games as an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the environment and the health and wellness of Canadians.

"For Coca-Cola, the Olympic Torch Relay is about inspiring Canadians to make a personal commitment to live more active or environmentally sustainable lives," said David Moran, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at Coca-Cola Canada. "These individuals are leaders who are making a tangible difference in tackling some of the most daunting conservation challenges facing our country and Coca-Cola is proud to recognize their efforts with the opportunity to carry the Olympic Torch."

Meet the Environmental Torchbearers

Gerry Butts, WWF Canada

Gerald is President and CEO of WWF-Canada, part of WWF, the global conservation organization. WWF brings solutions to the world's most significant conservation challenges. Gerald has a long history in public service, including helping develop and implement some of the Ontario government's most significant environmental initiatives, from the Greenbelt and Boreal Conservation plan to the coal phase-out and toxic reduction strategy. An avid lover of the outdoors, Gerald and his wife Jodi have hiked, camped, canoed and kayaked many of North America's National Parks and protected areas.

"Canadians enjoy more nature and natural resources than almost anywhere on Earth," said Gerald Butts. "The Olympic torch relay is a chance to connect with all Canadians about living greener, more sustainable lives, so we leave a living planet for future generations."

Gerry Butts will carry the torch as it passes through Toronto, Ontario on December 18, 2009.

Julie Sommerfreund, Pollution Probe

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics promise to be the most sustainable games in modern history with environmental sustainability a core value of these Olympic Games. With 40 years of successful influence of government policy, inspiring leadership in business and motivating the public to act for a cleaner and healthier environment, Julie and her colleagues represent this commitment through their work at Pollution Probe. As a Coca-Cola torchbearer, Julie hopes to bring awareness on behalf of Pollution Probe to the many environmental issues we face today.

"Being involved in the Olympic Torch Relay is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Julie Sommerfreund. "It is amazing to be a part of something that connects Canadians across the whole country. Whenever I've told someone that I'm carrying the torch, they seem to know another torchbearer which tells me we are more connected across Canada than we realize. It is a real honour to have been selected by Coca-Cola and run on behalf of Pollution Probe to bring more attention to environmental issues."

Julie Sommerfreund will carry the torch as it passes through Burlington, Ontario on December 19, 2009.

Deirdre Laframboise, Clean Air Champions

Deirdre Laframboise and a team of 19 others will run on behalf of the Clean Air Champions(CAC) - an incorporated, registered charity that involves over 140 Champions; National Team, Olympic and Paralympic athletes each passionate about physical activity and the health of our environment. CAC's mission is to work with respected athletes to reduce air pollution by educating and inspiring Canadians to adopt practices and lifestyles that enhance both environmental and personal health. CAC provides a platform for change that integrates the key issues of air quality, climate change and health and does so using one of society's top role models - high performance athletes. Laframboise was one of the founding members of Clean Air Champions and continues to manage its operations today.

"Being part of Clean Air Champions since its inception has allowed me to live my two life passions; sport and care for our environment," said Deirdre Laframboise. "Clean Air Champions is made up of athletes and others who also share my passions and commitment to its mission. Being part of the Olympic Torch Relay would be a wonderful bridging of ideals, values and goals of the Olympic and environmental movements. It most definitely would be a highlight in personal achievement."

Deirdre Laframboise and the Clean Air Champions will carry the flame as it passes through Huntsville, Ontario on December 30, 2009.

Coca-Cola is committed to making a positive contribution to Vancouver's 2010 Olympic Winter Games by helping to raise global awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship while seeking to inspire actions in communities throughout Canada. Another well-known environmental group, The Pembina Institute, carried the torch as a team of 20 Coca-Cola torchbearers on November 1st.

In addition to these environmental leaders, Coca-Cola has also recognized everyday Canadians for their commitment to living sustainably. Representatives of the Mississauga Braves Hockey Association have been nominated by Coca-Cola, as one of the teams recommended by WWF-Canada, as a team of environmental Olympic Torchbearers. The Mississauga Braves are being rewarded for their efforts in reducing their environmental footprint through the promotion of environmentally friendly practices with its members (executives, coaches and players) including: car pooling, washing uniforms in cold water and hanging to dry, and donating outgrown equipment. The Toronto-area Association of ten hockey teams is using these everyday actions to save 105,366 kgs of greenhouse gases from being produced each year. The Braves will carry on December 19th, 2009.

Coca-Cola and Environmental Sustainability

Coca-Cola in Canada has committed to being carbon neutral in our Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games effort by implementing leading edge technologies to reduce emissions, followed by Gold Standard offsets. The emissions that will be offset include those from Games-related vehicles, air travel, and energy used by our temporary warehouse and venue beverage coolers.

Coca-Cola in Canada has also committed to zero waste at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We will ensure that 100 per cent of all PET containers used throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler and the Olympic Winter Games venues are collected. We are aiming to divert 95 per cent of these containers away from landfills. A variety of products, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fresca and DASANI beverages in Western Canada are now in PlantBottle(TM) packaging-a PET plastic package made with up to 30 percent of its material derived from plant material. PlantBottle is also being used for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Coca-Cola's Torchbearer Selection Process

Individual Torchbearers

To inspire everyday Canadians to take steps to support environmental sustainability and active living in communities across Canada, Coca-Cola developed a unique torchbearer program for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. Canadians who worked to reduce their environmental footprint, or have supported active living efforts to affect positive change in their communities, were invited to visit to nominate themselves to be Olympic Torchbearers. Following their nomination, Coca-Cola invited selected nominees to submit a written story about how they Live Positively. Coca-Cola's Red Ribbon Panel, a group comprised of health, wellness and environmental organizations then made recommendations to Coca-Cola on environmental and active living candidates.

Team Torchbearers

In addition to individual environmental and active living torchbearers, Coca-Cola also awarded 50 teams of up to 20 individuals each who have demonstrated environmental or active living leadership the opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame and profile how they are making a difference in Canadian communities.

Sogo Active

Coca-Cola Canada, in collaboration with ParticipACTION, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada, recently designed and launched Sogo Active, an innovative youth engagement program aimed at 13-19 year-olds. Coca-Cola has awarded over 1,000 torchbearer spots in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay to teenagers who joined the program and have demonstrated a commitment to adopting an active lifestyle.

About Coca-Cola and the Olympic Movement

The Coca-Cola Company has been an Olympic partner since 1928 and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement. The Company works with National Olympic Committees in more than 200 countries to help athletes train and compete. More than 90 percent of the Coca-Cola system's investment in the Olympic Games is directed to athlete development and to assist in staging the Games. Products of The Coca-Cola Company refresh athletes, volunteers, officials and spectators during the Olympic Games; and supporting programs such as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay allows Coca-Cola to help share the Olympic spirit around the world. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive nonalcoholic beverage provider to the Olympic Games through 2020.

Coca-Cola in Canada

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. In Canada, the Company is represented by its subsidiary, Coca-Cola Ltd. (Coca-Cola in Canada). Coca-Cola is Canada's largest beverage company. Coca-Cola in Canada markets three of Canada's top nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite, and the leading ready-to-drink tea: Nestea. In addition, our subsidiary is the largest juice and juice drinks company with Minute Maid, Five Alive and Fruitopia. The Company also markets DASANI, PowerAde and other hot and cold beverages.

For more information about Coca-Cola in Canada, please visit our website at or our parent company's website at


For further information: For further information: Media inquiries: Andrea Wooland, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4698,

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