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Making Sense of Climate Change Math: How Much Carbon Comes From a Liter of Coke?

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Following the UN Climate Change report on Monday, the Investment community and regulators increasingly want to know how businesses might affect the climate or be affected by it

According to the Coca Cola company data, starting from farm to bottler to supermarket cooler, a liter of Coca-Cola creates 346 grams of carbon dioxide emissions.

That’s less than half the tree-to-toilet 771-gram carbon footprint of a mega roll of  Soft toilet paper according to estimates.

This kind of math is fast becoming obligatory. Investors are increasing pressure on businesses to disclose the emissions of greenhouse gases related to their products and services. Regulators are starting to ask about that, too. Within the next couple of years, every public company in the U.S.  and globally might well be required to report climate information.

Such an effort would be the biggest potential expansion in corporate disclosure since the creation of the Depression-era rules over financial disclosures that underpin modern corporate statements. Already it has kicked off a confusing melee as companies, regulators and environmentalists argue over the proper way to account for carbon.

U.S. and European regulators already demand or are expected to require that public companies disclose their greenhouse-gas emissions. That might include the emissions produced by their suppliers and customers.

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