Coca-Cola, Bottling Partners Launch $138M Fund for Sustainability

(Photo Credit: Coca-Cola)

by | Jul 14, 2023

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A recycling container of cans and bottles.

(Credit: Coca-Cola)

The Coca-Cola Company and eight bottling partners have teamed up to create a $137.7 million venture capital fund focused on sustainability investments.

Dubbed the Greycroft Coca-Cola System Sustainability Fund, it will start by focusing on five key areas with the most potential impact, including packaging, heating and cooling, facility decarbonization, distribution, and supply chain. The fund is managed by Greycroft, a seed-to-growth venture capital firm based in New York.

“The market for sustainable supply chain and manufacturing technology has continued to grow as consumer brands rise to meet the demands of environmentally conscious customers,” Dana Settle, Greycroft co-founder and managing partner, said in a statement. “Greycroft has an ‘invest anywhere’ approach that we believe allows us to identify promising startups with climate tech solutions ready to scale.”

The new joint venture will seek to invest in companies at the point of commercialization. The initial funding for the venture comes from a $15 million commitment from bottle partners, including: The Coca-Cola Company, Arca Continental, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Coca-Cola FEMSA, Coca-Cola HBC, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling and Swire Coca-Cola.

The move is not the first sustainability action taken by Coca-Cola. The company has been measuring its emissions for many years and reported more than a decade ago that it was investing in reducing its carbon footprint. The partners in the fund include nearly half of the company’s system volume across the globe.

“This fund offers an opportunity to pioneer innovative solutions and help scale them quickly within the Coca-Cola system and across the industry,” John Murphy, president and chief financial officer of the Coca-Cola Company, said in a statement. “We expect to benefit from getting access to emerging technology and science for sustainability and carbon reduction.”

The joint venture fund comes as more major companies are focused on their environmental, social, and corporate governance actions. ESG reporting requirements are making their way into capital markets, and investing in sustainability is a way for Coca-Cola to add to its sustainability impact.

Coca-Cola did not mention specific companies the fund will invest in, but the soda giant has a history of such investments, such as in Latin America, where The Coca-Cola Company and Arca Continental invested in leading recycled PET processing company PetStar. Also in Latin America, Coca-Cola FEMSA invested in IMER and a high-tech PET recycling plant, PLANETA.

The company has also made other types of sustainability investments globally, including providing Ioniqa with a loan to help develop technology to transform mixed-color, partly contaminated PET waste into clear, food-grade PET.

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