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Coca Cola rejects Beijing watch list

BEIJING, Aug 20 – US soft drink giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola on Thursday rejected their inclusion on an environmental watch list published by the Beijing city government, saying their plants abided by Chinese standards.

The companies\’ Beijing bottling plants were included on a list of the top 12 factories causing water pollution issued by the Beijing Development and Reform Commission, the capital\’s economic planning agency.

A separate list of 15 top energy consumers in the Chinese capital included the Benz-DaimlerChrysler plant.

PepsiCo issued a statement saying its inclusion on the list "simply reflects that the plant, which strictly adheres to all national standards for wastewater treatment and emissions, is a large user of water".

The company said it had won several awards in China for water conservation and added it would continue to work with Chinese authorities to further reduce water use.

A spokesman for Coca-Cola based in Hong Kong, Kenth Kaerhoeg, said the firm\’s Beijing plant "meets municipal wastewater effluent standards as well as the very stringent standards set by The Coca-Cola Company".

"In addition to complying with wastewater standards, the Coca-Cola system is working to improve the efficiency of our water use in all of our facilities. Globally, our goal is to improve efficiency by 20 percent by 2012," he said.

The Beijing city commission said in a notice published on its website that the 27 entities listed will be subject to increased supervision and asked to submit plans to reduce energy use and pollution emissions.

The commission told AFP Thursday that it could not immediately comment on the companies\’ reactions. The notice was still visible on the commission\’s website on Thursday.

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The spokesman for Coca-Cola said the company would work closely with Beijing municipal authorities on their review of its operations there.

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