The Nigerian Bottling Company, makers of Coca-Cola soft drinks, said it has phased out trucks considered not to be friendly to the ozone layer.
The soft drinks giant stated that the decision to phase out such trucks that could pollute the atmosphere through the emission of ozone-depleting fumes was in line with the company’s continued implementation of its corporate social responsibility content.
The Country CSR Manager, NBC, Mr Ekuma Eze, who made these remarks while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday, said the firm’s refrigerators had never contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer.
Eze maintained that apart from youth empowerment through the award of scholarships and skills acquisition programmes, the firm had ensured that it was not contributing to the pollution of the communities it was operating and the society at large.
He stated, “Now, our trucks do not break down again. We have phased out trucks that are not friendly to the ozone layer. Our refrigerators do not contribute to ozone layer depletion.
“We invest a lot in communities where we do our business and even beyond those communities. The NBC has reduced carbon emission into the atmosphere and also invested in effluent treatment plants.”
On the quality of its main product, Coca-Cola, Eze maintained that contrary to the belief in some quarters, the quality of the product remained the same across the world.
According to him, the concentrated syrup is exactly the same used all over the world.
He added, “In Nigeria, we are using natural sugar. The difference is that the range of Coke we have in Nigeria is not as much as we have in America.
“But the truth is that Coke is the same everywhere in the world and our products in Nigeria are of the highest quality. On counterfeiting, it is not a huge problem to us. We have a robust tracking and monitoring system to ensure that our products are not counterfeited.”
Explaining that over 13,000 youths had benefitted from a scheme known as the Youth Empowered, the CSR country manager described the programme as an initiative designed by Coca-Cola Hellenic aimed at reducing the level of unemployment in Nigeria.
“We partner the government to ensure employment for the youth. That is the way we can ensure that society is safe. We have been involved in a management trainee programme, which is one of the best in the country,” Eze added.
Earlier, the Director, Legal/Public Affairs and Communications, Sade Morgan, said the NBC had a total of nine plants in the country, adding that the one in Ikeja, Lagos remained the largest in Africa.
She explained that the firm had earmarked the sum of €1.1bn as the amount to be invested in Nigeria from 2014 to 2023.