Senior Director, Global Water Stewardship
Corporate Sustainability Office; The Coca-Cola Company
Greg leads The Coca-Cola Company’s global water stewardship strategy, focusing on water-use efficiency and wastewater management, watershed protection, community water initiatives, and global awareness and action. He collaborates with bottling partners, governments, NGOs and communities throughout the Coca-Cola system and directs his team toward achieving the Company’s global goal to return to communities and to nature an amount of water equivalent to what is used in all of its beverages and their production. For more than eight years, Greg has managed the global partnership work with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for The Coca-Cola Company.
What is your first memory of water?
I remember being at a pool in Germany with my family. I was at the top of a slide that seemed huge to me at the time. My father was at the bottom and was encouraging me to slide down as he would catch me. I was scared but eventually let go. I was on that slide for hours after that – so much fun.
Did you envision a career in water?
Not at first as I entered professional life in engineering design then consulting. I gravitated to environmental issues focusing on groundwater contamination. This led to work with Coca-Cola and eventually a job (18 years ago). I have evolved, maybe matured is a better word, along with the Company in my understanding and actions on water issues, beyond our bottling plants.
Why is fresh water important to you?
Water is the source of life as we know it. It is important to me as much as it is important to any species, human or otherwise. Without a sustainable supply of enough, clean water, in the time and place you need it, nothing can grow — an individual, a company, a community, or ecosystem.
Why are cross-sector partnerships critical in addressing global water challenges?
Everyone shares the same water, over and over. The challenges water resources face, from quality and quantity to infrastructure and access, are too big for any one entity to address. It takes deep partnerships across all sectors — government, civil society, industry, and agriculture — to solve these problems.
What impact will the Coca-Cola and WWF partnership have toward addressing global water challenges?
Through the first eight years of our partnership we have already made positive impacts, in our more efficient use of water, more sustainable agricultural practices, carbon emissions reductions, and solid conservation gains in critical freshwater basins. The ongoing phase of our work will amplify these early gains and hopefully inspire others to join us.