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EPA Welcomes a Coca-Cola Subsidiary and Cutler Hammer Electrical Company into Program for Environmental Leaders

Release Date: 04/09/2008
Contact Information: Brenda Reyes (787) 977-5869, or Melissa Dimas (212) 637-3677,

(New York, N.Y.) Caribbean Refrescos, Inc., a Coca-Cola Company subsidiary in Cidra, Puerto Rico and the Cutler Hammer Electrical Co. in Coamo, Puerto Rico have volunteered to minimize pollution beyond environmental regulatory requirements while reducing landfill, water and energy use. They are among the newest additions to a growing list of facilities that have been accepted into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Environmental Performance Track Program. Members commit to develop a set of processes that will reduce environmental impacts, called an environmental management system, and set three-year goals to continuously improve environmental performance, while working closely with their communities and reporting publicly on their performance. There are now 20 facilities in Puerto Rico that have been accepted into EPA’s Performance Track program. Nationally, there are nearly 540 members.

“Performance Track members are forging a new pathway for environmental protection -- one that sets an example for others,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “The innovative efforts of Performance track participants on the Island help provide alternative solutions to the most pressing environmental problem in Puerto Rico – the handling of solid waste while the availability of safe and properly run landfill space shrinks.”

Caribbean Refrescos, Inc., which manufactures concentrates and beverage bases for soft drinks, was recognized as operating one of the top wastewater plants in compliance with the pretreatment program of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority in 2005 and 2006. The facility is also focusing on the reuse and recycling of solid waste, reducing the amount of waste that is put in landfills. The Solid Waste Authority of Puerto Rico set a recycling target for the private sector of 35%. In 2006, Caribbean Refrescos, Inc. far exceeded that goal, reaching an impressive 63% recycling rate, and the facility is committed to continue improving that percentage. The company has switched to more efficient energy lighting and has arranged to recycle spent mercury lamps, which will result in the elimination of 9 pounds of highly toxic mercury waste by 2010. It is also replacing the facility’s electric water heating system with a centralized solar system that will reduce annual energy consumption from 120,640 kilowatts per hour to 0 by 2010. The company has also committed to using 300,000 gallons of water less per year in its operations by 2010.

The Cutler Hammer Electrical Company manufactures industrial power controls and logistics components at its facility in Coamo. Through a partnership with the municipality of Coamo, the company is recycling all of the cardboard and office paper it generates, as well as plastics and metals. Cutler Hammer installed a water evaporator that reduced the amount of wastewater generated by 13% and has a phosphate wastewater reuse project that has reduced the amount of wastewater that is disposed of off-site by 75% since 2004. The company has committed to continuing energy reduction programs by retrofitting with longer-life electrical devices and installing more energy efficient engines in production machines to achieve a 10% reduction of energy use over the next three years.

In order to be accepted into Performance Track, facilities must have a history of sustained compliance with federal and state environmental requirements. They must also adopt and implement environmental management systems to meet environmental requirements and improve overall performance, demonstrate at least two past environmental achievements and commit to four future improvements. In addition, members are required to have public outreach programs to report their progress to the public. EPA is currently accepting new applications for the program.

Members in the Performance Track program receive a range of incentives, such as public recognition. Facilities are also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable members to achieve better environmental results. In addition, members benefit from special services, including a learning network composed of top environmental performers that has a mentoring program, tele-seminars, EPA roundtable discussions and newsletters, program information, summary of member benefits, application guidelines, and a complete listing of facilities that are Performance Track members can be found at: