Our trip to the World of Coca-Cola is coming soon. The Coca-Cola Company has put forth a great effort to reduce their carbon footprint not only within the World of Coca-Cola building but within their business worldwide. To prepare for our trip, we are going to look at your own carbon footprints.
Time: 2 class periods of 45 minutes each
The results of the test are usually very surprising, as well as alarming to students. The Coca-Cola Company realized years ago that their impact on the environment could be reduced if they made decisions to operate differently. During your trip to the World of Coca-Cola, ask students to take notes on the efforts made by The Coca‑Cola Company, as well as how these efforts have influenced their lives, or will influence their lives in the future.
Ask students to write a paper on their thoughts about the results of the online test. Will it change anything they do? If so, what will they do differently? If not, why not? Teachers may also use the graph along with mean, medium and mode information for assessment.
Note to Teachers: The Green Tour may be added to either the Social Studies or Language Arts links & lesson plans with ease. As students proceed through the tour, you may bring your students‘ attention to ways The Coca‑Cola Company has worked to make the World of Coca-Cola building as environmentally compatible as possible.
Location – Pemberton Place, just outside the World of Coca-Cola
Connections As you look at the building from the outside, you will notice an area of plants and landscaping at the Baker Street entrance to Pemberton Place. Also note the colors used on the building and paving materials.
Impact This area demonstrates what The Coca‑Cola Company has done to address the cyclical Georgia drought issue as well as decrease the heat island effect that contributes to smog and ozone in Atlanta.
All areas of the new World of Coca-Cola construction and operation have been planned to reflect the company‘s commitment to the environment. The building was constructed in accordance with the United States Green Building Council‘s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standards. This group encourages thoughtful building design with an emphasis on recycling, reuse of resources and waste reduction. The World of Coca-Cola building minimizes negative environmental impact, conserves energy, and minimizes water use. This reflects The Coca-Cola Company‘s worldwide efforts to protect our natural resources.
When the World of Coca-Cola opened on May 24, 2007, Pemberton Place was filled with streams, waterfalls and ponds. It was beautiful, but as Georgia went deeper into another cyclical drought, The Coca-Cola Company became concerned about the 34,000 gallons needed to keep the stream and waterfall flowing each day. To be more environmentally conscious regarding the drought, the company decided that the water features had to be removed. The water features were filled in with 640 cubic yards of dirt. The area was then planted with 2000 drought tolerant plants such as liriope, cleyera, and knock out roses. Other areas that were changed from outdoor water features into areas that were more drought-friendly will be noted later in the tour.
When the World of Coca Cola opened, many water features such as the pond above were found throughout the grounds. To conserve water during Georgia‘s cyclical droughts, the water features were replaced with drought resistant plants and other landscaping features.
Pemberton Place accounts for 5 acres of additional green space in downtown Atlanta. Urban green space is important because it provides habitat for birds, insects, and other organisms and prevents soil erosion. Trees absorb pollutants in the air. Just 20 trees can replace the pollution from a car driven 60 miles a day. Since there are so many cars in the city, trees are especially important. Plants reduce the urban heat island effect that happens when buildings, asphalt, and concrete absorb radiation from the sun and cause air temperatures to rise. Plants reduce this effect because they shade heat-absorbing surfaces. Green spaces also reduce noise pollution. But that‘s not all. Urban green spaces give people a place to play, gather and rest. In fact, you may enjoy eating your lunch in Pemberton Place today!
Bring students‘ attention to the color of the paving, building, and the roof. All of these areas are finished in light colors in what is called “cool landscaping”. When cool landscaping is used, the sun is reflected off of the surface rather than being absorbed. Why is this important? Lighter colored surfaces absorb less heat than dark surfaces, causing less energy to be needed for cooling the building.
Location – Inside Lobby
On March 5th, 2008 The Coca-Cola Company announced that the World of Coca-Cola had achieved the official “green” status as an environmentally friendly building. This means that Coca-Cola has followed the U.S. Green Building Council‘s standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Location – The area just outside the Hub
Connections Bring your students‘ attention to the area outside the windows located on the left side of the Hub.
Impact The Coca-Cola Company has used plants plus light colored paving materials to help reduce the heat island effect around the World of Coca-Cola.
Ask your students to look around the Hub at the walls. All paint used at the World of Coca-Cola is low Volatile Organic Compounds paint. Why is low VOC paint important? Let‘s look at regular paint first. Regular paint has almost 10,000 chemicals in it, 300 of them are toxic! This means that some people can have breathing problems, allergies, and other health problems caused from the fumes that come from regular paint. In fact, paint is considered to be one of the worst environmental polluters. Low VOC paint reduces the toxins from paint, doesn‘t pollute groundwater, and is easily cleaned up with soap and water. VOC paint results in a very low odor when used and no odor once it is dried. This improves indoor air quality. The World of Coca-Cola has also used low-emitting adhesives, sealants, and carpet which is made from recycled carpet, called “cradle to cradle” carpet within the building. So go ahead, take a deep breath. The air at the World of Coca-Cola is squeaky clean!
Location – Gallery 7; Within Arms Reach of Desire
Ask your students to look around this room at some of the various vending machines used in the past. Recent research has shown that the coolants used in older vending machines were damaging to the environment. The Coca-Cola Company has taken a number of measures to correct this situation as well as reduce their carbon footprint worldwide.
Location – Window between Pop Culture and the 4-D theater (Second Floor)
Connections As you look out this window, you will notice green glass as well as many plants that were used to replace a water feature.
Impact The area outside this window demonstrates how the World of Coca-Cola has attempted to maintain the look of a water feature while doing it in an environmentally friendly manner. This area was altered in response to the cyclical drought our state experienced.
Location – Restrooms and water fountains throughout the building
Connections Ask students to note the small plaques discussing the conservation of water throughout the building.
Impact Thanks to the low-flow faucets, waterless urinals, and other fixtures used in the attraction, the World of Coca-Cola uses 30% less water than other buildings of its size constructed in a conventional fashion.
Reducing the Carbon Footprint
This is an example of a new dispenser using CO2 coolant. A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases caused directly or indirectly by a person or organization in a given time. The following items are a few of the efforts The Coca-Cola Company has put into place to lower their carbon footprint.
Location-Taste It (Second Floor)
Connections In the Taste-It room, bring your students‘ attention to the poster called “Packaging from Nature”.
Impact This poster is a flow chart about how corn becomes a cup. It demonstrates how the World of Coca-Cola has replaced plastic with 100% compostable cornstarch cups throughout the Taste It room.
Location – The Coca-Cola Store
Connections In this room, students will notice the two types of floors used in the store and discuss the materials they are made from. They will also view products made from recycled materials which are for sale in the store.
Impact The Coca-Cola Company has encouraged the use of recycled materials and supports artists who produce products made in this way. Written descriptions located on each product give consumers a short education in how the product uses recycled materials as well as the people who produce the product.
Go to the wall to your right as you entered The Coca-Cola Store. Located on this wall are a number of products made from recycled/repurposed Coca-Cola products. Be sure to read a few of the tags on some of the products as they give information on how the product is made. For example, there are T-shirts that tell how many plastic bottles went into making the shirt and jewelry by Kathleen Plate that is made out of recycled/repurposed Coca‑Cola bottles. Bring your students‘ attention to the pop-top handbags by Escama. This company is run by two women’s co-operatives in Brazil and the tag is signed by the woman who made the bag. To learn more about this company go to: www.escamastudio.com Another company whose products are displayed in this area is Ecoist which is a company from Peru. This company uses discontinued or imperfect Coca-Cola labels to make products for sale in the retail store. A company called Remarkable.co.uk makes notebooks with recycled tire covers and even recycled plastic. Bottom line…Everything has a use!
Concluding Your Tour
To end your tour, review what your students have seen at the World of Coca-Cola that demonstrates their efforts to be environmentally friendly.
May be given orally or by pencil and paper after returning to class.
The World of Coca-Cola Green Quiz