COCA COLA 3E: Flagship project for the regeneration of the forest

The leading non-alcoholic beverage company in Greece delivered the restoration project of 7,715 acres, in the area of Varibobi-Tatoi, with a donation to the Greek state. This is the largest project implemented in the prefecture of Attica in the last 100 years, providing anti-corrosion and anti-flood shielding in the fire-stricken area and allowing the natural regeneration of the forest

The climate crisis is no longer just a matter of scientific research and conferences on the future of the planet. As it turned out, in the most emphatic way lately, it is present and its effects become more intense every year, more immediate and especially particularly painful in many countries around the world, as well as in Greece.The large fires of recent years in Greece, culminating in the “fiery storm” in 2018 and 2021 showed that Greece is at the center of climate change in the Mediterranean region, with environmental disasters increasing rapidly. Thousands of acres of burnt forests, hundreds of destroyed homes and facilities and lost human lives are the heavy “price” of climate change.And recent reports by international research centres warn that the phenomena will be even more integrated in the coming years.

However, the answer to climate change, as has been mentioned at the most important climate change conferences of the European Union and the United Nations, is action. The direct and catalytic intervention of governments, institutions, organizations and companies with the participation of citizens.

Coca-Cola has adopted the same philosophy of dealing with the effects of environmental changes in Greece (Coca-Cola Tria Epsilon and Coca-Cola Hellas), undertaking pioneering actions and initiatives in the context of its broader strategy to address the climate crisis.

In mid-April, Coca-Cola delivered to Greece the completed anti-corrosion and flood protection works in an area of 7,715 acres in the area of Varibobi-Tatoi, an area where extensive damage from the August fires was recorded last year, with the flames leaving behind “images of apocalypse” that travelled all over the world.

The restoration project, donation of 1.8 million euros, that Coca-Cola had undertaken as contractor in Greece (Coca-Cola Tria Epsilon & Coca-Cola Hellas), is the largest in area implemented in the prefecture of Attica. It provides the anti-corrosion and anti-flood shielding that the area needs, allowing the natural regeneration of the forest.

This initiative is linked to the company’s broader strategy to address the climate crisis, part of which is still the commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. The company has already proceeded to the elimination of plastic in secondary packaging, through the new aluminum multipacks made of 100% recyclable cardboard, the use of rPET, but also the transition to 100% renewable energy sources and low carbon emissions from its activities.

A life and environmental protection project

The delivery of the anti-corrosion and flood protection works in the area of Varibobi-Tatoi took place during an on-site visit by the Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas, the Deputy Minister George Amyras and the General Secretary of Forests, Konstantinos Aravossis.

As representatives of the Local Government mentioned, this is a social contribution with a significant impact, as not only will the picture of destruction be softened, but they will be a means of protection against floods and heavy rainfall in the specific fire-stricken areas for the coming years and until the restoration of the natural environment is completed.

During the delivery of the project, the Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas stated the satisfaction for the completeness of the projects and the remarkable contribution of Coca-Cola to Greece for society and the environment: “Coca-Cola in Greece, with a high sense of responsibility and social contribution, after the catastrophic fires of last summer enthusiastically supported the institution of the Restoration and Reforestation Contractor.Its contribution to the great national effort for the reconstruction of fire-stricken areas and the adaptation of forest ecosystems to the challenges of the climate crisis is valuable. In total, Coca-Cola has financed with 1.8 million euros the programme. Anti-corrosion and flood protection works in Varibobi and Tatoi, in an area of 7,715 acres.Today, these projects, which were completed within a few months, were delivered to the competent services of the Ministry of Environment and Energy. These are interventions that will strengthen the flood protection of the wider area and will contribute to the rebirth of our natural wealth”.

“We are very proud that as a Contractor we deliver this project that contributes in practice to addressing the effects of the climate crisis, such as the catastrophic fires we experienced in August 2021.We thank all the people who worked with a high sense of responsibility, speed and consistency to ensure the immediate protection and restoration of the area. But we don’t stop there. We will continue to systematically monitor the region and help wherever and as necessary for its rebirth, but also to avoid similar disasters in the future.” , said the general manager of Coca-Cola Tria Epsilon for Greece and Cyprus, Maria Anargyro-Nikolic, speaking about the special importance for herself and the leading non-alcoholic beverage company in Greece.

The documentary of the work of the project

The progress of the restoration and protection works of the area, which was included in the anti-corrosion and anti-flood works, was “captured” in an impressive short documentary by Coca-Cola in Greece, starring all those who worked for the implementation of the action.The aim of this imprint is to never forget the destruction we experienced in Attica and to always remind us of the hope for the rebirth of nature.

In the first seconds of the documentary, the “apocalypse scenes” in the same area are presented in August 2021, with firefighters and volunteers fighting a superhuman battle with the flames.In fact, dialogues are heard that highlight the titanic firefighting effort and the magnitude of the destructive fury of the fire in those days.

Below is the progress of the works from the initial assessment and the first works for the flood and anti-corrosion protection in the fire-stricken areas until the completion, with the donation of 1.8 million euros of Coca Cola to Greece, after assuming the role as a Contractor for Rehabilitation & Reforestation in the area of Varibobi-Tatoi.

“It’s tragic, it’s tragic that the forest is burning. That is why we are here. We will do what we can. We are working and we hope very soon this landscape will become again as it was before”, the forest worker, Sotiris Pavlou, can be heard saying with obvious anguish on his face, while his colleague Vassilis Koufonikos seems shocked by the images of destruction:”I have been doing this job for 5 years. I have been to many places in Greece. This area now here I didn’t know what it was like before the fire, just what I see has been completely destroyed.”

After the start of the works, progress seems to be accelerating in all areas, and specialized executives and representatives of the competent bodies explain in simple words the progress of the projects.

For example, the head of the General Directorate of Forests and Forest Environment, Vangelis Gountoufaras, who highlights the importance of the companies-contractors in this important effort for Attica: “When the need arose for the immediate restoration of the forest environment that was destroyed after the fire of August 2021, private companies had to be designated as restoration contractors, in order to contribute quickly and effectively to these projects. “

“The nature of the projects is anti-corrosion-flood protection. I put the anti-corrosion first, because that is the main purpose, because one of the immediate and adverse consequences after the fire is the erosion of the forest soil.”, stated the Deputy Director of Reforestation of Attica, Ioanna Verdi, explaining the importance of the projects.

The project supervisor and distinguished forester, Nikos Chlykas, talks about the work in the documentary, describing the process in the first phases: “The first part is of the logs. It is these rows that I see with the trunks, along with the spatiobar curves of the soil, which aims to prevent soil erosion, that is, to keep the soil from flooding phenomena, which may create a heavy rainfall.The second is the pruning grids, which are boxes of branches, which are also deposited along the spastobarics and hold soils. And the third is the creation of wooden dams in the streams, to keep the sediments a rainfall brings so that not everything accumulates in the large stream and creates problems for both the residential fabric and the crops, etc. The latest footage of Coca Cola’s documentary in Greece presents the final picture of the works that were completed in record time with the donation of 1.8 million euros of Coca Cola in Greece that was the Contractor for Rehabilitation and Reforestation in the Area of Varibobi-Tatoi. Within three months, the works for the flood protection and restoration of 7,715 acres were completed with the aim of the natural regeneration and reforestation of the area.

Let’s all remember. Climate change is the present, we do not want it to be the future. The answer is action.

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