"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America." - President Barack Obama in his Inauguration Speech.
The beverage industry is with you, Mr. President. Right now, our industry provides good-paying jobs throughout America, in communities large and small. These jobs come with good health benefits, helping address both the jobs and health care needs of the nation. These are jobs, Mr. President, that need to be protected and nurtured with vibrant economic policies that stimulate expansion.
We're also working to provide the jobs of the future, the so-called "green jobs," that you are emphasizing.
Our major companies - led by The Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Nestle Waters North America - are investing in tomorrow's jobs today. Right now, they're buying hybrid delivery trucks and "greening" their fleets. This not only helps improve the environment, but it helps create a market for hybrid trucks and a foundation for the good-paying jobs in the automotive industry that make these trucks.
Our companies are building green, LEED-certified buildings and facilities. Again, building in an environmentally sound manner, but providing green construction jobs to build these facilities and their unique characteristics.
Earlier this month, The Coca-Cola Company opened the world's largest bottle-to-bottle PET plastic recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C., doing so in conjunction with United Resource Recovery Corp. This plant creates new green jobs at a facility that takes 100 percent plastic bottles full circle by turning them into recycled plastic materials for use in new containers made of recycled plastic and other consumer goods.
Pepsi was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for its purchase of 1 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, making the company the largest purchaser of green power in the nation. And it is making further investments in sustainability that support green jobs.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group is replacing its cold drink equipment (coolers and vending machines) with new Energy Star-rated equipment that will save customers $9 million in electric costs by 2012 - the equivalent of removing the CO2 emissions of 11,000 cars from the road each year.
Finally, as an industry, we're working to revitalize recycling in America - partnering with the renowned environmental organization The Climate Group to do so. We're one of the few industries whose products come in 100 percent recyclable containers. We need to bring those containers Full Circle by thinking inside the bin and boosting recycling.
These are just some of the innovative examples taking place in the beverage industry to create the new, environmentally based jobs of the future by making wise investments in environmental sustainability.
We're ready to roll, Mr. President. In fact, we're already hard at work and ahead of the curve when it comes to remaking America on the environment and jobs front.