Regional Seminar Market Transformation and Footprint Reduction, Guatemala city, January 27 and 28

Posted on
03 febrero 2009
In an effort to contribute with hands-on experiences on how Central American companies are protecting the environment, on January 27-28 WWF, The Coca-Cola Company, the Guatemalan Clean Production Center and the Guatemalan Chamber of Industry, held the seminar "Market Transformation and Footprint Reduction".

This event was organized to share the experiences and tools used by Central American businesses in their efforts towards footprint reduction and increased competitiveness.

Keynote speakers included Jason Clay, WWF US, Lawrence Pratt, INCAE Business School, Greg Koch, The Coca-Cola Company, Al Korgi US EPA, and local businesses who are committed to transforming their production and businesses approaches.

During the two day event the participants stressed on the importance of the private sector’s involvement in cleaner production, water conservation and carbon footprint reduction. Twelve success stories from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica were shared in areas as diverse as sugar growing and processing, beer and soda, fruits, spirits and even university research centers.

Even though the approaches and measures taken by each industry differ in nature and scope, the common ground is that all these industries are already implementing significant changes in order to reduce their environmental footprint and that they are committed to further their efforts on the years to come.

The goal of the seminar was to inspire attendants to make positive changes in their own lives, communities and work-places.

An audience of close to 140 participants, representing NGOs, indigenous organizations, academics, government, and private sector (more than half of total participants) learned about the role that internal communications, process monitoring and sampling, improving infrastructure, adopting different and innovative technologies have on reducing water and chemical inputs required for various production processes. Participants also learned about carbon footprint accounting and various approaches through which carbon footprint may be offset or reduced. Central American experiences with the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) were also shared.

Greg Koch, Managing Director for Global Water Stewardship, Environment and Water Resources, of The Coca-Cola Company invited all participants to implement what they learned from the seminar. Koch indicated “this seminar will be a real success when participants translate into action at least one of the programs discussed during the last couple of days”.

Jason Clay, Vice president for Markets, WWF US commented: “This is the first WWF event where Market Transformation takes on a multi country, multi commodity approach. Different from other events of this kind, here we have had many commodities and business from all of Central America, sharing not only theory but hands-on experience from the five years of Market Transformation work in the Mesoamerican Reef. It has taken us five years of creating and building solid and trustful alliances with the private sector and now we can see its great results”

Thinking about the future, Jason reflects that, “our challenge and task at hand now is to create spaces and facilitate fora where businesses can share their experiences in market transformation. Events like this one are an effective mechanism to spread the word and promote adoption among businesses. Given the current economic crisis, it is essential to showcase the business plans that enable them to assess the economic benefits of these better practices and approach for doing business.”

WWF is one of the largest international conservation organizations with more than 5 million members around the world. Through its global alliance with The Coca-Cola Company it is increasing water use efficiency, protecting watersheds, engage local communities, and sharing lessons learned with the wider global community.

Speakers’ presentations will be available at:

For more information contact:

WWF Central America
+506 2234 8434
Lilian Marquez
Information Director