Leticia Acosta, Corporate Sr. Manager – Global Environmental Sustainability
Company: Constellation Brands
Paul Bowen, Senior Sustainability Consultant; retired from Coca-Cola
Welcome to our series aimed at spotlighting the individual leaders within BIER member companies and stakeholder organizations. This new year marks the 15 year anniversary of The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable. Building on its success, in 2021 BIER is led by two inaugural co-chairs: Leticia Acosta and Paul Bowen. Leticia Acosta is a newer BIER member; whereas Paul Bowen is a founding member of BIER and recently retired from Coca-Cola. Enjoy this insightful interview as both share their knowledge, experiences, and visions for the year ahead.
Briefly describe your role and responsibilities and how long you have worked with your company.
Leticia: I have been with Constellation Brands for two years now in my role as Corporate Sr. Manager – Global Environmental Sustainability. I contribute to the development and execution of our company-wide strategic sustainability initiatives. My focus is on ensuring that sustainability efforts enhance business performance and support the long-term interests of the company. I collaborate with operations leaders in setting enterprise-wide environmental sustainability objectives, goals, policies, standards, environmental performance measures, and effectively identify, assess and manage risks and opportunities.
Paul: Given my recent retirement from Coca-Cola, I can speak to the sustainability journey and accomplishments of my career. When I think back to those early days in my career, I think two things stand out more than anything else. One was when I began doing water conservation/efficiency, I would go into a plant and ask how much does your concentrate, bottles, labels, etc. cost? The plant manager could just spout those numbers off. And I’d say, well, how much does your water cost? The response I received was, “You mean we pay for water?” The difficult work was changing that mindset so today, I could go into most plants and ask, “How much does your water cost?” and they can tell me the cost as well as they can tell me the things they are doing to improve water efficiency. So mindset and actions were big, big factors in our success with reducing the water use ratio, which is the volume of water to produce a volume of product.
The other thing was improving wastewater treatment globally. We helped initiate the design, construction, and operation of wastewater plants at our facilities in over 40 countries. In several of those countries, it was either the first industrial wastewater facility or sometimes the first wastewater facility at all. So just being at the forefront of that effort and saying the Company and its bottling partners made that commitment was really meaningful.
KEYWORDS: Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), The Coca-Cola Company, Constellation Brands, Meet Leticia Acosta and Paul Bowen