In Japan alone there are nearly 6 million drinks vending machines and Coca-Cola owns around 1 million of them. They are convenient, being placed almost everywhere and are accessible anytime of day or night. But given they are powered 24/7 in some areas, traditional vending machines draw a large amount of power. Coca-Cola have introduced a new eco vending machine to help combat this issue.
The vending machines are powered by solar panels to reduce the amount of electricity they consume from the grid. They use LED lighting to light up inside the machines, as they use very little power to deliver consistent lighting. They even feature a system which accepts electronic money, being compatible with the abundance of smartphones in Japan!
Coca-Cola have tried various ways to make their vending machines more ecologically friendly in Japan. They experimented with one machine only cooling drinks over night while demand for electricity is at its lowest, nicknamed the Polar Bear. It has been a popular choice after the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, with rolling blackouts a frequent experience; vending machines were required which would keep drinks cool even if no electricity is on. These feature added insulation and cools all drinks quickly, as opposed to cooling only the ones ready to be dispensed. In 2010 they released one that had a greenery-covered roof, to help with its cooling efficiency.
At the moment the focus is on machines in Japan but we hope we will see them expand into other countries as well. They world wide energy savings could be quite considerable due to the size of the Coca-Cola industry and its domination of the fizzy drinks industry.
Here at SimplyLED we love seeing stories like this that show large global companies are taking responsibility for their impact on the environment and becoming conscious of ecological factors. It is great to see that they are finding ways to lower their power consumption dramatically, without needing to compromise on the quality of products. Hopefully with market leaders such as Coca-cola doing this more global, or even smaller national companies will follow their lead and take note of their impact on the environment!