“Let’s save Yelnya together!”

Coca-Cola Beverages Belarus is proud of playing leading role in the extremely successful project named «Let’s save Yelnya together!». This internationally recognised initiative is a unique combination of both water protection and CO2 emissions reduction.

Yelnya, the 7,000 year old peatbog, one of the largest in Europe, was suffering from annual fires as the result of melioration. Being a natural reserve it is sanctuary for endangered birds and plants species.

The project was deployed in close partnership with local NGO “APB Birdlife Belarus”. In October 2007 the first volunteers started work to revitalise the degraded peatland with Coca-Cola Beverages Belarus support. It was vitally important to build dams to close the draining canals in autumn and keep the spring flood water.

Saving the Yelnya bog has a great importance for ‘greenhouse gas’ neutralisation too. Every hectare of an over-dried bog discharges up to 10 tonnes of CO2 per year (and 30 times more in case of fire). With the improvement of the hydrological regime the peatland stops discharging. Taking into consideration the size of Yelnya bog, approximately 14,000 tons of CO2 emissions are now prevented each year.

Full restoration of the bog will reverse the CO2 dynamics from emission towards absorbing a minimum 1 ton of ‘greenhouse gases’ per 1 hectare yearly. Thus the 24,000 hectares of the restored Yelnya Bog will then completely offset the annual CO2 emissions of Coca-Cola Beverages Belarus operation.

After the first proven success the project draws increasing attention from local authorities, mass-media and the community. Coca-Cola Hellenic produced a video of the project which became part of many local environment education programmes.

Coca-Cola Beverages Belarus continues to expand the “Let’s save Yelnya together!” project welcoming new partners.

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