Engine No. 1 held talks with Coca-Cola on new recycling initiatives - source

Logo of U.S. beverage group Coca-Cola is seen at a visitors center in Bruettisellen
The logo of U.S. beverage group Coca-Cola is seen at the entrance of a visitors center of Coca-Cola Schweiz GmbH in Bruettisellen, Switzerland October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Sustainability-focused investment firm Engine No. 1 has held talks with Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) about steps the soda giant could take to ramp up recycling of its cans and bottles, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The activist investor, which won an against-the-odds board challenge against Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) last year, has a passive stake in Coca-Cola through its Transform 500 exchange-traded fund (VOTE.Z). It also holds investments in PepsiCo Inc (PEP.O) and Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N).

Charlie Penner, the former Engine No. 1 partner responsible for getting three seats at Exxon, brought the Coca-Cola idea to Engine No. 1 from Jana Partners where he had been researching it, another source told Reuters.

Coca-Cola aims to have 100% of its packaging recyclable globally by 2025 and use at least 50% recycled material in its packaging by 2030, according to its sustainability goals.

Engine No. 1 has suggested a partnership between Coca-Cola and garbage collection and recycling company Republic Services Inc (RSG.N), in which Engine No. 1 holds a stake, newly launched global news platform Semafor reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Coca-Cola and Republic did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru and Svea Herbst-Bayliss in New York; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Shailesh Kuber

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