The Coca-Cola company serves 1.4 billion drinks every day and markets four of the world’s five top nonalcoholic beverages including, Coke, Diet Coke, sprite and Fanta. In addition to these sodas, The Coca-Cola company also distributes teas, coffees, energy and sport drinks. However, few are aware that the largest beverage company also is known for their corporate responsibility. The brand Coca-Cola is connected to the image of happiness; even their slogan says “Open Happiness”. So it makes sense that a company that is promoting this works hard to ensure that the world is indeed a happy place. Through researching various news articles, I was able to find some of the ways that Coca-Cola is making the world a better place.

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March 22, 2012 was the 20th annual World Water day, which was established to bring attention to sustainable fresh water practices. On this day Coca-Cola released their fifth annual GLobal Water Stewardshop and Replenish Report that states since 2004 they have achieved a 16% improvement in its water use ratio. Coca-Cola also has 96% of their facilities in compliance with their stringent wastewater treatment standards. Finally Coca-Cola has replenished 54.8 billion liters of water through Community Water Partnerships.

On June 22, 2000, Coca-Cola offered benefits to same-sex domestic partner employes. 12 years later many companies still do not offer these benefits. They are clearly committed to retaining their diverse work force.

I also discovered that Coca-Cola was the first company to make plastic bottle partially made from plants and they were the first company to have a plastic bottle entirely made from plants. To do this the Coca-Cola Company partnered with various companies to invent eco-bottles. This must have been a huge cost to them, yet they thought it was important enough to do so. Even going to the main Coca-Cola website the first thing you will notice is a campaign to protect their mascot, the polar bears. They partnered with World Wildfire Fund to raise awareness and funding to create a safe haven for the polar bear in the Arctic.

This year Coca-Cola is celebrating their 125 years of “sharing happiness”. As corny as it sounds they truly are sharing happiness not only through their beverages but also through their social responsibility.

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6 responses »

  1. Paul Martin says:

    I definitely didn’t know most of this about Coca-Cola. It’s pretty cool to see a company that is taking initiative in a variety of projects, rather than just energy related. Clearly, since they are a beverage company it makes sense for them to pursue things such as water conservation or green bottles. But offering benefits to same-sex domestic partner employees really surprised me. This seems like a fairly strange thing to offer (not at all that its a bad thing, it just wouldn’t necessarily cross my mind if I was the head of a company), and makes me wonder if there was some specific reason or incident that sparked it.

  2. scoutberger says:

    I think that Edward Freeman would be very proud of Coca Cola. As for Milton, he may not be so pleased. Coca Cola is a huge company and a gigantic force. Yet despite Coca Cola’s power, they are using their resources to better the world environmentally and socially. Changing their bottles so that they are environmentally friendly is a very responsible act. These are the types of actions that Ed argued were the responsibilities of all companies. Milton on the other hand may have a heart attack at this idea. Coca Cola is sacrificing exuberant amounts of money to be eco-friendly. One thing I am very curious about is what would happen if Coca Cola got backlash for their eco-friendly bottles? Remember how customers of SunChips criticized the company for their “noisy bags?” What if there was a similar circumstance with Coca Cola? As a company that promotes “happiness” would they stay true to their environmentally friendly ways or please the customer?

  3. Marko says:

    Coca Cola is celebrating 125 years of sharing happiness… and obesity. I have such a strong feelings toward this company. I’m glad you found a variety of environmental projects on Coke, but most of these projects are masking the detrimental health effect of their product on consumers. Why are consumers not reacting? Because of good old advertisement. Coca-cola spends more money on advertisement than Microsoft and Apple combined. In 2010 alone, Coke spent $2.9 billion on advertisement. That’s why every time we see a coca cola we remember those warm and fuzzy polar bears and relate Coke to the magic of Christmas.
    However, nobody speaks about the health effects of drinking soda products. Soft drinks have long been suspected of leading to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled out of the bones. The phosphate content of soft drinks like Coca -Cola and Pepsi is very high, and they contain virtually no calcium. In addition, the amount of sugar contained in every coca-cola may cause severe health problems and increase the chance for obesity.

    Let me share some interesting comments from doctors, health experts and nutritionist:
    * “Soft drink consumption in children poses a significant risk factor for impaired calcification of growing bones.”
    * “In an interesting experiment the sugar from one soft drink was able to damage the white blood cells’ ability to ingest and kill gonococcal bacteria for seven hours.”
    * “Soft drinks are the single greatest source of caffeine in children’s diets; a 12-ounce can of cola contains about 45 milligrams but the amounts in more potent soft drinks can exceed 100 milligrams— a level approaching that found in coffee.”
    * “Soft drinks have replaced milk in the diets of many American children as well as adults. School purchases reflect such trends. From 1985 to 2007, school districts decreased the amounts of milk they bought by nearly 39% and increased their purchases of carbonated sodas.”
    * “Sugar and acid in soft drinks so easily dissolve tooth enamel.”
    * “The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.”

    What I would like to see is another brave man who can make “Super Size Me 2” and decide to drink nothing but Coca-Cola for a month. It would be great to see how happy that guy would be after Coca Cola “shared happiness” with him for 30 days straight.

  4. Hannah says:

    One thing that you mentioned that I particularly liked was that Coca-Cola was among the first to start using different types of plastic bottles. If they were in fact the first, it shows that they started a movement that so many other drink companies have joined by making their bottles out of less plastic/recycled plastic. You said these “eco-bottles” cost more money, but it shows that the Coca-Cola felt that this was a necessary cost if they wanted to become a more sustainable company and use more environmentally friendly practices.

  5. brookeparker16 says:

    Marko! Who knew you were so against America’s favorite brand. Have you read the recent article on the toxicity of sugar? Although I understand your point, I feel like it is easier to blame big bad companies than the people who are making stupid decisions to a gross amount of cola. For example if I saw someone smoking a disgusting cigarette I wouldn’t think, “Gosh darn you tobacco companies!”, I would think, “This person is gross and I like them a little less for choosing this habit.” (No offense if we have some smokers in the class!) Also, they have hundreds of other beverages that are not sodas. And if you so adamantly against Coke why stop there? Why not take on the Trolli company whose processed sugar sweets are said to be like heroin?

  6. Zach says:

    I think it’s great that a company like coca cola is actively trying to cut down on its foot print. Think about how big coca cola is. It’s sort of hard to wrap my head around. They produce soft drinks that are ubiquitous virtually everywhere. Any change that a company that big makes is bound to make a tangible difference. Also, when a market leader makes changes, they tend to trickle down to the competitors in the industry. It’s a win-win for everybody.

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