Coca-Cola’s Commitment to You
Coca-Cola began as a local business. For more than 127 years we have made sure that even with global reach, we maintain the mindset of a local business everywhere we work, because this means we stay focused on you and your community. Whether you live in Atlanta or Accra, Paris or Phnom Penh, your enjoyment, refreshment, and happiness is our goal. That’s why we offer more than 500 brands and 3,500 products in over 200 countries. It’s why each of our 700,000 system associates is not merely someone who helps to bottle or deliver your favorite beverages, but a critical member of our Coca-Cola team. And it’s why we are committed to being a good partner to you, helping to build sustainable communities.
What does this mean? Simply put, it means that we care about people. We care about the planet. And we care about our shared future.
In fact, People and Planet are prominent in the 6 “Ps” of our Company’s vision. How our efforts affect people and the planet have tremendous impact on everything from our marketing strategy to our global policy positions. And respect for people and our planet are also key considerations when it comes to packaging and recycling our products. This includes our signature beverage, Coca-Cola, which John Pemberton invented in 1886 and has been served proudly ever since.
We don’t just talk about our commitment to people and the planet – we work to live it every single day.
You can see it in our sustainability programs, which circle the globe and include hundreds of environment and community-focused initiatives; in our advertising, which has long reflected our core commitment to family values; and in our corporate work, which focuses on the needs of our employees, our shareowners and other stakeholders around the world.
Our passion is also reflected in our performance as a longstanding American and global business. Over the years we have delivered consistent growth for our shareowners, and one reason for that, we believe, is our unwavering commitment to quality, transparency and the higher ideals that we embrace, both as a corporate citizen and as a global citizen.
Why are these commitments so important to us?
One simple reason: because we care. To us, corporate responsibility isn’t just a matter of doing right sometimes, or only when it’s convenient. It’s about doing the right thing, period. And making it part of our business plan, not an afterthought.
Creating Social & Business Value
Public policy plays an important role in our business, because it allows us to engage in conversations and take action on issues we care about, like well-being initiatives, water stewardship and the economic empowerment of women. By being an active participant in these discussions and through political engagement, we seek to provide constructive contributions that inspire moments of optimism and happiness, leading to positive changes around the world.
It used to be the case that doing well and doing good were viewed as inherently mutually exclusive. No more. Water stewardship, for example, is a critical issue for the planet, but it’s also a business issue for a company like ours that needs water to produce finished products.
Care for people and the planet. Care for our business. Moments of inspiration and happiness. That’s who we are. And that’s what we stand for. Every single day.
The Golden Triangle
In the words of Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, “Given the scale and complexity of today’s health and environmental issues, it’s challenging for one business — even one industry — to make a material difference on its own. Instead, we must rely on partnerships that connect across what I call the ‘Golden Triangle’ of business, government and civil society.”
Mr. Kent’s vision guides how we work and engage with others around the globe. We embrace the fact that when we work together we can have a greater impact than when we work alone.
We have said publicly that obesity is “the issue of our generation,” and with good reason: obesity exacts a harsh toll on the health of individuals, families and even whole communities, and it will take time, education and ongoing global support – from all of us – to address.
Our very human response to this very real problem is: We care. And we want to help. That’s why we have been voluntarily stating calorie counts on the front of our products (as well as on the side) since 2009. It’s why we impose our own restrictions on advertising to children. And it’s why we offer more than 800 low and no-calorie products around the world, including 180 in the United States.
But our commitment goes beyond how we conduct our business and into local communities. We’ve made, and continue to make, global commitments with the goal of inspiring individuals to embrace healthier choices. We recognize that as a leading beverage company we have an important role to play in joining with others in the effort to turn the tide on this global health epidemic. By partnering with families, whole communities, industry, government, health care experts and other concerned citizens and organizations around the world, we believe we can help to provide a positive contribution to help address obesity.
Our current global commitments to well-being include:
- Offering low or no-calorie beverage options in all of our markets.
- Providing easy-to-follow nutrition information, with calorie counts clearly displayed on the front of all of our packages.
- Getting people moving – literally – by supporting physical activity programs in the more than 200 countries where we do business.
- Marketing our products responsibly, which includes a no-advertising policy for children under 12 anywhere in the world.
These four steps represent our initial commitment. While we’re still learning about this complex issue along with everybody else, we’re confident that together we can help make a difference. We will continue to participate in the global dialogue and do what we can – now and always – to help provide important information, offer a wide variety of options, and track the progress of our efforts.
By 2020, we have committed to safely return to communities and to nature an amount of water that is equal to what we use in our finished beverages and production each year.
To get there, we’re collaborating with community partners and industry peers around the world, with encouraging results. We estimate we have balanced 68 percent (108.5 billion liters) of the water used in our finished beverages (based on 2013 sales volume) as a result of these partnerships and community water projects. Learn more.
Women’s economic empowerment is another focus for us. Through our 5by20 initiatives, we’re working diligently, on multiple continents, to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women across our value chain by 2020.
Our 5by20 program is illustrative of our fundamental belief that our prosperity is tied to the prosperity of the communities in which we operate. Women are not only the pillars of their communities, they are also the pillars of our business in many communities around the world. Learn more.
In the Philippines, for example, women own and run more than 86 percent of the small neighborhood stores that sell our products. That is why we are investing in their success, in the Philippines and around the world – because women matter to us, just as we matter to them.