The Coca-Cola Company Donates $2 Million to the BeltLine
Loans Executive to the Sustainable Atlanta Initiative
The Coca-Cola Company today announced a $2 million grant to support The BeltLine Partnership, a non-profit organization committed to raising funds from private and philanthropic sources to support one of the most comprehensive economic development efforts ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta. It is the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment effort currently underway in the U.S.
The announcement was made by Neville Isdell, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, during the Mayor's 2008 State of the City Business Breakfast. The grant supports pedestrian trails in the West End section of Atlanta, which will provide venues for walking, running, cycling, and other outdoor activities.
"We know that to have a sustainable business, the communities where we operate must be sustainable themselves," said Mr. Isdell. "The Coca-Cola Company is committed to helping ensure the vitality of our communities. This donation supports a network of recreational trails that will connect scores of neighborhoods and communities around the Atlanta University Center to the city's urban core.
"This is another way for us to give back to our hometown, which has supported us so well over the years," added Mr. Isdell.
The Coca-Cola Company is a global leader on sustainability and is a leader in water stewardship, sustainable packaging, and energy and climate protection.
The BeltLine will connect Atlanta communities by creating greenspace, trails, transit, and new development along 22 miles of historic rail segments that encircle the city's urban core. The BeltLine is a $240 million investment in affordable workforce housing, and a commitment to public art, historic preservation, and environmental cleanup.
Isdell also announced that Company executive Ben Jordan will serve as a loaned executive to the Sustainable Atlanta Initiative in support of the City's sustainability efforts. A Georgia native, Jordan helps manage a 250-person global organization. He has extensive global environmental experience and has helped lead a number environmental initiatives, including the Company's work with Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI); the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES); Business for Social Responsibility (BSR); World Wildlife Fund (WWF), River Network and The Nature Conservancy. Jordan is on the board of Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
Jordan holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he studied environmental engineering and researched corporate environmental management. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy from Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Coca-Cola Company has a strong commitment of making significant civic and financial contributions that have supported and strengthened the city. Giving back locally has been a Company priority and that tradition of community support continues today through the city's universities, civic and nonprofit institutions and its public spaces, including Pemberton Place. Named for Dr. John S. Pemberton, the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola in Atlanta in 1886, the 20-acre complex is currently home to the Georgia Aquarium and the New World of Coca-Cola. The land between the New World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium added five acres of green space to downtown Atlanta. The Coca-Cola Company also has donated 2.5 acres to the City of Atlanta for construction of a human rights center.
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola(R), recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five nonalcoholic sparkling brands, including Diet Coke(R), Fanta(R) and Sprite(R), and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.4 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
About The BeltLine Partnership
The BeltLine Partnership is a non-profit organization committed to raising funds from private and philanthropic sources to support the BeltLine; working with neighborhoods, community organizations, faith organizations, businesses and other groups to raise general awareness and broad-based support for the BeltLine; and serving as a catalyst to mobilize resources to address the social concerns raised by new development around the BeltLine.
The BeltLine will combine greenspace, trails and transit, and will attract and organize new development along 22 miles of historic rail segments encircling the City of Atlanta. The BeltLine will connect neighborhoods; add 1,200 acres of green space incorporating public art; invest $240 million in affordable workforce housing; support the clean up of contaminated properties; and generate $20 billion of new economic development.
Source: The Coca-Cola Company
Released January 10, 2008