The Coca-Cola Company Supports Polar Bear Conservation Efforts with World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
New microsite, www.polarbears.thecoca-colacompany.com, to help raise awareness; seed fund to support polar bear conservation initiatives; point of sale donations at Coke retail stores
As part of a larger commitment to climate protection, The Coca-Cola Company today launched a new website, www.polarbears.thecoca-colacompany.com, to help raise public awareness about the plight of the polar bear. Through the new digital portal and North America Coca-Cola stores, consumers can directly support polar bear conservation projects undertaken by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The Company has also established a conservation seed fund called the Coca-Cola Polar Bear Support Fund, which will support new and existing projects by WWF.
"The polar bear has been an icon of Coca-Cola holiday marketing for nearly a century," said Jeff Seabright, vice president, Environment and Water Resources. "As its habitat declines with accelerating polar ice melt, the polar bear is now also a symbol of climate change. With this effort we hope to help WWF protect an animal that means so much to our Company and our consumers around the world."
"WWF is grateful for the support provided by The Coca-Cola Company to advance polar bear conservation," said John Donoghue, senior vice president of World Wildlife Fund. "Since the impacts of climate change are most immediately felt throughout the Arctic where polar bears reside, it is imperative that we act quickly to increase scientific understanding of these impacts and take action to reduce threats to polar bear populations and their habitat."
Polar bear microsite The Coca-Cola Company has launched www.polarbears.thecoca-colacompany.com to raise awareness about the plight of the polar bear. In addition to basic information about polar bear populations and habitat, the site includes external links to WWF that allow users to donate directly to WWF or to symbolically adopt a polar bear. The launch of www.polarbears.thecoca-colacompany.com, along with the availability of polar bear e-cards, has been timed to encourage people to remember and support polar bears during the holiday season.
Coca-Cola retail store opportunities Until December 31, consumers also will have the opportunity to support WWF's polar bear conservation efforts at all four North America Coca-Cola retail stores. Shoppers will be able to add $1, $3 or $5 to their purchase at checkout for donation to WWF. In addition, for every plush bear sold at Coca-Cola retail stores, The Coca-Cola Company will contribute $1 to WWF for polar bear conservation.
WWF's polar bear conservation initiatives Between 20,000-25,000 polar bears survive in the wild. Because of global warming and the disappearance of sea ice, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in 2006 upgraded the polar bear from the classification of "Lower Risk" (i.e., Least Concern) to "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Additionally, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed designating the polar bear as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act; a decision is pending in January of 2008. Without scientifically informed and effective conservation solutions, the long-term survival of the polar bear in the wild is in jeopardy.
WWF is dedicated to ensuring that polar bear populations across the Arctic are more resilient to climate change and have a better chance of adapting to and surviving a warming Arctic. The WWF strategy focuses on reducing direct threats to polar bears, their habitat and their prey; engaging scientists, communities and other partners in conservation of the species and coastal and marine habitats; promoting and supporting field research; and communicating globally about the threats to the species. The Coca-Cola Polar Bear Support Fund will support expansion of these efforts in the Bering and Chukchi Sea region of Alaska and Russia, as well as the Canadian Arctic.
Source: The Coca-Cola Company
Released December 3, 2007