Which are the main pillars of your CSR and Sustainability strategy?
The concept of sustainable development is at the heart of our business. We started this journey many years back and we continuously strive to create lasting positive impacts on the communities we proudly serve. Our Sustainability Framework – referred by us as “Me, We, World”- is our shared vision for how we can catalyse, collaborate and create social value to make a positive difference in our communities and lives of our consumers.
Me – Enhancing personal well-being
Our longstanding commitment to consumers’ well-being begins with ensuring that each and every beverage we deliver is safe, delicious and refreshing. Further, we work to inspire consumers to pursue happier, healthier lives-and provide opportunities to do so-through the wide variety of products we offer. We are committed to the highest standards of transparent labelling , responsible marketing and active healthy lifestyle around the world.
We – Building stronger communities
Community well-being for us means more than just giving back to the community – we firmly believe that our businesses are only as strong as the communities which we serve. Women play a crucial role in our value chain; we believe that unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of women is one of the surest ways to make our business sustainable and also create lasting impact on families and communities. Through suitable training programs, we are assisting retailers keep pace with changing customer preferences. We are also contributing to the development of local communities, through need-based programs – such programs are focused on education, enhancement of employability and well-being. Respecting human and workplace rights is yet another key constituent of the ‘We’ pillar. Our 5by20 initiative is committed to empower 5 million women across the world by 2020.
World – Protecting the environment
Water is a top sustainability and business priority for Coca-Cola. It is critical to the communities we serve and the ecosystems on which we all depend, and hence, finds a special place in our approach to sustainability. The Coca-Cola system in India has been working with a variety of partners to reduce and recycle packaging material. Project Unnati, a sustainable agriculture project, has been helping Mango farmers in Andhra Pradesh adopt modern farming techniques like drip irrigation and Ultra-High Density Plantation. The project substantially increases mango yield and enhances farmer income. Our bottling locations are also focused on energy efficiency and adoption of renewable energy, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.
Keeping in mind the targets set in the Paris accord what do you see on the horizon for corporate sustainability initiatives? How can companies and government work together to achieve sustainability and CSR goals?
To create a lasting positive impacts on the communities’ active participation and involvement from communities, corporates and government agencies is extremely important- an approach we call ‘the Golden-Triangle’.
Major global food and beverage companies united with a pledge at the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP21) climate negotiations in Paris to accelerate business action on climate change and also urging governments to forge a robust, fair international climate agreement. Food and beverage company chief executive officers signed a joint letter to world leaders calling for swift and decisive action during the climate negotiations this December.
Climate change is bad for farmers and agriculture. Drought, flooding, and hotter growing conditions threaten the world’s food and water supply and contribute to insecurity.
When governments from more than 190 nations met at COP21, they discussed a potential new global agreement to keep global warming below the 2°C threshold. Companies recognize they have a role to play in helping address climate change but also understand collective action is necessary to truly make a difference.
Coca-Cola is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its entire value chain by making comprehensive and ongoing changes in manufacturing processes, packaging formats, delivery fleet, refrigeration equipment and ingredient sourcing-all contributing to an ambitious goal to reduce the carbon footprint of the “drink in your hand” by 25 percent by 2020.
At Coca-Cola, we are deeply committed to doing our part to address our collective environmental challenges and responsibly manage the planet’s resources. As we face a resource-stressed world with growing global demands on food and water, we must seek solutions that drive mutual benefit for business, communities and nature. Companies who successfully balance social, environmental and economic values will create the golden triangle and hence be sustainably successful in the 21st century.
What are your goals for 2016 and your priorities for the year?
We are happy with the progress that we are making towards achieving our sustainability goals, but there are many areas where we need to improve. Expanding the reach of our Active Healthy Living programmes is one of them. This calls for intensifying our work with on-ground implementing partners. We are also passionate about taking the PET recovery initiative to the next level. At present, this is limited to select bottling units and communities but we know that real and sustained change will emerge only by driving behavioural change at the consumer level.
In the future we would like to extend our collaborative efforts in finding solutions and concentrate on Coca-Cola bringing in the practice difference.
In conversation with Mr. Ishteyaque Amjad, Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications for The Coca Cola Company for India and South West Asia. (Original Post)