Gap Score: -12.2
  • Packaging is the largest contributor to Coca-Cola’s potential carbon emissions. PlantBottle™ has eliminated the equivalent of 140, 000 metric tons of potential CO2 emissions.

  • Coca-Cola managed the recycling of 371 million pounds of recovered aluminum and PET plastic beverage containers in 2012 in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Coca-Cola is engaged in water-related activities in more than 100 countries, with 468 separate ongoing community water initiatives. It has replenished 81.1 billion liters to communities and nature, and returned approximately 160 billion liters through treated wastewater.

  • By working together, researchers at Coca-Cola and Ford were able to produce a fabric made using Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle™ packaging technology, which is derived partially from plants. The result is a car that has seat cushions, backs, headrests, door panel inserts, and headliners made from 30% plant-based material.

Working Together

Whether breaking eco-fashion boundaries with will.i.am, reinventing the car seat with Ford, partnering with NGOs on water projects, or collaborating with consumers on recycling initiatives, Coca-Cola knows the value of partnership. One of the company’s more ambitious, large-scale, collaborative efforts is the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN). Aiming to improve access to clean water for 2 million people in Africa by 2015, RAIN is backed by a six-year, $30 million commitment by The Coca-Cola Company and made possible through the support of more than 140 partners. 

The Green Advantage

Sustainably speaking, Coca-Cola is focusing on issues that are both authentic and relevant to its brand. From RAIN bringing clean water to millions on the African continent to partnering with the World Wildlife Fund to protect polar bears with the Arctic Home campaign, the brand’s efforts clearly link to its product and advertising heritage respectively. Dig deeper and one finds that Coca-Cola is building on the idea of sharing, a notion that has been at the heart of its brand for many years, woven throughout a broad range of initiatives and campaigns. The brand is also not flinching from sensitive CSR issues around obesity and poverty, which have the potential to negatively impact brand equity and erode profitability. These examples illustrate that Coca-Cola has an acute understanding of how to link corporate citizenship to brand building in a way that is credible and touches the right emotional chords. As always, the key will be to balance perception with reality, something the brand appears to be doing well.


Arctic Home: coming together to save polar bears
Interview with will.i.am on the world-changing potential of EKOCYCLE
RAIN: The Replenish Africa Initiative
Water infographic