Coca-Cola's Water Sustainability Initiatives|Business Ethics|Case Study|Case Studies

Coca-Cola's Water Sustainability Initiatives

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG090
Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 2004-2008
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : The Coca-Cola Company
Industry : FMCG
Countries : Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"[...] The Coca-Cola Company pledges to return the water we use in our beverages and their production; to achieve balance in communities and in nature with the water we use. This goal is, admittedly, aspirational. It will be a multi-year journey for our entire system, but it is a journey we have begun and will continue to pursue."1

- E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, in 2007.

"Coke has done 'greenwashing' very well. They shifted their image to one of a green and socially responsible organization, but they're not changing their operations."2

- Richard Girard, Researcher, Polaris Institute3, in 2008.


On March 26, 2008, US-based leading beverage company, The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola), received the US Agency for International Development's4 (USAID) '2007 Alliance of the Year' award for its water sustainability initiatives in developing countries worldwide. The award recognizes public-private partnerships for their outstanding contribution to global challenges.

Since 2004, Coca-Cola had been accused by several governmental organizations and activists of creating environmental problems in several countries by depleting groundwater tables. In 2005, the company used 290 billion liters of water to produce its beverages.

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Coca-Cola's Water Sustainability Initiatives - Next Page>>

1] "The Coca-Cola Company 'Replenish Report',", January 2008.
2] Ling Woo Liu, "Water Pressure,", June 12, 2008.
3] Launched in 1997, the Polaris Institute empowers the movement of citizens in the direction of democratic social change (Source:
4] Launched in 2001, USAID is the key federal agency in the US that provides humanitarian assistance. USAID supports long-term economic growth, global health, trade and agriculture, conflict prevention, etc. (Source:


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