Coca-Cola – Going Green?

November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Everyone knows Coca-Cola‘s slogans, and there’s a new one at least every year. One of the slogans they have this year, however, isn’t entirely about selling their products. “Live Positively” is a campaign focused about creating sustainability for our planet, with Coke‘s help. It includes “Arctic Home,” which turns attention to the Polar Bears that Coke has been using in their advertisements for years. They point out the many dangers that face these endangered creatures, especially the retreating sea-ice on which they live. They are investing in the World Wildlife Fund‘s $10 Million initiative to provide a “safety net” zone for these bears. Coke has already pledged $2 Million to the project, as well as promising to match up to $1 Million in consumer donations. The site also includes features to track polar bears and to learn more about them, as well as to choose your own “parcel” of the ice to put your donation towards.

Next up under “Live Positively” is “America is Your Park,” which focuses on encouraging the preservation and enjoyment of America’s National Parks, providing grants to the top 10 favorites as per a voting process.

The last aspect of “Live Positively” involves a comprehensive recycling initiative, including:

> “Give it Back,” encouraging consumers to recycle their bottles as a part of “Live Positively.” This comes as a joint effort with Coca-Cola Recycling, a fully owned subsidiary, established in 2007. On their website, Coca-Cola Recycling states that their goal is to have 100% recovery and/or reuse of all of their bottles and cans. This is a lofty goal, as their current benchmark is just to reach 10%, which leads me to both respect and appreciate their efforts but question their motives and level of dedication.

> “Plant Bottle,” which introduces Coca-Cola’s new bottle, which will contain 30% organic material.

> Introductions to their work with RecycleBank and other organizations to promote recycling of their products.

They have a new billboard up in Times Square as well. The first one lets everyone know that the new sign is powered by wind power, and the second refers to the “Give it Back” campaign:

So why bother to bring this up? A few reasons. First of all, I do respect Coke’s attempt to address their Corporate Social Responsibility, and no matter what the motivation, (though it should be safe to assume that this is not entirely a philanthropic measure,) any attempt to increase recycling and support of sustainable materials is alright by me.

On that note, watch the videos and read their materials with a bit of a cynical lens, as some of the statistics they give are a bit skewed. For some more accurate statistics check out this recent post.

Have questions? Comments? Let me know!

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