Understanding the Criteria
Establish a clear definition of the core concept of a sustainable corporation, which should be understood by all the key stakeholders of the company. There are three aspects to consider if an organization is about to undertake changes in order to create values considered as sustainable:
- Environmental Stewardship
- Social Well-Being
- Economic Success
For this purpose, study the values created by the top companies listed in the Dow Jones SI for the three aspects that meet the benchmark standards. At this point, we’ll take a closer look at the initiatives undertaken by the Coca-Cola Company as a soft drinks manufacturer, which obviously does not involve a “green" product.
Ponder the following initiatives being undertaken:
(a) Measures have been taken to continuously improve packaging efficiency and have resulted in reduced costs of about seven percent for every liter of product sold. Eighty-five percent of its global deliveries are packed in 100 percent recyclable plastic PET bottles. Fifteen percent of their deliverables are transferred by bulk using refillable steel tanks or bag-in-box containers for concentrated beverages dispensed as fountain syrup.
(b) There is a zero-waste reduction program for all global operations by ensuring that empty bottles are recovered, recycled and reused under a well-managed recycling program.
(c) As a manufacturing company, it has adopted methodologies that resulted in reduced energy use and carbon emissions. The company has installed about 100,000 units of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-free coolers to fulfill its goal of phasing-out HFC in its cooling systems.
(d) The company’s fleets of more than 200,000 delivery vehicles across the globe are being outfitted to run at a lesser amount of diesel and electric power consumption or with the use of compressed natural gas.
(e) Continuous innovations are in place and are aimed at manufacturing low or no calorie beverages or those that come in smaller portions, offered as alternatives for those with weight or obesity issues.
(f) The company provides factual and meaningful labels for the benefit of consumers who need to monitor their calorie intakes.
(g) The Coca-Cola Company sponsors community activities that encourage physical exercise as a means to stay healthy and fit. It has entered into partnerships with medical communities as they develop plans that would encourage soft-drink consumers to engage in physical exercises to ensure a healthy, active lifestyle.
(h) As a manufacturer, it provides a clean and safe working environment for its employees and its workplace policy for this is based on the international principles of human rights, the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Global Compact.
(i) Coca-Cola buys only from suppliers that likewise operate through sustainable means.
(j) Plant-level water efficiency tool kits are in place in each of the company’s 900 bottling plants to monitor and track water efficiency practices being implemented. The company’s goal is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in water consumption by the year 2012.
(k) Coca-Cola Company maintains transparency in conducting its business operations by furnishing reports about its environmental, social and economic impact in accordance with the standards set by the Global Reporting Initiatives and the Annual Sustainability Reviews.