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In India, Coca-Cola Learned A Lesson About Addressing Community Concerns

May 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

People in communities around the world where Coca-Cola bottlers operate know that water is the main ingredient in the company’s products and assume that production consumes vast amounts of water. When the people of Kerala, India, accused the local Coca-Cola bottler of depleting the water supply – the company denied the charge – it dawned on executives that it needed to “address its responsibility for water” beyond the confines of the plant. The company launched a risk assessment, interviewing customers, supply chain partners, academics, NGOs, governments, and industry peers. The conclusion: “action on the state of water was necessary.” Coca-Cola realized that a sustainable approach to water was essential. But the assessment also shed light on the fact that the social aspects of water use, especially local community concerns, need to be addressed when implementing strategic goals.

Barie Carmichael and Brian Moriarty , "How Coca-Cola came to terms with its own water crisis", The Washington Post, May 31, 2018, © The Washington Post
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