Coke's Mixed Message: Opposing Environmental Sustainability and Advertising Social Responsibility
This Earth Day, Coke used its annual shareholders' meeting to spin the corporation's image green. But the gathering at the Gwinnett Center served more to expose the gulf between Coke's rhetoric and its action. In the last year, Coke split its time -- opposing progress on sustainability, on the one hand, and advertising its social responsibility on the other.
Well, that has left a lot of people asking, 'what is the real thing, really?' Corporate Accountability International, delivered 6,000 comments calling on Coke to dispense with its high-priced PR and answer the popular demand that it label the source of its Dasani bottled water, provide better information on its quality, and stop threatening local control of water when operating bottling plants. Following the meeting, we were able to speak directly with new Coke CEO Muhtar Kent and members of the board to share our concerns about the corporation's practices. The interaction left room for some cautious optimism that perhaps Coke's new leadership will be more responsive to public demands.
The concerns that were shared are as follows: