COCA-COLA INDIA'S CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
» Analyze the CSR strategy adopted by Coca-Cola India.
» Understand the issues and challenges faced by Coca-Cola with regard to its sustainability
initiatives in India.
» Analyze the underlying reasons for the growing criticism against Coca-Cola in India and
explore ways in which the company can address this issue.
» Understand the concept of greenwashing and discuss and debate whether Coca-Cola is
serious about its water sustainability initiatives.
On February 18, 2008, leading beverage company in India, The Hindustan Coca-Cola
Beverages Pvt. Ltd (Coca-Cola India), was awarded the Golden Peacock award4 for Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) for the several community initiatives it had taken and its efforts
toward conservation of water. The award recognizes companies for their commitment toward
business, their employees, local communities, and the society. Atul Singh (Singh), CEO, CocaCola India, said, "Coca-Cola India has always placed high value on good citizenship and has
undertaken several initiaWe are gratified to receive this global award and are humbled at being
recognized for the little contributions that we have been able to make to preserve and protect
the environment and toward community development."
Coca-Cola India was established as the Indian subsidiary of the US-based Coca-Cola Company
(Coca-Cola) in 1993. As of 2008, Coca-Cola India had 24 bottling operations of its own and 25
bottling operations owned by its franchisees.In addition to beverage brands like Coke, Fanta,
Sprite, etc., Coca-Cola India had a strong local cola brand Thums Up, the Kinley brand of
mineral water, energy drinks, and powdered concentrates.tives for community development and
Keeping in mind the fact that it was one of the largest beverage companies in India, Coca-Cola
India said it had made CSR an integral part of its corporate agenda.
According to the company, it was aware of the environmental, social, and economic impact
caused by a business of its scale and therefore it had taken up a wide range of initiatives to
improve the quality of life of its customers, the workforce, and society at large.
Since the company used large amounts of water and energy in its beverage production and tons
of packaging material for its products, it had taken up several initiatives to act as a responsible
company and reduce its environmental impact, it said. In addition to water, energy, and
sustainable packaging, Coca-Cola India also focused on several community initiatives in India
as part of its social responsibility initiatives...
The Coca-Cola drink, popularly referred to as 'Coke', is a kind of cola, a sweet carbonated drink
containing caramel and other flavoring agents. It was invented by Dr. John Smith Pemberton
(Pemberton) on May 8, 1886, at Atlanta, Georgia, in USA. The beverage was named Coca-Cola
because at that time it contained extracts of Coca leaves and Kola nuts.
Pemberton later sold the business to a group of businessmen, one of whom was Griggs Candler
(Candler). By 1888, several cola brands were in the market competing against each other.
Candler acquired these businesses from the other businessmen and established Coca-Cola in
Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in India Environmental
Environmental responsibility was a key aspect of Coca-Cola India's CSR initiatives. Since CocaCola India was involved in beverage production, its operations affected the environment in many
ways such as through excessive levels of water consumption, wastewater discharge, high
energy consumption, discharge of effluents, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to the
use of refrigeration, vending machines, air conditioning equipment, etc...
The 5 Pillar Growth Strategy
In August 2007, Coca-Cola India launched a 5 pillar growth strategy to strengthen its
relationship with India...
Though Coca-Cola India claimed that it had taken several such efforts, it continued to attract
criticism from several quarters. The company was censured for depleting groundwater tables,
leaving the local communities with no access to drinking water and water for farming which was
their primary source of income...
Coca-Cola India's Response
Coca-Cola opened an exclusive website, www.cokefacts.org, which addressed the allegations
related to India and other countries. In another official statement, Coca-Cola rebutted the
charges against its bottling plant at Plachimada, Kerala.
The company said the plant was not responsible for the depletion of the underground water
table. It quoted a study conducted in October 2002 by Dr. R.N. Athvale, emeritus scientist at the
National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), which had concluded that there was no field
evidence of overexploitation of the groundwater reserves in the area surrounding the plant...
As of February 2008, Coca-Cola India had carried out its CSR activities across 45 bottling
plants at an annual spend of Rs. 40 to 50 million on activities such as water conservation
management, health, and education. By February 2008, the company had installed around 350
rainwater harvesting projects in several states of India...
Exhibit I: Criticisms against Coca-Cola India
Exhibit II: Coca-Cola's Global Water Conversation Goals
Exhibit III: Coca-Cola's Global Community Watershed Program
Exhibit IV: Coca-Cola India's 5 Pillar Growth Strategy
Exhibit V: A Photograph of Mass Demonstration against Coca-Cola at Mehdiganj
on March 30, 2008
Exhibit VI: List of Awards and Recognition Received by Coca-Cola India
Exhibit VII: Print Ad of Coca-Cola India's 'Little Drops of Joy' Communication Campaign
This case is about Coca-Cola's corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in India. It details
the activities taken up by Coca-Cola India's management and employees to contribute to the
society and community in which the company operates.
Coca-Cola India being one of the largest beverage companies in India, realized that CSR had to
be an integral part of its corporate agenda. According to the company, it was aware of the
environmental, social, and economic impact caused by a business of its scale and therefore it
had decided to implement a wide range of initiatives to improve the quality of life of its
customers, the workforce, and society at large.
However, the company came in for severe criticism from activists and environmental experts
who charged it with depleting groundwater resources in the areas in which its bottling plants
were located, thereby affecting the livelihood of poor farmers, dumping toxic and hazardous
waste materials near its bottling facilities, and discharging waste water into the agricultural lands
of farmers. Moreover, its allegedly unethical business practices in developing countries led to its
becoming one of the most boycotted companies in the world.
Notwithstanding the criticisms, the company continued to champion various initiatives such as
rainwater harvesting, restoring groundwater resources, going in for sustainable packaging and
recycling, and serving the communities where it operated. Coca-Cola planned to become water
neutral in India by 2009 as part of its global strategy of achieving water neutrality. However,
criticism against the company refused to die down. Critics felt that Coca-Cola was spending
millions of dollars to project a 'green' and 'environment-friendly' image of itself, while failing to
make any change in its operations. They said this was an attempt at greenwashing as CocaCola's business practices in India had tarnished its brand image not only in India but also
globally. The case discusses the likely challenges for Coca-Cola India as it prepares to
implement its new CSR strategy in the country.
This case is a fraud case over corporate social responsibility according to this case there was
actually a fraud moving around the whole, affecting many innocents for no reason. This sector
belongs from the corporate fraud and therefore affected much of its part.
This was a very strong p[product so it required no mistake as if a mistake occur it would affect
the whole economy. Earlier the drink was enjoyed by everyone but soon after when the facts
were revealed that this drink involves the toxicity and a dirty water ingredient people started to
declare it as a fraud that was being done by the company.There only mistake was the place of
the bottling area which was affected due to the dirt in the water because of agriculture waste
and dirty rainwater.
Their idea and the rectification of their mistake were very important for their business. As it not
only bring their business back to its place but also bring it to its real place. The rectification
involved a lot of their money but after that they were able to bring their name back in the
corporate world. The installation of the rain water harvesting projects defiantly brought them to
what were they.
The company should install large projects with many of the employees so that the
work can be in many of the efficient manner.
Ø Their should always be a nutritionist present in the company who would be knowing
about the ingredients.
Ø The company should also move their packing industry away from the rivers and lakes
so that it doesn’t affect the bottling.
Ø They should start more campaigns to prove that their products are free from dirt and
are safe for enjoying.
Ø A diversified viewpoint should be introduced to bring the company to the prosperity.
Until now we evaluate that the company COCA COLA was a very demanding firm for the
lovers of coke but all because a little mistake they came down the lane. Their bad thing for
the company was that they didn’t notice the mistake and then when they came across the
big trouble they have to pay a large for the rectification
This case is actually a brilliant example of corporate social responsibility affecting the firm
and the consumers.