Companies are under increasing pressure to put the needs of the communities in which they operate ahead of their own. For centuries, the idea that businesses have a duty to society beyond simply making money for shareholders has been widely accepted. This is because businesses operate in a society that expects them to take responsibility for certain aspects of their operations. Businesses and corporations can no longer prosper in isolation from their immediate and wider communities and the environment (Chaklader, and Gautam, 2013). A company’s ability to succeed depends on the quality of the relationships it has with the people who work for it and the other key stakeholders (such as customers, investors and suppliers, and elected officials and community activists).
Overview of Coca-Cola and its CSR
Coca-Cola company was established in the year 1886 and a beverage manufacturer. The company was located initially in Atlanta US, and afterwards it grew as a multinational The company began exporting its products to the Caribbean and Canadian markets and to other parts of the world. Nearly every country in the world was selling the company’s products by the turn of the century.
From production and packaging to distribution, Coca-sustainability Cola’s framework, Live Positively, was introduced in 2007. Companies can set measurable goals to improve sustainability practices in seven key areas in their CSR policy, Live Positively. Among the most important focuses are the health benefits of beverages, active and healthy lifestyles, neighbourhood involvement, the environment, renewable energy, environmentally friendly packaging, water conservation, and the workplace. The company has a Code of Business Conduct provides employees with guidelines on anti-corruption and competition issues. There is a lack of integration between the company’s Code of Business and the international CSR guidelines it has adopted, such as Ruggie’s Protect, Respect, and Remedy Framework (Karnani, 2014). The CSR initiatives of the Coca Cola company are incorporated into its policies to ensure there is easy execution.
The which is published yearly has a section that highlights the activities of the previous years . Through this the company is able to give a brief review of its efforts in social economic development such as water conservation strategies. There has been an annual report titled on “Sustainability Review” since 2001 that is solely dedicated to CSR. A third party, the sustainability rating companies, verifies and assures the accuracy of these reports, which are released every two years. Coca-information Cola has been given “moderate assurance” by this verification. The company has adopted the GRI G3 guidelines to prepare its annual review and sustainability reports (Karnani, 2014). The water stewardship program’s goals are important to Coca-business Cola’s, so the company reports on the program’s progress every year.
Overview of conflicts
The Coca-Cola company was first accused by the Indian government of its beverages containing a huge amount of pesticide residues. To conduct its own tests on the drinks, the government formed a Joint Committee. Pesticides that didn’t meet European standards were found in the samples, but they were still considered safe under local regulations. As a result, no national laws were broken by Coca-Cola. Indian officials have acknowledged the necessity of enacting regulations on carbonated beverages that are both fair and enforceable.
It was also claimed that Coca-Cola was responsible for causing water shortages in the Kerala community of Plachimada. Coke has been charged with water pollution for dumping wastewater into fields and rivers near its plants in the same neighbourhood. India’s public health authorities had to put up warning signs around wells and hand pumps because groundwater and soil were so polluted that it was unsafe for human consumption.
Analysis of Coca-Cola’s strategy in CSR
The company has adopted the use of Global Reporting Initiatives developed in 2002 which helps it to give a report on its sustainability measures. There had already been a few clashes over CSR in other parts of the world but did not come into the limelight as they were handled internally by the company (Lasaliesanti,2019). According to Rini et al., (2022), Coca never accepted the presence of pesticides in in its beverages. However, the company quickly developed integrity and damage control measures that would be used in addressing such incidences. For instance, for its goof corporate reputation the company, the company has devised way of collecting, storing and efficiently utilizing local water conservations.
Coca-Cola was demonized in India as a greedy corporation that was more concerned with its bottom line than the health of its consumers. Because it incorporated stakeholder engagement into its strategy, prior conflicts in the US and Belgium were more successfully resolved. After a couple of years, it appears that the company realized it had made a mistake and acknowledged that they hadn’t done enough to address the controversy on the goodwill in the community, acknowledging that the public’s perception of their operation matters.by accepting their mistakes the company restored its trust to the consumers in the public image.
Additionally, the company has continued to provide evidence to back up the company’s good practices and water management in India. However, this declaration did little to stem the tide of dwindling sales and mounting losses relative to the sums invested. Slowly but surely, Coca-Cola began to implement damage-control measures that addressed the concerns of Indian communities.
From 2004 onwards, a report was published on its environmental performance for its operations in India. As part of its efforts to address the country’s water issues, the Coca-Cola India Foundation, was established as a notable shift in strategy was the launch of numerous water projects to address water scarcity and depleting groundwater levels. To effectively use and conserve rainwater, these methods primarily involve collecting and storing it while also preventing evaporation and runoff. Capturing water that would otherwise be wasted is the goal of this project(Lasaliesanti,2019). By harvesting the water used in its operations in India and returning it to the ecosystem, the company hoped to achieve a ‘net zero’ groundwater use.
In spite of the fact that Coca-Cola has battled for more than a decade against allegations of product safety and health, illegal competition, racial discrimination, and employee intimidation, the company appears to have recovered and is making strides toward improving its image under current leadership. For the company to approach its issues differently, it has to put emphasis on environmental stewardship. The company has to bank on the strength of its current leadership to steer the company away from its current emphasis on ethics and toward a profitable start to the new century.
Chaklader, B. and Gautam, N., 2013. Efficient water management through public-private partnership model: An experiment in CSR by Coca-Cola India. Vikalpa, 38(4), pp.97-104.
Karnani, A., 2014. Corporate social responsibility does not avert the tragedy of the commons. Case study: Coca-Cola India. Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, 9(3), pp.11-23.
Lasaliesanti, P., 2019. Implementasi program Bali beach clean up sebagai corporate social responsibility (CSR) oleh perusahaan Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia di Pantai Kuta Bali. Aspirasi: Jurnal Ilmiah Administrasi Negara, 4(1), pp.5-8.
Rini, I.G.A.I.S., Dewi, N.L.G.R. and Trisnadewi, A.A.A.E., 2022. FAKTOR-FAKTOR PENENTU CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) PT COCA COLA TIRTA LINA BOTTLING MENGWI BADUNG BALI. KRISNA: Kumpulan Riset Akuntansi, 13(2), pp.316-334.