Washington, D.C, January 16, 2013 - The Coca-Cola Company, one of the world’s largest private sector supporters of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions around the world has signed on to the WASH Sustainability Charter. The first Fortune-500 company to endorse the Charter, The
Coca-Cola Company’s backing marks the 100th endorsement for the Charter, which outlines key steps for creating lasting WASH services.
Ensuring long-term WASH service provisions is one of the greatest challenges, and most important objectives, facing the international development community. As many as 30-50% of clean drinking water projects fail prematurely, squandering limited resources and devastating communities that rely on these services. In response to this challenge, The Coca-Cola Company joins a diverse group of stakeholders, including donors, NGOs, academic groups, government agencies and others committed to the common principles for lasting services laid out in the Charter.
“The Coca-Cola Company is endorsing the Charter because we believe that investments in WASH initiatives will and should span generations. Through the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), we have always looked to develop supply chains, means of communication, and a finance stream for communities to be able to sustain the safe water and sanitation systems we help provide, which is one of the biggest challenges facing the water sector,” says Greg Koch, the Director of Global Stewardship in the Corporate Sustainability Office at The Coca-Cola Company. “Signing the Charter strengthens our commitment to enable lasting community ownership and operation of these water access and treatment systems.”
“We are particularly pleased that Coca-Cola, as the private sector’s leading champion and funder of WASH programs around the world, has publicly committed to supporting clean water programs meant to be as sustainable as their brand,” said Monica Ellis, CEO of Global Water Challenge, a lead developer of the Charter.
This endorsement has impacts beyond Coca-Cola’s investments in WASH and underscores the company’s broader commitment to sustainable growth across its businesses. “We can’t talk about climate change, green growth or a sustainable tomorrow without addressing water and sanitation issues today,” said Jae So, Manager of The World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program. ”With 2.5 billion people lacking adequate sanitation, the world is in the midst of a water and sanitation crisis. Global businesses recognize this absolute fact and are putting important actions in place today. We applaud Coca-Cola’s recognition and pursuit of the shared value of water and sanitation by endorsing this Charter.”
The endorsement marks a key milestone for the Charter, developed in 2011, and comes at a pivotal time for the sustainability of WASH services around the world. Through SustainableWASH.org (where the Charter is hosted), the principles of the Charter are being translated into action through self-assessment tools, a library, a discussion board, and other resources.
SustainableWASH.org provides a dynamic hub of the WASH sustainability conversation and hosts the WASH Sustainability Process; a three-step assessment process built on the foundation of the WASH Sustainability Charterand designed to improve WASH sustainability globally. In early 2012, representatives from a consortium of organizations (Aguaconsult, Global Water Challenge, IRC and WASH Advocates) came together to build on previous work around sustainability and create SustainableWASH.org. This website provides a platform to assess, learn, and share best practices related to WASH. By learning and sharing from each other, we can work together to support services that will last into the future. For additional information, please visit SustainableWASH.org or contact email@example.com.
About The Coca-Cola Company:
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, our Company’s portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter attwitter.com/CocaColaCo or visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com.