T. Krishnakumar, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia

When we imagine an interconnected world, our reflexes conjure up images of deep digital networks, globalization, and people transcending international borders. However, our world is connected in a lot of other ways than we usually imagine. This interdependence should always be explored and leveraged for a better and connected world.

Even as I share my thoughts for this edition of our sustainability report, I reiterate, To refresh the world and make a difference. This includes our beverages and work that we do to preserve the synergistic interconnectedness of our communities and activities.

Starting 2010, our sustainability reporting journey has come a long way. We had started out by setting multiple goals for ourselves, which had appeared formidable initially, but achieving them motivated us to step up our efforts further. We are thankful to our consumers, customers, communities, partners and many other stakeholders who have helped us chart our course by doing what is needed to serve them better. Their voices continue to resonate with our strategy and ensure that we adopt the right approach.

We are thankful to our consumers, customers, communities, partners and many other stakeholders who have helped us chart our course by doing what is needed to serve them better. Their voices continue to resonate with our strategy and ensure that we adopt the right approach.

Equally important for us have been the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have provided a rubric for a better world to us. We have been setting clear and measurable targets against these comprehensive goals and measuring our progress against the targets. Our efforts over the last year along with key highlights from 2020, have been shared in this Sustainability Report for 2019/20.

We had some significant developments across design, collect and partner towards our World Without Waste commitment. In various areas, be it envisioning new dispensing formats or testing more efficient sustainable designs, we are reimagining ways in which we can conveniently serve safe and refreshing beverages to our consumers.

While we play to our strengths, we do not want to be weighed down by our limitations and are constantly innovating ahead of the curve. That is why we partner with communities, governments, municipalities, nonprofits and other experts in the green space of waste management and recycling. We have been energized by the outcome so far and will continue to collaborate towards a clean India (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan).

In 2019, we also joined forces with other industry stakeholders to launch “Karo Sambhav,” a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO), which is putting into effect a futuristic community-led approach and solutions for salvaging everything recyclable including plastics.

Our endeavour to source sustainably via Fruit Circular Economy initiative, bore more fruits. Buoyed by the positive response of Unnati Mango, Orange and Apple that have benefitted over one lakh farmers thus far, we diversified into newer Unnati projects with Litchi and Grapes, with the aim of multiplying fruit productivity and earning potential of 80,000+ farmers. Water is a key constituent of our beverages and industry, therefore integral to our sustainability efforts. We were able to bring WUR down from 2.89 litres of water used per liter of beverage in 2009 to 1.74 litres used in 2019.

We have also been able to create a combined water replenishment potential of 25.1 billion litres through our bottling system and Coca-Cola India Foundation (CCIF/Anandana). Last year, through CCIF, we established clean drinking water units in five villages, community drinking water centers in eight cities, and built hygienic sanitary facilities and water tanks at primary schools in Chennai.

We also launched Juicy-plus versions of many of our popular sparkling drinks. Powerade, our global sports hydration drink, was made available for our consumers in India. We continued to offer a range of nutritious beverages in 2020 under the master brand Minute Maid with Nutriforce and Vita Punch being the latest additions.

This year, COVID-19 has tested our strength and resilience as human race and despite physical distancing measures has brought us all together socially. We hope that our System contribution of INR 100 crores towards immediate food and beverage support of distressed communities as well as health infrastructure enhancement in the country through Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and hygiene essentials provisioning will bring some relief to our compatriots and communities.

There is absolutely no room for complacency even after a decade full of impressive feats. We are acutely aware of our role and responsibility towards social, economic and environmental causes and will stop at almost nothing.

As we look ahead into the next decade, we will continue to focus on building a better shared future and shining “Ummeedon wali dhoop, sunshine wali asha” (radiance of aspirations, sunshine of hope) whenever, wherever and however we can.

We will keep trusting the tenacity of the human spirit and will continue to nurture existing partnerships and build new collaborations. Our stretch-goals are dynamic, and we will continue to modify/amplify them with the changing needs of our communities and environment.

I trust that our efforts and their tangible results outlined in this 2019/20 Sustainability Report will inspire many more of us to rally for a sustainable world and co-create a better, shared future. I would like to thank each and every one of you for taking the time out to go through the report and for your contribution in shaping our sustainability vision.

 

T. Krishnakumar