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This year represents a momentous milestone for us. We complete 25 years of our operations in India in 2018, since resuming operations in 1993.

I am fascinated with the pace at which the global context has evolved over the last decade. The world today is characterized by a finite pool of resources with ever-increasing demands on it. This demand-supply imbalance is manifesting in the form of serious developmental challenges that confronts the world today in the form of climate change, poverty, food security, access to water and sanitation. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced by the United Nation and the Paris Summit, represent some of the multi-lateral interventions that seek to address these global challenges at scale.

What does this mean for us as at Coca-Cola? It helps us build the way we think about sustainability and our broader role in the society. No one solution is possible to address all these challenges in entirety. We are however committed to be a part of the solution in the ecosystem we operate in and find scalable solutions for implementation. It is this spirit of unwavering commitment to sustainability that shapes all our actions across the value chain.

At one end of the spectrum, we support the community of farmers by encouraging local procurement of fruits, thereby helping create more income opportunities. Our flagship Fruit Circular Economy (FCE) initiative represents our continued efforts in this direction. The initiative is also in line with the Government’s Make-in-India campaign and Doubling farmers income by 2022. We, along with our supply chain partners, are on track to meet our commitment of investing over $1.7bn in the FCE initiative during the period 2017-22.

At the mid-stream stages of our value chain, water represents the most critical resource for sustainability of our operations. Given the growing water crisis in India, we recognize the critical need for us to reduce and recycle the water we use. This is also our opportunity to support the communities by improving access to water. I am encouraged by the results of our water initiatives, which helped us replenish 138% of the water we consumed in operations in 2017.

In the area of resource management, waste collection represents another key priority for us. Coca-Cola’s global vision of “World Without Waste” demonstrates its commitment to address the challenge of waste management in a phased manner. Earlier this year, The Coca-Cola Company globally announced its target to collect and recycle waste equivalent to every bottle or can, which it sells globally by 2030. In India, we set ourselves on a path for accelerated action on this commitment through initiatives aimed at driving awareness and mobilizing collaborative action from the communities. Through these initiatives, we also aspire to contribute towards the Indian Government’s Swachh Bharat mission.

When it comes to our product offerings, we are cognizant of the evolving consumer expectations and the need for more diverse options. Our endeavor has been to shift towards a Total Beverage Company by expanding our product portfolio to include more beverage choices, driven by local preferences and needs. We are also playing our part in reducing the aggregate sugar intake by introducing smaller serve-size options.

Our recent launch of Minute Maid Vitingo is a multi-micronutrient beverage premix containing seven vital micronutrients offering an affordable beverage in the health and nutrition space. Similarly, for enhanced hydration, the recent product Aquarius Glucocharge is a mildly sweetened low calorie beverage, enriched with the triple benefits of glucose, lemon juice and essential minerals. These products balance great taste with nutrition, furthering the National Nutrition strategy towards achieving a ‘Kuposhan Mukt Bharat’.

Sustainability for us, extends far beyond organizational boundaries. It entails an ongoing collaborative effort across stakeholders to strive for positive societal, environmental and economic impacts. Through the initiatives shared in this report and an entire gamut of other projects, we will continue to play our proactive and inclusive part in this journey.

T Krishnakumar, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia Business Unit, The Coca Cola Company