Dear Stakeholders,

In India, Coca-Cola is evolving to offer people, beverages of their choice. And, as a leader in the beverage industry, we are committed to remain firm on our sustainability mission.

We have set ourselves on a course of accelerated expansion. As we strongly believe that living up to our sustainability vision not only makes us more resilient but also helps strengthen the connection our brands have with our consumers and the communities we operate in.

For a business like ours, that has a laser sharp focus on sustainability, India is teeming with opportunities. Global developments like the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Accord juxtaposed with growing thrust on sustainability by the Indian Government through its myriad of initiatives, has set the environment right for us to continue and scale up our sustainability initiatives. For us at Coca-Cola India, last year particularly brought together the enormous strength of the entire Coca-Cola system in India towards addressing our focus areas of water stewardship, sustainable agriculture and recycling.

I can sense a palpable energy growing in our system and we want to leverage this energy, our scale and the resulting synergies to amplify our sustainability footprint. The Coca-Cola Company along with its global partners is the first Fortune 500 Company to replenish at least 100 percent of the water used in its operations. It gives me a great sense of pride to say that the India system played a major role in achieving this global target having achieved the same for India operations back in 2012.

Across our system in India, our bottling partners continuously strive for becoming more water efficient and improve our Water Use Ratio (WUR) which has declined by over 30 percent since 2008. Through our replenishment efforts, we have created water replenishment potential equivalent to 148 percent of the water we consume in our operations. As we grow our business, we want to ensure we maintain and excel as a steward of this precious resource.

As we ramp up our growth and investment plans in India, our linkages to the Indian agri-economy continues to grow strong. We see ourselves as perfectly placed to accelerate the fruit processing industry by creating demand through our new products and investments and ultimately creating new opportunities for our farmers. Our efforts will contribute to freeing farmers from the vicious circle of low productivity and low incomes and move closer to meeting Prime Minister’s vision of doubling farm incomes by 2022.

We, along with our bottling partners, fruit suppliers and processors, will invest over USD 1.7 billion in the Indian agriculture ecosystem as part of our recently launched fruit circular economy initiative. This initiative will see us expand our procurement of fruit from India for our global system. 

After witnessing the success of “Project Unnati”, we have expanded our direct engagement with farmers for bringing sustainable agriculture practices to them and help them improve their yields and their livelihood. This includes the launch of “Unnati Orange” in Maharashtra for orange farmers and “Meetha Sona Unnati” for sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh. These three projects will together benefit more than 75,000 farmers over the course of respective project lifecycles. The success of “Unnati” also triggered our second such engagement in Maharashtra for the mosambi fruit in addition to Orange. The recent launch of Minute Maid Pulpy Mosambi marks the start of our transformational fruit circular economy initiative. Over 1,800 metric tonne of mosambi fruit has been already procured from farmers in Jalna, Maharashtra for the first phase production of Minute Maid Pulpy Mosambi. Over the next five years, our fruit procurement will rise to 2.1 million tonnes and is expected to benefit around 200,000 farmers.

Through all this and much more, we are moving ahead full throttle towards meeting the Prime Minister’s vision under the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

As a responsible corporate citizen, we welcome the introduction of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility” as part of the new Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

As a system, we have always been a proponent of circular thinking and are committed to improving the recycling rates of PET waste in India.

In the waste guzzling metropolis of Gurugram, we launched our source segregation programme – “Alag Karo – Har Din Teen Bin” in partnership with Saahas, Tetra Pak and GIZ. Through this initiative, we are taking the practice of segregating waste at source to households, schools and commercial establishments across Gurugram. Our bottling partners continue to work together with consumers, collection agencies and authorised recycling partners to ensure that PET waste is collected and recycled to the extent possible.

Lastly, our business is all about responding to the needs of our consumers and keeping them at the heart of our business. We intend to keep our ears firmly to the ground to understand and respond to changing consumer trends.

We are playing our part by offering our beverages in new smaller serving size options and introducing new innovate products with reduced aggregate sugar content.

We recently launched the all new Fanta Fruity Orange with 5.3 percent orange juice and 15 percent less sugar by replacing it with calorie-free sweetener Stevia. We are also planning to reduce aggregate sugar content across other products as well. We will continue to expand the choices we offer to our consumers, both in breadth and depth and we will do this in an accelerated manner.

Sustainability is not a one-man game, it requires bringing together multiple stakeholders and diverse points of view to the same table. We do this by leveraging the power of partnerships and continuously engaging with our stakeholders. This report is one more way for us to engage and learn. As I accelerate our journey, I commit to you that we will continue full-steam ahead on our sustainability journey.

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

To learn more: click here to download our full Sustainability Update 2016/17