Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist?
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Submitted by: Coca-Cola Company, The
Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions
Posted: Mar 08, 2006 – 11:00 PM EST
The Company's support for the UN Global Compact was expressed in a meeting between E. Neville Isdell, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company, and Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at UN headquarters in New York City.
"Our support for the United Nations Global Compact is a formal expression of The Coca-Cola Company's commitment to conduct our business with the utmost respect for universal principles around human rights, workplace standards, responsible environmental practices and anti-corruption," said Isdell. "This is a natural evolution of our Company's long-held commitment to responsible corporate citizenship. There's much we can and will continue to do to help advance the development goals and principles of the UN and the international community."
Launched by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000, the Global Compact is a voluntary initiative to promote responsible corporate citizenship and provide innovative and practical solutions to the challenges of globalization. The Global Compact consists of 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption that participating businesses, industry associations, academic institutions and civil society groups agree to support. To date, there are a total of 122 U.S. participants, including 81 companies.
"Coca-Cola is in a powerful position to advance the tenets of corporate responsibility and the Global Compact's 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption," said Georg Kell, Executive Head of the Global Compact. "The company's engagement also reflects the rapid growth of the Global Compact worldwide and in the US market where more and more firms are engaging."
Isdell said the UN Global Compact reflects values shared by the United Nations and the Company, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
"Our support for the UN Global Compact complements and builds on many years of partnership projects between The Coca-Cola Company and a number of United Nations agencies. We are proud to support the work the UN does around the world to improve lives and advance economic and social conditions," Isdell said. Two examples are the company's extensive HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs across Africa, and its partnership with the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support long-term, community-based water and sanitation reconstruction efforts in the tsunami-hit regions of Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives.
Isdell said the Company will engage in Global Compact dialogues and networking events with other participating companies, industry associations and civil society groups around the world.
"Our Company has always considered it important to listen and learn from a range of stakeholders inside and outside our system to ensure that we constantly improve our business practices and institutionalize our approach to responsible corporate citizenship. Our participation in the UN Global Compact will help us to deepen that engagement and listen to, work with and share best practices with other stakeholders around the world as we actively collaborate on key international development challenges," Isdell said.
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.coca-cola.com
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