The concept of ‘sustainability‘ in corporate business programs has evolved over the years. If some decades ago companies were using the term mainly for the benefit of their reputation, now it is simply becoming more of a survival strategy.
As part of their business, corporate giants are now increasingly looking to handle climate change, depleting resources and population growth. The Coca-Cola Company and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) were among the first to realize that the fight cannot be won on their own, therefore forces should be joined in order to achieve the common goals.
The Coca-Cola Company and WWF joined forces back in 2005. Both have embedded sustainability at the center of their business models, giving highest priority to climate change and depleting natural resources, and at the same time have found mutual benefits from the powerful collaboration.
The reality is that no one can guarantee availability of resources in the future. Equally, no one can provide the solution to all these pressing problems. This is why, when two major giants come together with a common goal, their success is much more likely. WWF showed Coca-Cola the truth about depleting resources, while the company providing us the fizzy treats used their market influence to the maximum advantage, so that the environmental impact in places conserved by WWF was reduced.
It is now becoming obvious that governmental policies are no longer the only way society could fight climate change. Those companies that have realized this in time have now adjusted their business strategies in a way that they will be able to meet customer demands, but this is only possible by making powerful alliances.
Coca-Cola and WWF did just that. They formed collaborative teams, set hard targets around water use and carbon emissions and combined the strengths of each party in a way that both the NGO and the corporate giant benefit fully.
The initial goals are already a reality. Coca-cola reported that they managed to reduce water usage by 20% since 2004, which made their business much more efficient, and formed stronger relationships. This initial targets are now doubling, thanks to the CEO and Chairman Muhar Kent.
Of course, this is not an easy task. To make this a global trend, however, the most important thing is commitment. Thankfully, more and more consumers understand the problem and they are increasingly concerned about the products they buy and what the brand stands for. But both the NGOs and the the companies should be very determined to fight the cause. Society should work together in order to fix what all of us, together, are successfully managing to destroy.