Coca-Cola expands Africa safe water initiative and invests $5bn for sustainable development
The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners have announced a $5bn investment at the US-African Leaders Summit in Washington.
The new funding, announced yesterday (August 5), will help with the purchasing of new manufacturing equipment, create jobs across the continent throughout the supply chain and support sustainability programmes. It brings the Company’s total investment in Africa from 2010 to 2020 to $17bn.
Coca Cola’s sustainability objectives include bringing further safe water access, sustainable sourcing and economic empowerment for local women. The company also announced it would be expanding its Replenish Africa Initiative to bring safe water access to six million people across the continent by 2020.
At the Summit, Coca Cola’s chief executive and chairman Muhtar Kent said that the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation would be expanding its Replenish Africa Initiative to support safe water access for an additional four million people by 2020.
“Even as we see tremendous growth potential in Africa, we know that the strength and sustainability of our business are tied directly to the strength and sustainability of the African communities we proudly serve,” said Kent.
The expansion means the initiative is now expected to bring safe water to at least six million people promote health and hygiene and return up to 18.5bn litres of water to communities.
Coca-Cola also signed a Letter of Intent to launch ‘Source Africa’, which will bring more secure and sustainable ingredient sourcing for its products. The initiative plans to focus on mango, tea and pineapple production across Kenya, Nigeria and Malawi a long-term goal to expand the programme.
Kent added: “As a business, we’re committed to creating public value and helping our communities overcome development challenges. In Africa, we believe we can do more to source agricultural ingredients locally, with significant supply potential that’s underdeveloped and underutilized.
“Tapping this potential could accelerate the growth of our business and Africa’s emerging economies, making our supply chains more cost effective and enabling sub-Saharan Africa to supply more ingredients to growing markets in Africa and beyond.”
In June, Coca-Cola released its CSR report which found the company was still on track to becoming ‘water neutral’ by 2020, having returned 68% of the water used in its products to the communities it was taken from. An estimated 108.5bn litres of water was replenished to communities and nature in more than 100 countries.
To date, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation has made invested and collaborated with more than 140 partners in order to supply two million people with safe water access by the end of 2015.
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