The Coca-Cola System in Sri Lanka has officially unveiled its maiden sustainability performance disclosure to communicate the company’s efforts towards an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future and also disclose the impact of its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. The report was officially handed over to Ms. Chamindry Saparamadu – Director General of the Sustainable Development Council of Sri Lanka (SDC).
Coca-Cola has come a long way since entering the Sri Lankan market in the 1960s to aligning its ESG priorities to its business goals in 2020. The company is guided by its purpose, to ‘Refresh the World and Make a Difference’ and its ESG goals are now firmly embedded in how it operates as a business globally and locally.
From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coca-Cola ensured that the health and safety and needs of its employees remained the highest priority and established a safe, hygienic and transparent environment for the entire team. Additionally, the pandemic made it imperative to stand together in times of need and ensure the well-being of Sri Lankans.
In 2020, Coca-Cola pledged over Rs. 70 million through its COVID-19 response program where it donated test kits to the Ministry of Health, essential packs to communities that needed it the most and conducted disinfection programs in multiple local communities. Overall, over 1.5 million Sri Lankans have benefitted from Coca-Cola’s COVID-19 response program.
Mayank Arora – Managing Director of Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. (CCBSL) commented, “Coca-Cola has been present in Sri Lanka for over 60 years and in this time we have never wavered from our position of being a social and environmentally responsible organization. This report highlights the system’s ongoing commitment to ESG goals and plans to emerge even stronger as a sustainable business. Sri Lanka has been incorporating the SDGs into its national policy framework and our initiatives are positioned in supporting the country’s efforts”.
Pankaj Sinha – Managing Director of Coca-Coca Sri Lanka Private Limited stated, “Coca-Cola is committed to support our employees and the communities we serve, which is in line with our values and our purpose. Our sustainability initiatives in Sri Lanka correspond to our global sustainability strategy and national priorities and through this report we take this moment to share our progress as we continue to grow together”.
The report provides insights to Coca-Cola’s ‘Give Back Life’ PET plastic collection and recycling programme. Driving a circular economy, increasing export earnings and expanding livelihood opportunities for local communities, Coca-Cola’s ‘Give Back Life’ campaign is working to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle it sells to achieve PET packaging neutrality in Sri Lanka, in line with its global target by 2030 for a ‘World Without Waste’.
The programme has grown to a network of over 125 partnerships with private, public, civil society entities, setting up PET collection bins in over 500 locations and 28 Regional PET collection centers in the most strategic cities of Sri Lanka. Additionally, working to be more sustainable, the Coca-Cola System achieved 203% water replenishment in 2020, which means for every litre of water used in the production of its beverages, the system returns two litres of water to local communities through its sustainability initiatives.
The report also highlights the company’s efforts in climate action, where it aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 25% across its global value chain. One of the largest single location solar rooftop projects in Sri Lanka established at the CCBSL plant in Biyagama is one of its key local initiatives to contribute to this goal.
Additionally, the company’s work to support relief, recovery and rehabilitation in times of need such as floods and the pandemic, as well as the Economic Empowerment of Women ( 5by20) initiative are also mentioned in the report.
While this is Coca-Cola Sri Lanka’s first report highlighting its sustainability initiatives, the company intends to evolve its sustainability strategy going forward, review reporting regularly, becoming more responsive to stakeholders’ feedback and contribute towards the development of the country and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It hopes to continue implementing strategic sustainability interventions together with its partners to work towards a better shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities and the planet.