Coca-Cola, Partners Team up to Solve Major Global Problem
Friday, October 25, 2013
Coca-Cola recently announced a cross-industry collaboration to deliver safe drinking water to global communities that struggle to access this most basic resource. A partnership with Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies, IBM, and NRG Energy, among others, the new EKOCENTER partnership will provide a fundamental necessity to rural communities around the world. That’s great for people, but is it any good for business?
Shareholders may question the value of such a move. At first glance, it appears that the return on this type of initiative would be negligible, perhaps even a waste of corporate resources. If we look at the bigger picture, though, this could prove to be a savvy move.
The most obvious benefit would be to companies’ brands. As consumers and investors alike take a greater interest in corporate responsibility, tying a brand to public health measures can have a strong impact.
This is especially true for Coca-Cola, which in the last decade has come to be inconveniently associated with obesity and cavities. As the company tries to remake its image, positioning itself as a healthy lifestyle proponent, throwing the Coca-Cola brand behind a clean drinking water initiative may be just what the doctor ordered.