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Coca-Cola Company wins Corporate Greenwashing Award

By verda - Posted on 16 April 2007


The Coca-Cola Company wins the First Corporate Greenwashing Award

The Coca-Cola Company will be presented with the Polaris Institute’s first Corporate Greenwashing Award at its annual general meeting in Wilmington, Delaware on Wednesday.

The award is presented to companies that have pushed profits higher while investing millions of dollars into covering up environmentally damaging practices with corporate social responsibility projects.

“After careful consideration, the Coca-Cola Company stood out as the company that has worked the hardest this year to present itself as socially and environmentally responsible – while continuing to harm environments and communities through the production and distribution of its products”, says Verda Cook, Campaigns Coordinator at the Polaris Institute.

Coke’s Chief Executive Officer, Neville Isdell, effectively used his position as co-chair of the World Economic Forum to polish Coke’s image as a good corporate citizen, announcing that the company had cut back its water usage by approximately 4 percent annually in order to ‘reduce the footprint’. Richard Girard, a researcher at the Polaris Institute, counters that “there is no way to verify the amount of water this company uses, when in many cases Coke’s bottlers do not disclose how much water they are taking. The claim of a 4 percent reduction is strictly an exercise in public relations.”

“Coke’s funding of international water projects are other great tools for cleaning the company’s image,” says Girard, “and they can be used as ammunition to respond to critics at events like their annual general meeting. They do not hold the company accountable for their lobbying efforts against progressive recycling policies in the U.S., their contribution to the 6.56 billion pounds of plastic that was burned or thrown in landfills in the US in 2005, or the company’s squandering and polluting of water resources in India.”

Richard Girard will be presenting CEO Neville Isdell with the award at Coke’s Annual General Meeting, which will take place at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington Delaware, Wednesday, April 18 at 10:00 AM.

The Polaris Institute is an organization that works with social movements in Canada and internationally to develop tools and strategies to facilitate democratic social change.



Richard Girard (613) 601-7747

Verda Cook (613) 237-1717 ext 104