Corporate citizenship and the community
A Coca-Cola Great Britain case study

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Page 2: Values and aims

Coca Cola Great Britain 4 Image 3Today, the intelligent organisation recognises that its own future wellbeing is, to a certain extent, dependent on the well-being of the communities within which it operates at a local, national and global level. It is important that investments which take place in the community, in terms of education, the environment, training, art and cultural institutions and many other causes are carefully thought through.

Of course, decisions related to corporate citizenship are rather more difficult than the traditional business decisions which managers are used to making. Clear aims and objectives need to be established which fit well with an organisation’s corporate values and aims. The intelligent organisation today will take these issues seriously and will seek to design careful, flexible, comprehensive strategies to guide their decisions. Organisations such as The Coca-Cola Company therefore have established strategies for corporate citizenship.

Coca-Cola’s strategy recognises that the well-being of communities is inextricably linked to the well-being of the business environment. A healthy business climate cannot co-exist for long with an ailing social environment. Strengthening both is therefore a goal of Coca-Cola’s corporate philanthropy.

Translating values into actions (citizenship activities)

Many years ago, Coca-Cola Great Britain decided that, given the very large number of worthy causes seeking annual funding, the Company would channel its support towards a small number of designated charities, principally involved with young people. More recently, this policy has been refined to concentrate not just on young people but, more specifically, on their education and training. Additionally, Coca-Cola sponsors a variety of activities as part of its marketing programme, with emphasis on sport, music and the environment.

Although these principles tend to result in the support of major national - or international -
charities, Coca-Cola also recognises the need to become involved in the local communities where production plants or offices are situated. For example, Coca-Cola’s offices in Great Britain are situated in Hammersmith, in West London. In this area, Coca-Cola supports the Centre West Training Trust, as well as endeavouring to offer modest assistance to schools and training establishments for specific projects.

Since 1985 Coca-Cola has been one of the principal sponsors of Special Olympics UK. This
organisation is based on the premise that individuals with learning difficulties are helped best by reintegrating them into society - and that nothing should prevent them from practising competitive sports. It has grown in strength from year to year. For many years, Coca-Cola has sponsored an annual event to raise funds for both Variety Club - ‘The Greatest Children’s Charity in the World’ - and the Outward Bound Trust, which has encouraged many thousands of people, often the young and underprivileged, to discover themselves and realise their true potential. The Coca-Cola Youth Foundation was established at the end of 1995, with the aim of helping young people to reach their full potential through physical, artistic, cultural or educational pursuits. Those who have benefited to date include The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, the National Playing Fields Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and YouthNet UK.

Employees are encouraged to offer their personal support in the community such as acting on schools’ Governing Boards or on committees of local bodies (e.g. in Hammersmith and Fulham with the Safer Cities Campaign and Groundwork West London).

Coca-Cola Great Britain | Corporate citizenship and the community