Coca-Cola Comes Clean About Going Green At Olympic Games

Article from brandchannel.com , posted by Ben Berkon February 1, 2010 02:38 PM

If you’re attending the Vancouver Olympics this year, and you find yourself in a 100 percent environmentally sustainable, carbon-neutral café, then it’s probably sponsored by Coca-Cola. The soda company, building on past efforts, is going green this year – big time.   The brand is using bottles, furniture, and other products – some quite surprising – all with recycled materials and reusable energy.

The experienced brand knows that making such claims incurs a substantial amount of scrutiny from eco-friendly organizations and consumers alike, so it is prepared to meet, and even exceed, expectations. 

Coca-Cola aims to make every aspect of its involvement in the Olympics green, from staff uniforms and delivery trucks to waste streams for compostable coffee cups and lids. Sound too good to be true? It just might be.

“Some of it seemed easy on paper,” said Thierry Borra, the brand’s director of Olympic games management. “But we have to work with suppliers to make sure there is the technology.” Indeed, wanting to be environmentally friendly and actually being so are very different states of existence.

Most consumers, however, realize that change doesn’t occur over night, and they tend be patient when they feel brands are making a sincere attempt to change and implement sustainable policies throughout its operations. Coca-Cola appears to be one such brand. Yet, like the athletes, the brand must perform at the Olympics. The stakes are high, and the world will be watching. “Consumers are looking for these types of [eco-conscious] programs,” said William Chipps, senior editor of the IEG Sponsorship Report. “It’s getting to the point where they’re expecting them.”

Though critics may question Coca-Cola’s motivation for such changes – whether its for money or a true concern for the planet – as long as the brand is backing up its promises, does it really matter?

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