I’m inspired by this video on Journey that features individuals who are creating a happier world by focusing on other people. To me, these actions are contagious and demonstrate how personal passion and action can positively impact people, communities and our world.

This video came to mind this week as we released our 2013/2014 Sustainability Report. It hit home how much each individual effort matters in meeting our sustainability goals, growing our business, and creating real, tangible value for everyone who touches our business.

Yes, we talk a lot about the power of partnerships. And we strongly believe they allow us to scale sustainability programs and create global impact that far exceeds anything we could do on our own. Yet behind each partnership and each program are people – our employees, customers, consumers and partners – who are working relentlessly to make a difference.

They are the one who conceive the plans or dig the wells or lay the pipes that will bring safe water to millions at risk of death or disease from unsafe water. They provide the training or the tools or the counsel that are helping us to enable the economic empowerment of more than 550,000 women. They take physical activity programs into our cities and communities to help people stay active and achieve the energy balance that’s right for them.

As you’ll read in our report, sustainability is helping to drive our business as we make a positive impact in people’s lives. People like Lea in Brazil, who with the support of our 5by20™ program, started a business selling specialty bags made of recycled plastic PET bottles. Or Cornelia Nketia from Ghana, a mother of four whose life changed after Coca-Cola brought clean water to her village through our Replenish Africa Initiative.

That’s purpose-driven business, and it’s being fueled by our sustainability efforts. More importantly, it’s being powered by passionate people who want to make a difference and are putting action behind that desire.

While not everyone can be part of a formal sustainability team, each of us can commit to doing everything we can to cultivate a sustainability mindset, operate sustainably at work and to make sustainability an integral part of our personal lives.

To do that, there are actions we all can take. For example:

  • Make the effort to get healthy by learning to eat right, incorporating walking meetings into routines, joining a local gym or learning how to keep up with exercise while on business travel.
  • Get involved in the community as a mentor, coach, volunteer or civic leader.
  • Update the sustainability habits of your team. We can free up resources that can be re-invested into the business with everyday habits like printing double-sided and in black-and-white, planning travel in ways that save money and turning off lights and equipment when not in use.
  • At home, consider taking shorter showers; turning off the water when brushing your teeth; adjusting the thermostat to use less energy, particularly when not at home, etc.
It’s easy to think about sustainability as someone else’s business. It’s not. It’s mine and its ours. It’s in this personal commitment and in our individuals actions that we begin to see the power of lives purposefully lived together. That’s what sustainability is all about … and it’s how we create a happier world for ourselves and others.