Coca-Cola's drive to create a safe haven for polar bears in the high Arctic has thawed the pockets of environmentalists throughout North America, generating over $2 million for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Dave Moran, a spokesman for Coca-Cola Canada, called the company's Arctic Home campaign the most successful it's ever done. "And keep in mind, this is only the first year," he said.
The company partnered with WWF, the world's leading conservation organization, to help meet its goal of raising $10 million to ensure the polar bear's future. Fans of the polar bear and Coca-Cola responded by texting the package code, triggering $1 donations that quickly amounted to $1.8 million. The company contributed an additional $400,000 as part of its five-year, $2 million commitment to the cause.
Where the Money Goes
The loss of sea ice due to the changing environment means polar bears are vulnerable in their current habitat. "As the Arctic goes, so goes the polar bear," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF. "Precious polar bear habitat is disappearing at an alarming rate, and without intervention, so will this magnificent bear. The success of Arctic Home gives me hope for the polar bear's future."
WWF has a vision to work with the Inuit and other local residents to manage an area high in the Arctic where the summer sea ice will likely persist the longest. Polar bears need sea ice platforms for hunting opportunities, to breed and to rest. As climate change melts sea ice and moves the platforms farther apart, the U.S. Geological Survey projects that two-thirds of polar bears will disappear by 2050.
Coke's Longtime Commitment to the Polar Bear and Sustainability
The polar bear has been a beloved Coca-Cola icon since appearing in a print ad in 1922. The Coca-Cola Polar Bear first appeared in a commercial called "Northern Lights" in 1993 and has since turned up in commercials ice skating or gazing at the moon. Earlier this year, Coke introduced new polar bear ads during the Super Bowl, further underscoring the company's affection and commitment to the animal.
The Arctic Home project grew out of an existing partnership between WWF and Coca-Cola focused on freshwater conservation and a mutual interest in protecting the polar bear's habitat. Coca-Cola has supported WWF's polar bear conservation efforts for the past four years.
For more information about the effort, go to the Arctic Home web page.