In August 2013, The
Coca-Cola Company, in partnership with DEKA R&D and NRG, launched the first EKOCENTER™ pilot site, in Heidelberg,
South Africa, delivering clean, safe drinking water and other basic necessities
to the local community. EKOCENTERs are off-the-grid, modularly designed kiosks
with a solar panel awning, transformed from a 20-foot shipping container into
an open-air hub of community activity, to provide safe drinking water, wireless
communication, electricity and other functionality to jump-start
entrepreneurship opportunities and community development.
The South African EKOCENTER is initially operating with a
SlingshotTM water purification system, power source and commercial space, with
the ability to add other services based on community needs. The prototype is
powered by a Stirling electric generator and solar panels, both provided by
NRG, one of the United States’ largest power generation and retail electricity
businesses and the project’s official energy provider partner.
Located on the ground of Coca-Cola’s Valpre natural spring
water bottling plant, the EKOCENTER pilot elevates our Slingshot initiative by
introducing a training facility for bottling partners, women and young
entrepreneurs as we test this program for future expansion. The project
supports our global commitment to replenish the water used in our beverages and
their production, and to empower people and communities through employment.