The first EKOCENTER in Asia opened its doors to the public this week in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. At the inauguration, the partners, including Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the Ho Chi Minh City’s Federation of Women Association and The Coca-Cola Company, announced an initial goal to place 10 of the self-sustaining kiosks in Vietnam.

“Our vision for EKOCENTERs is to spur economic and social development by providing a place where basic necessities are readily available. Coca-Cola is investing in these EKOCENTERs as part of our commitment to Vietnam’s social and economic development,” said Irial Finan, Executive Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company and President of the Company’s Bottling Investments Group.



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EKOCENTER, powered by Solarkiosk, brings solar power, safe drinking water and connectivity to communities, as well as a variety of goods, products and services, depending on the local needs. As a model social enterprise, it is designed to help both the community and business flourish.



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“The EKOCENTER launched in Thu Duc today and the next centers to be launched will be important public facilities improving the living environment and everyday life conditions for the underserved community,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, Deputy Director, People Mobilization Committee, Ho Chi Minh City.



Derk Hendrickson at Vietnam's first EKOCENTER

Typically run by local female entrepreneurs, an EKOCENTER serves as a center for community-based activities. The EKOCENTER site in Vietnam includes two badminton courts, sanitary facilities, a public exercise space, and a solar-powered classroom complete with solar panels.

In bringing the EKOCENTER to Vietnam, The Coca-Cola Company and The People’s Committee partnered with 8 different corporate and civil society entities; “Your partnership is a great example of what we can achieve when we all work together, and I look forward to coming back to this beautiful country to witness firsthand the transformative change that EKOCENTER will bring to communities throughout Vietnam,” said Bea Perez, Chief Sustainability Officer of The Coca-Cola Company.

“The beauty of EKOCENTER is that it is tailored to the communities it serves," said Le Tu Cam Ly, head of Legal and Public Affairs for Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam. "In Vietnam, these centers will become hubs of community activity while serving as catalysts for engagement and support. With the help of the local government and other private sector partners in HCMC, we were able to extend the site by building two badminton courts, a public exercise area, public sanitation facilities and a large classroom equipped with computers and powered by solar panels. We want to play an active role in creating healthy and sustainable communities across Vietnam." 

The EKOCENTER in Vietnam is just one breakthrough example of how innovation married with collaboration can revolutionize everyday life.