Leading scientists have found that some regions of Antarctica have warmed rapidly in recent years, contributing to crumbling ice shelves and accelerating the sliding of glaciers. In a recent New York Times story, Drew T. Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York wrote, "It's extremely difficult to think of any physical way that you could have increasing greenhouse gases not lead to warming at the Antarctic continent."

The Coca-Cola Company has been invested in researching and supporting solutions to these issues for awhile. One example was being the initial corporate sponsor of Robert Swan's expedition to Antarctica in 2003. This year, the Company began a program on the Chinese mainland to allow employees and local university students to participate in a two-week International Antarctica Expedition. In June, the team shared their experience and called for public support for a sustainable world at the Cool the Earth, Embracing World Environment Day press conference, hosted by Coca-Cola China.

At the event, individuals outlined their journeys to the vastly unknown continent. "We saw icebergs melting every minute and worried about the future of our planet," Shen Yating, a student from East China Normal University, told the Shanghai Global Times.

Aurora Chen, director for the Sustainability Platform, Coca-Cola Greater China, said that university students are increasingly concerned with the issue of sustainability and are looking for leadership. "They have the potential to change other people's lifestyles, especially those of their peers, friends and families, through sharing their first-hand experiences, thus unveiling a better future with collective efforts," Chen told the Global Times, adding that environmental protection is more about the well-being of the human race rather than simply changes in climate itself.

While on location in 2011, the IAE team made advances on how to continually recycle water and sort out garbage on an everyday basis. They subsequently relayed the information when they got back home, encouraging them to get involved in researching climate change, water stewardship and to be well-versed in energy-saving topics.

Impacting the World's Climate

The Coca-Cola Company recognizes that ecological changes in Antarctica's environment can significantly impact the climate of the rest of the world. To date, more than 60 Coca-Cola associates have taken part in IAE, experiencing first-hand the environmental opportunities and challenges facing the planet.  

Coca-Cola China teamed up with IAE to promote knowledge of Antarctica’s global warming and recommend an active, healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle for the general public. The trip to Antarctica is part of the Company's greater effort to engage the population at large to join in reducing our carbon footprint.

Coca-Cola’s eco-conscious efforts are far reaching. Water resource management, sustainable packaging and refrigeration methods, reducing emissions from manufacturing operations, and deploying hybrid and all-electric delivery trucks are some of the Company's initiatives.