As a brand experiences success in one part of the world, Coca-Cola often employs the “lift and shift” approach, “lifting” that product and “shifting” it to another market. Sometimes, the same recipe is introduced in a different country. Other times, the product, like FUZE Tea for example, is customized to meet local tastes and market needs. When it comes to sustainability, Coca-Cola also uses the “lift and shift” approach by scaling, expanding and tailoring programs that are delivering positive impacts in one market and transferring them to another.

With the Coca-Cola system’s sustainability programs, the aim is to make major, positive impacts locally and globally. The company and its bottling partners collectively harness the system advantage of deep local connections and relationships that create shared opportunity and value for stakeholders and communities. When a program takes off and delivers lasting results for one local market’s economy and community, that’s something worth replicating in another market. Communities across the world face different challenges, so the programs are adjusted to meet local needs, keeping the larger program framework in place.

5by20TM, Coca-Cola’s initiative designed to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women by 2020, is a program that does just that. Since 2010, 5by20TM has reached more than 2.4 million women across 75 countries. The program provides business skills training, access to finance and assets, and networking and mentoring to help women overcome common challenges to realizing economic empowerment.

While 5by20TM is a global initiative with a unified goal, the various programs in countries around the world are based on local needs and considerations, and the execution is carried out and managed by local teams and partners with support from Coca-Cola. Technology innovations, for example, have been a key component for 5by20TM in Malaysia. There, Coca-Cola launched business skills training modules available through mobile and website applications to women, who for cultural, personal and business reasons, are unable to leave their homes to attend training. In India, however, emphasis has been placed offline and in the field on sustainable sugarcane production to improve women farmers’ yield and quality of cane produced.

EKOCENTER is another sustainability solution that embraces the “lift and shift” strategy. A cross between a community center and a general store, EKOCENTERs are run mostly by local women entrepreneurs, offering a wide range of

products and services, including connectivity through solar power, to meet basic needs of communities most challenged socio-economically.

Based on community needs, EKOCENTER can facilitate other services—from mobile phone charging, financial transactions and entertainment to vocational training, health care and the provision of safe drinking water in the broader community.  

The first EKOCENTER was established in 2013 in South Africa, and then expanded to several other countries following success. At the end of 2017, more than 150 EKOCENTER kiosks had been installed across Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Vietnam, and 78.1 million liters of annual safe drinking water capacity had been installed around the EKOCENTER system. Since the end of 2014, 1,305,500 kilowatt hours of solar power have been generated by EKOCENTER units. In addition, EKOCENTER has created more than 500 direct jobs.

Coca-Cola is also transferring market wins when it comes to addressing packaging pollution. Convening around a new packaging vision, World Without Waste, the company is rethinking how bottles and cans are designed and made, how they’re recycled and repurposed, and has set several coordinated, ambitious goals.

Coca-Cola South Africa funded and co-created PET Recycling Company (PETCO), an industry body that promotes and regulates the recycling of PET material after initial use, in 2004. PETCO has partnered with recyclers to create new products made from disposed PET material. PETCO’s efforts in South Africa have contributed to the country seeing an increase in recycling from single digits in 2000 to 65% in 2017.  As a result of Coca-Cola’s learnings and successes in these markets, the company is helping launch a model similar to PETCO in Kenya through the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

In Mexico, Coca-Cola is the largest recycler of food grade PET through our more than US$125 million investment in the development and installation of two recycling plants: IMER and PetStar. IMER, located in the State of Mexico, recycled 12,415 metric tons of PET in 2017, and PetStar, the largest food grade recycling plant in the world, has an annual production of 50,000 metric tons (110 million pounds) of recycled-content resin (rPET).

As a company that operates in thousands of communities globally, Coca-Cola can and plans to help make recycling easier and more accessible for everyone. The company continues to collaborate with governments, communities, the private sector and NGOs to help develop more effective recycling systems that meet community needs.

All of Coca-Cola’s “lift and shift” sustainability initiatives mentioned above–5by20TM, EKOCENTER and recycling ventures–are supported through collaboration with critical partners. Moving the needle on global challenges can’t be managed alone: collective action is a major part of the answer.