Why Pepsi and Coca-Cola are Model Corporations

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Keywords: Ethical Production and Consumption | CEO | Corporations | Energy | Environment and Climate Change | Volunteerism & Community Engagement | agriculture | greenhouse gases | philanthropy

Why Pepsi and Coca-Cola are Model Corporations

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 2:00pm

In the age of corporate social responsibility, businesses are increasingly redefining success to involve more than just turning a profit. Today, even in the context of a global economic downturn and historically high rates of unemployment, many of America’s biggest corporations are keenly aware that giving back to the community can yield many dividends down the road.

But the biggest contributions that corporate America can make are beyond the bounds of its philanthropic foundations and spending power. By integrating key social goals into their core business models, multinationals and the supply chains they operate have more power to influence positive change than nearly any other institution on this planet.

Two of the world’s largest beverage companies, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, are powerful examples of these possibilities. In Mexico, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi built a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank to provide financing for local farmers to produce sunflower oil, creating jobs for thousands of agricultural workers. Pepsi currently purchases the oil at market rates to produce its own products for the Mexican market. The result: Goods can be brought to consumers without the need for expensive long-distance transportation networks, thereby eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the process. These types of mutually beneficial public-private partnerships are the hallmark of what businesses can achieve if they begin to recognize the possibilities of investing beyond the traditional bottom line.

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