Coca-Cola Comes Clean About Going Green At Olympic Games

10 Mar

If you attended the Vancouver Olympics this year, and you found yourself in a 100 percent environmentally sustainable, carbon-neutral café, then it was probably sponsored by Coca-Cola. The soda company, building on past efforts, went green this year – big time. The brand used bottles, furniture, and other products – some quite surprising – all with recycled materials and reusable energy.

The experienced brand knew that making such claims incurs a substantial amount of scrutiny from eco-friendly organizations and consumers alike, so it was prepared to meet, and even exceed, expectations. Coca-Cola aimed to make every aspect of its involvement in the Olympics green, from staff uniforms and delivery trucks to waste streams for compostable coffee cups and lids.

Sound too good to be true? It just might be.

“Some of it seemed easy on paper,” said Thierry Borra, the brand’s director of Olympic games management. “But we have to work with suppliers to make sure there is the technology.”

Indeed, wanting to be environmentally friendly and actually being so are very different states of existence. Most consumers, however, realize that change doesn’t occur over night, and they tend be patient when they feel brands are making a sincere attempt to change and implement sustainable policies throughout its operations. Coca-Cola appears to be one such brand. Yet, like the athletes, the brand had to perform at the Olympics. The stakes were high, and the world was certainly watching.

“Consumers are looking for these types of [eco-conscious] programs,” said William Chipps, senior editor of the IEG Sponsorship Report. “It’s getting to the point where they’re expecting them.”

Though critics may question Coca-Cola’s motivation for such changes – whether its for money or a true concern for the planet – as long as the brand is backing up its promises, does it really matter?

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