Coca-Cola has made contributions to support relief efforts globally including manufacturing hand-sanitizers and redirecting a big part of marketing spend for community relief programs, medical supplies and equipment during the outbreak phase, as well as developing other actions for the recovery and back-to-normal phases in markets hit hardest by the pandemic. These contributions, added to other programs that are currently in the development phase, will take Coca-Cola’s total community support beyond $100 million.
Supporting Communities and First Responders
The Coca-Cola system, with production facilities and franchise bottling operations across the United States, continues to make and deliver the essential beverages local stores and communities need during this challenging time. But the company, its local bottlers, suppliers and employees are doing more than delivering drinks in the communities they call home. Local teams are finding ways to re-deploy resources to help meet the needs of first responders, healthcare workers, community organizations and more.
For example, the company is redirecting some of its global advertising budget to support COVID-19 prevention and relief in markets around the world. The Philippines was the first of many markets to pause advertising for all brands and redirect media spending to help provide personal protective equipment and beverages for health workers, deliver food to vulnerable families, and support small retailers in affected communities.
Supporting Foodservice Partners
To help support the restaurant community – an industry that employs more than 15 million Americans – Coca-Cola North America is providing its more than 8,000 employees across the U.S. and Canada with a $100 delivery credit for either DoorDash, Grubhub, UberEATS or Skip The Dishes to place meal delivery orders during this challenging time. Coca-Cola North America plants also have implemented routines to order takeout meals from foodservice customers as a thank-you to associates working hard to produce Coca-Cola products. This effort adds up to an immediate injection of nearly $1 million into the restaurant industry.
Coca-Cola joined forces with industry peers to support #TheGreatAmericanTakeout initiative, which encourages Americans to support the restaurant industry by ordering delivery or takeout meals. Coca-Cola is encouraging employees, bottling partners and industry partners to participate, and using its social channels to promote the movement. On April 14, The Great American Takeout gave away $10,000 in gift cards to people who order takeout. One grand prize recipient won free takeout for a year in the form of a $5,000 gift card, while 100 more winners will receive a $50 gift card, all courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company. Learn more.
Coca-Cola also launched the Coca-Cola Rapid Response Resource online portal to give restaurants access to free information and resources – from tips for optimizing takeout and drive-thru operations, to updated COVID-19 safety guidelines, to information on third-party delivery services and more.
Together We Can: Using Social and Digital Assets for Good
Coca-Cola is taking several actions to use advertising and marketing resources to spread solidarity. On April 6, 2020, Coca-Cola used company and brand social media handles to promote a message of support and togetherness, and will use the scale of Coca-Cola brand handles to share helpful information and meaningful messages from partner community organizations like the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Salvation Army and Feeding America, among others.
Providing Supplies and Transportation to Help Make Masks for Healthcare Workers and Frontline Responders
In the Boston area, thousands of face shields are being assembled for delivery to medical centers around the region, with more in the works. Ray Dube, sustainability manager at Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, saw an opportunity to provide much-needed logistics and supply chain support to help nonprofit makerspace “MakeIt Labs” produce face shields to protect front-line healthcare workers.
Dube connected MakeIt volunteers with Coca-Cola plastic recycler UltrePet and packaging manufacturer EasyPak to donate and transport clean PET plastic sheeting to make the specialty shields. EasyPak donated approximately 6,000 pounds of clear PET sheeting, and Coke Northeast delivery trucks transported the Coke system’s first large-scale donation of PET sheets.
In partnership with MakeIt Labs and packaging supplier Sonoco, Coca-Cola also helped transport 6,000 pounds of plastic sheeting from Sonoco’s warehouse in North Carolina to Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Tech students and other groups will use the plastic sheeting to make 50,000+ plastic surgical shields for healthcare workers in the Atlanta area.
Another supplier, Filmquest, has generously agreed to donate 1,200 pounds of polyester film that will be assembled by MakeIt Lab volunteers into plastic surgical shields and donated to hospitals.
Helping Supply Hand Sanitizer and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company is responding to an urgent request from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for hand sanitizer and for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) by hosting a drop-off location at their offices and rewarding people who donate with free eight-packs of Coca-Cola’s new AHA sparkling water. The Coke bottler is producing hand sanitizer at its Atlantic, Iowa bottling facility and donating it to the University of Iowa Hospital System.
Additionally, two suppliers – Western Container and Southeastern Container – are working with Coca-Cola bottlers and alcohol distilleries to create plastic bottles that can be filled with hand sanitizer solution and donated to healthcare and public safety workers. Western Container shipped two truckloads (over 200,000 units) of 500-ml bottles to Whiskey Hollow Distillery in Valley View, Texas. These bottles will be custom labeled by the distillery as donated hand sanitizer to Texas-area hospitals.
Providing Financial and In-Kind Support to Community Organizations
The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, is awarding $13.5 million in grants to five nonprofit organizations working on the front lines of the U.S. and Canadian humanitarian response to the coronavirus pandemic. The latest grants support organizations focused on providing relief to first responders and residents of economically disadvantaged communities, both in the company’s hometown of Atlanta and across North America. Read more about the organizations receiving the grants here.