From CSR Wire:
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), the world's largest beverage company, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world's largest humanitarian organization, today announced a global partnership to expand their collaboration. The Coca-Cola Company will invest $2 million to support the IFRC's work in disaster response and preparedness and public engagement in communities that both organizations serve. Separately, The Coca-Cola Foundation will donate $1 million to the IFRC's Disaster Response Emergency Fund to provide immediate financial support to help Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies quickly respond to disasters around the world.
"Our partnership with The Coca-Cola Company has the potential to become one of the world's leading business and civil-society collaborations," said Bekele Geleta, Secretary General, IFRC. "It will enable us to extend our reach even farther in communities worldwide so we can be of greater service to vulnerable people. In this era of increasing natural disasters, imagine the magnitude of what we can accomplish together in disaster response and preparedness."
The Coca-Cola Company and the IFRC also aim to better engage the public in disaster response, preparedness and the ongoing development and disaster management activities of the Red Cross Red Crescent network. For example, since 2000 the Coca-Cola System in Spain has undertaken a series of innovative marketing communications campaigns to raise funds and awareness for the Spanish Red Cross, and since 2007, The Coca-Cola Company in Netherlands has run a Christmas radio promotion for the Red Cross to raise funds for response to the many 'silent disasters' (e.g. malaria and mining accidents) that are critical but receive less attention than disaster events such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
Cause Integration Response:
Coca-Cola is making a strategic corporate social responsibility investment with its partnership with the Red Cross. By aligning itself with disaster preparedness and relief, Coca-Cola is signalling a commitment to its customers in third world and high-volatility areas where natural disasters can result that goes beyond supplying beverages. Coca-Cola's distribution reach is nearly unparalleled, with advertising seen painted on mud fences in South America as much as on Times Square billboards in New York's Times Square. Coca-Cola's commitment to assisting in disaster relief further aligns the company towards leveraging its corporate strengths of marketing and supply chain for the benefit of people in need in the third world, and is an excellent cause integration.