Coca-Cola India’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy

Posted: September 6th, 2013

Coca-Cola India’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy








Coca-Cola India’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy

  1. 1.      What are the challenges faced by Coke in India?

In 2003, Coca-Cola faced charges in India, on the claim that its products contained residues of pesticides which passed the global standards limit. These chemicals cause diseases such as birth defects and cancer.  This resulted to the ban of the company from India, by the Indian government. Later, after re-entering the Indian market, they faced the challenge on the accusation that they used too much water in making their products. It has also been accused of depleting India’s environment by dumping toxic wastes. These issues have led to the shortage of water in the communities located around the company’s bottling plants.

  1. 2.      What are the measures that taken by Coke to address these challenges?

The company denied the pesticide allegations, stating that they would provide the public with proof and threatened to sue CSE. On the issue of water, it responded by establishing various projects that ensured the recycling of water in these plants. This has been done through rain harvesting, on the claim that the ground water used is recharged back five times. It is also spending millions of dollars investing on its strategy to become water neutral in India.

  1. 3.      What is the rationale behind Coke’s corporate social measures in India?

The company’s corporate social measures on becoming water neutral have received criticism and allegations that the company is investing in covering its image. The company also seeks to win the trust of consumers, in order for their sales to increase.

  1. 4.      What kind of a strategy did Coke use to respond to its social responsibility problems?

The company used a water neutral strategy to respond to its social responsibility problems. After the accusations of water shortages due to the company’s production system, it announced that it was investing on becoming water neutral when producing and manufacturing its products. It also established rain harvesting on various areas in India, where the company’s production units were situated.

  1. 5.      Do you think that Coke used the CSR initiatives in India as a tool to maintain its sustainability? Or only as a green washing effort?

I think the company used the CSR initiatives in India only as a green washing effort. There have been various allegations that the company is investing on brain washing the community, rather than correcting its short comings. Critics complain that the company has not changed its operations, despite its claims on caring for the environment. On its claim that the used is recharged back five times through the rain harvesting project is false. When the company was asked later how it measured this, it said did not have any mechanisms to measure the water recharged. The company also had to be forced to meet its recommendation on the closing the plant in Kala Dera.

  1. 6.      Does coke’s business model succeed in integrating CSR initiatives in the value charter of the company and How?

Coke’s business model has succeeded in integrating CSR initiatives in the value charter of the company. This has been achieved through the company’s various initiatives on the reduction of consumption of water.  It has established new production facilities and plants for the treatment of waste water. This includes the water neutral strategy and the rain harvesting projects. The company also ensures that it package bottles are washable and return back to the company, such that they can be recycled. In this, the company has reduced its production.






Amit, Srivastava. (2008). Coca-Cola Continues Unethical and Dishonest Practices in India Company Must Follow Recommendations of Company Funded Study: Shut Down Kala Dera Bottling Plant. Retrieved from

Thompson, A. A., Strickland, A. J., Peteraf, M., & Gamble, J. (2012). Crafting and executing strategy: The quest for competitive advantage: concepts and cases. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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