Sustainable soft drinks giant?

Obesity is not sustainable
PostedFebruary 20, 2013, in  Step 3: self assessment
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Sustainability is not just about the fate of the planet, but also about the well-being of the people on it. And then we should not just regard shareholders and employees, but also think about consumers. This raises an interesting question: can a producer of unhealthy productsbe called a sustainable company? Coca-Cola for example.  


One of the most powerful brands in the world is Coca-Cola. The range is huge and its consumption too. But this consumption isalso controversial: 100 ml Coca-Cola contains 42 kilo calories and 10.6 grams of sugar. We live in a world where obesity is a growing problem. In this context, companies like Coca-Cola – where the business model is based on sugar – have come under intense scrutiny. Coca-Cola has responded with making smaller cans, providing better information and producing new, less unhealthy, product varieties (Light, Zero). "We are committed to bring people together to help fight obesity," said Stuart Kronauge, the General Manager for Coke's North America Sparkling Beverages division. But is that enough?

Quality management

Individual offices of Coca-Cola implement their own quality management systems. Like the Coca-Cola Ýçecek factory in Ankara, the fifth largest plant of Coca-Cola in Turkey. It was built in 1973 as the first large-scale production facility in Turkey. The factory has a good reputation in the field of quality management: it is continuously strives to improve. Over the yearsmany quality tools have been implemented, such as Lean 6 Sigma, Maintenance Excellence and Kobetsu Kaizen. The factory, equipped with a number of ISO certificates, has received several prizes ánd won the Turkish National Quality Award. The implementation of the EFQM Excellence Model in the plant attributed to winning this National Quality Award.  

More than efficiency & effectiveness

In 2012, the trophy cabinet of the Coca-Cola plant in Ankara filled up further with winning the EFQM price for Taking Responsibility for a Sustainable Future. However the fact that a plant of Coca-Cola would receive this particular price of EFQM I find odd. The expectation of this fundamental concept is that an organization has a positive impact on the world around them, in economic, environmental and social terms. But facilitating obesity does not fit this description for me.


  • In the 2010 version of the EFQM Excellence Model the Fundamental Concept (FC) was called Taking Responsibility for a Sustainable Future, but meanwhile, in the current model, the EFQM Model 2013, the FC is called Creating a Sustainable Future.

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PostedFebruary 20, 2013, in Step 3: self assessment
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