From the days of "Things go better with Coke," to today's "Live Positively," the Coca Cola marketing train has never run out of ideas. Enter Kent Muhtar, son of a Turkish diplomat, and you have yet another spokesman in the soft drink's iconic PR wheel. Muhtar is the current Chief Officer of Coca Cola, but he titles himself, "Chief Sustainability Officer."
Even while the company battles accusations from detractors, who think their product has entirely too much sugar and contributes to childhood obesity, Muhtar and his team have diplomatically moved past these complaints by offering people something they can hang their eco hats on: A broad ranging sustainability program that's integrated throughout the company's entire business plan.
Said Muhtar in a Forbes interview: "The [original plan] didn't have the right metrics around it. Sustainability was just a warm and fuzzy word in our corporate social responsibility report, and part of compliance. We also didn't have proper alignment with our bottling partners."
Now Cola Cola is making constructive changes that have even their harshest critics blinking in disbelief. Some of their bolder plans involve returning as much water to the earth as they take out or becoming "water neutral"; reducing their carbon footprint by 5%, and the introduction of a "plantbottle" which is 30% plant material and 100% recyclable. Ideally, this should make the global manufacturing of their over 3,000 products a bit more palatable to John Q. Public.