Ben Tre, November 29, 2016 - The Women’s Union of Ben Tre province, in cooperation with the People’s Committee of Binh Thanh commune (Giong Trom district, Ben Tre province) and Coca-Cola Vietnam today officially launched a new EKOCENTER in Binh Thanh commune, Ben Tre province, followed the other four successful launches of EKOCENTERs in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Ha Long, Da Nang. This is the 5th EKOCENTER in Vietnam and also the first one in Mekong Delta. The event marked a milestone in the consistent efforts of Coca-Cola Vietnam in developing this project and bringing more benefits to local communities across Vietnam.
“EKOCENTER project has been desgined to serve for both the social priorities of Coca-Cola and the real demands of local authorities with an aim to create a better life for communities. At Ben Tre, concerns to be mentioned are the awareness in practicing efficient use of energy, freshwater for daily use and drinking, solutions for saltwater intrusion as the impacts of climate change, and the entrepreneurship support programs. Coca-Cola and our partners have been hard working on these priorities, utilizing the effectiveness of public private partnership between business, government and civil society in sustainable development activities in Vietnam.” said Mr. Sanket Ray, Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Vietnam.
Located in the People's Committee of Binh Thanh commune, Giong Trom district, the EKOCENTER utilizes the green power generated from the solar panels placed on the roof of the kiosk. The center offers useful facilities, such as purified water, Wifi network system, and various cultural exchange, training and healthcare programs at its community house. In particular, to tackle the issue of water resources which is threatened by climate change in Ben Tre - one of the hard-hit provinces in Mekong Delta by severe drought and saltwater intrusion in recent years - Coca-Cola Vietnam, in collaboration with Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City, have developed a salinity pre-filter water system integrared into EKOCENTER to treat the water before it goes through the center’s filtrattion system.
Speaking of this innovation idea, Mr. Bui Trung Thanh, Associate Professor, PhD, Director of Science management and International Cooperation, Director of R&D Tech center, Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City, stated: “We highly appreciate the company’s flexibility as well as the thoughtful understanding of the communities’ concerns. The application of the pre-filter system for salinity water in EKOCENTER reflects clearly how a global corporate with worldwide initiatives has encouraged the innovative capacity of local experts and students in Vietnam. We see in this porject not only the solutions for the urgent need of clean water of local residents but also the values of developing the cability of local community”.
Similarly to other previous EKOCENTERs, capacity building activity to empower local women is one of the focuses of the project. Besides the kiosk managed by local women, Coca-Cola Vietnam also cooperated with the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC) to develop the social enterprise model – which is to build business models being able to generate income for reinvestment into the EKOCENTER and support its sustainable development. Also, there is an "E-learning entrepreneurship training course" with the aim to empower local women’s economic capacity. Further from the knowledge provided, the program will offer local women opportunities to be members in the value chain of the Coca-Cola Vietnam by chances to become the local retailers of Coca-Cola after completing the course. The training course was officially conducted at EKOCENTER Ben Tre and will be scaled up will be to all EKOCENTERs across the country as well as extended to further provinces of Vietnam.
Ms. Pham Thi Thanh Thao, President of The Women’s Union of Ben Tre province, shared: “We greately appreciate the efforts of Coca-Cola and VWEC in supporting the women to assert themselves and to become more confident entreperneurs in the business world, helping to improve their economic lives. 40 women from many communes and districts in Ben Tre province were offered fundamental knowledge of business planning and financial management. After the course, they all show their strong commitment to starting their own family business, applying knowledge they learned into practice, and sharing knowledge, helping other members to develop their own business. We hope more and more women will be benefited from this start up training programs."
Also, in the inaugural day, EKOCENTER Ben Tre is honoured to be chosen as the venue to host the “Start-up forum” – an activity within the framework of “Dong Khoi Startup” program led by Ben Tre Provincial People’s Committee. The program is to encourage local SMEs, women and the youth in the province to improve their skill and knowledge on entrepreneurship through supporting activities and experience sharing from other enterprises.
For more details, please contact:
Mr. Nguyen Khoa My
Director – Public Affairs and Communications
Coca-Cola Viet Nam
Telephone: +84 918 010 500
About The Coca-Cola Company:
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 17 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, Vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo or visit our blog Coca-Cola Unbottled at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.
About Coca-Cola Vietnam
Coca-Cola is one of the best-known international brands in Vietnam. Coca-Cola Vietnam's factories in Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang and Hanoi recruit about 2,500 employees, more than 99% of whom are Vietnamese. The Company's portfolio in Vietnam includes Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid Nutriboost, Minute Maid Teppy, Schweppes, Dasani and Aquarius. Coca-Cola Vietnam has considered sustainable development as the core of its business activities which include organizing safe and healthy working environment, setting priority to training employees. Several sustainable development projects were also expressed by detailed goals of energy saving, effective water use and water balance. Coca-Cola continues building sustainable communities in locations where the company operates. From 2010, Coca-Cola has invested more than USD 5.5m in community projects in Vietnam, including projects building EKOCENTER, providing clean water, empowering women, supporting families in hardship, and sending disaster relief through Vietnam Red Cross.