- The global initiative continues to support communities in Mekong Delta suffering from climate change impact
- Vietnam’s 7th EKOCENTER first to use social enterprise model
(15 September 2017, Dong Thap) Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Ltd. (Coca-Cola Vietnam) today marks another milestone in Vietnam with the launch of its EKOCENTER in Dong Thap province. At the event, Derk Hendriksen, Vice President and General Manager of EKOCENTER at The Coca-Cola Company, and other Coca-Cola representatives joined the Dong Thap Provincial Government and the Vietnam Women’s Economic Council (VWEC) for the opening of the new EKOCENTER, the seventh facility of its kind in country.
The establishment of the Dong Thap site, the third EKOCENTER in the Mekong Delta region, underscores Coca-Cola’s focus in helping improve access to safe drinking water for communities in the area. Water quality in the Mekong Delta has negatively declined in recent years due to severe drought and saltwater intrusion brought on by climate change, as well as pollution caused by improper wastewater, solid waste, and pesticide discharge. Through the EKOCENTER, Coca-Cola will enable access to safe and clean drinking water, with a water treatment system that can purify as much as 6,000 liters of water daily to serve the needs of the locals.
“Our aim has always been to make a positive and lasting difference in the communities where we are present,” said Derk Hendriksen. “With water as an important pillar in our sustainability initiatives, we believe it our duty to help the people of the Mekong Delta region have safe and sustainable access to this most vital of resources.”
The new EKOCENTER also further demonstrated the company’s continued commitment to supporting women entrepreneurship to spur social and economic development, as well as empowering communities. Setting a precedent for future facilities, the Dong Thap site will be the first EKOCENTER to be run by a female entrepreneur using a social enterprise model. This model is expected to facilitate more fruitful activities for the communities, as well as create the shared value for local women entrepreneur and women workforce. Thence, part of the profits gained will be reinvested into social programs at the EKOCENTER to contribute sustainable values for the community.
Taking charge of the EKOCENTER is Madame Ta Thu Thuy who was recommended by the Vietnam Women’s Economic for this important task. With the sharing and guidance of Coca-Cola on how to operate a social enterprise as well as the close working with VWEC for the sustained business plan, Madame Thuy will manage the public services and other business activities at the center to serve for the shared goal in supporting a better life for local communities.
The Dong Thap EKOCENTER will be a hub of community activity in this province of the Mekong Delta region. Following the center’s 3-in-1 modular design, the facility will have a kiosk that sells basic goods, a community house equipped with a library and computers, and a recreation area. The EKOCENTER is envisioned to be an ideal venue for community members to gather for activities such as skills trainings and e-learning, sporting events, and engage with neighbors. The kiosk roof’s solar panels will also be able to generate enough green energy for maintaining daily activities at the facility including providing free wifi connectivity.
Chau Hong Phuc, Vice Chairman of Dong Thap People Committee, commented “The EKOCENTER will certainly spur more community activities at Dong Thap, enhancing the living environment while encouraging people to take part in learning opportunities to enhance their skills and capabilities. We also appreciate the center’s social enterprise model as it fosters interest in entrepreneurship among our community members. The presence of the EKOCENTER will also encourage more organizations to invest in our community via similar good and sustainable projects.”
“The Dong Thap facility’s social enterprise model also showcases how the three key pillars of Coca-Cola sustainability priorities -- water, women, and wellbeing – can be present in one EKOCENTER platform,” added Mr. Hendriksen.
The highlight of the EKOCENTER launch was the awarding of certificates of completion to female trainees who took part in the entrepreneurship e-learning program conducted by the VWEC and Coca-Cola. As an integral part of the 5by20 initiative, Coca-Cola’s commitment to enabling the economic empowerment of women, the e-learning program provided 30 local female entrepreneurs valuable business skills training that will help them in starting or managing their own enterprises.
“We would like to commend Coca-Cola for making its e-learning program available to the women in our communities, who have been inspired with entrepreneurship and start-up ideas to create more values for themselves, their family, and the community,” said Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of VWEC. “With this training, as well as other co-created trading programs by VWEC and Coca-Cola, which available in all EKOCENTERS across the country, we hope to support more and more women in overcoming barriers to become successful entrepreneurs. We believe that everyone can be a successful entrepreneur in future. Let’s join our activities in EKOCENTER and become the next one.”
The EKOCENTER is a global initiative conducted by Coca-Cola in partnership with public and private sector organizations. In Vietnam, the first EKOCENTER was introduced in 2015 and expanded to six units by the end of 2016 with the presence at Ho Chi Minh, Ha Noi, Da Nang, Ha Long, Ben Tre, and An Giang. Coca-Cola will soon establish 12 more EKOCENTERS across the country by the end of 2018.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, offering over 500 brands to people in more than 200 countries. Of our 21 billion-dollar brands, 19 are available in lower- or no-sugar options to help people moderate their consumption of added sugar. In addition to our namesake Coca-Cola drinks, some of our leading brands around the world include: AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater, and Zico coconut water. At Coca-Cola, we’re serious about making positive contributions to the world. That starts with reducing sugar in our drinks and continuing to introduce new ones with added benefits. It also means continuously working to reduce our environmental impact, creating rewarding careers for our associates and bringing economic opportunity wherever we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people around the world. For more information, visit our digital magazine Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, and follow The Coca-Cola Company on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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. Since 2017, to meet the fast changing in tastes and demands of consumers, Coca-Cola Vietnam has proactively diversified its high quality portfolio with the promotion of packaged juice and tea products. 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 millions of USD in community projects in Vietnam, including projects building EKOCENTER, providing clean water, empowering women and local SMEs, supporting families in hardship, and sending disaster relief.
For more information, please contact:
Vũ Thanh Trúc
PR and Sustainability Manager