Coca-cola under pressure from investors and environmentalists to clean up its act 

Activist Investment Platform Tulipshare has teamed up with City to Sea to launch a new shareholder campaign asking The Coca-Cola Company to reduce its single-use plastic consumption by 25%. 

  • This comes after COP27 announced Coca-Cola as a sponsor despite being named as the top plastic polluter four years in a row, a decision which has left many activists ‘baffled’.

  • Currently, Coca-Cola sells more than 100 billion plastic bottles every year, or 200,000 bottles a minute. 

  • Despite Coca-Cola’s “Every Bottle Back” and “World Without Waste” campaigns, the company retained its title as the world’s top plastic polluter for the fourth year in a row.

  • Coca-Cola is currently being sued in the US for deceptive sustainability marketing

  • This campaign marks the first time Tulipshare, a retail activist investment firm, has partnered with environmental organization City to Sea on a campaign, which individuals can invest in to demand change. 

Tulipshare and City to Sea are calling on The Coca-Cola Company to adopt an ambitious target of reducing the number of single-use plastic bottles it distributes annually by 25%. The goal would sit alongside the existing goal of 25% of all beverages globally across its brands portfolio to be sold in refillable or returnable glass or plastic bottles, or refillable containers through traditional fountains or Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers, by 2030.

Coca-Cola has been rated one of the world’s top plastic polluters in the world for the fourth year in a row. Plastic production, 99% of which is linked to fossil fuels, currently pumps out a massive 850 million metric tonnes of GHGs – the equivalent of 189 coal-fired power plants in a year, almost double the entire emissions of the aviation sector

And yet Coca-Cola was recently announced as a sponsor for the upcoming COP27 meeting in Sharm El-Sheik, despite ongoing concerns of the company’s greenwashing record. Currently, the soda giant faces a lawsuit in the US for deceptively marketing itself as sustainable and environmentally friendly while “polluting more than any other beverage company and actively working to prevent effective recycling measures in the U.S.”

The campaign allows retail investors with shares in Coca-Cola, as well as those who have never invested in the company before, to back the campaign by buying shares for as little as £1. The company then leverages the collective shareholder power of individual investors to push for change. Every share purchased through Tulipshare, even fractional shares, gives individuals the ability to vote at the company’s next AGM.

Natalie Fee, CEO and Founder of City to Sea said, “In the five seconds it takes you to read this sentence, Coca-Cola will have pumped out an additional 16,000 single-use plastic bottles. Annually this amounts to over 100 billion throw-away bottles comprising one-fifth of the entire world’s PET plastic use! This is evidently totally unsustainable. It’s also why we’re partnering with Tulipshare to lead the fight for change from within the organisation. Coca-Cola has already committed to impressive reuse and refill targets. Now it needs to have an equally ambitious target to reduce its single-use plastic.”

Antoine Argouges, Chief Executive and Founder of Tulipshare commented: “We’re very proud of our partnership with City to Sea and value their input for this campaign. Unless we can get our plastic pollution problem under control, we cannot hope to create a better future for our planet. Considering Coca-Cola’s record with greenwashing and their recent sponsorship of COP27, it’s more important than ever that we as shareholders push them to adopt more effective targets, without which we cannot realistically fight against climate change.”

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