TUESDAY 15 JAN 2013 11:08 AM


It’s one thing to feature polar bears in adverts and Christmas campaigns. It’s quite another to actually try and protect polar bears from the perils of global warming.

Coca-Cola is teaming up with the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) in a push to protect polar bears’ Arctic environments. The CSR effort will see 1.4 million square kilometres in Greenland and Canada protected as a wildlife conservation area.

Polar bears have been the unofficial mascots of Coca-Cola for nearly a century, but this partnership is built on more than the desire to help the environment. For major brands, corporate social responsibility leads to a tangible increase in reputation. The Reputation Institute found that 65% of the public would recommend brands that rank highly for CSR compared to just 26% of people recommending the 20 worst companies.

Coca-Cola, which topped Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report in 2012, has a history of reinforcing its brand image with CSR efforts, primarily through its longstanding sponsorship of the Olympics. It has also worked with WWF for the past five years on a water conservation project.

GB marketing director of Coca-Cola, Zoe Howorth, says “Polar bears have been a much-loved part of Coca-Cola's advertising for over 90 years. We want to help create a future for them and their Arctic home.”

The company will donate $2 million to WWF and match consumer donations up to an additional $1 million.