ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 45
Financial Times  

Coca Cola -- living the values

In a bid to promote company values and drive home its relevance to employees and stakeholders at large, Coca Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd joined its sister companies in other parts of the world to participate in the “‘I am the values’ Everest Challenge”.

“We have seven values at Coca Cola – namely integrity, individual initiative, customer value, teamwork, people development, mutual trust and respect and commitment. SABCO (South African Bottling Corporation), the parent company of Coca-Cola Sri Lanka, came up with a new initiative to promote these values amongst employees, rather than put them up on the company walls- which most corporates do,” Lakshan Madurasinghe, Public Affairs and Communications Representative at Coca Cola told The Sunday Times FT.

He said, this competition is a ‘stretch challenge’ where the competencies of staff were stretched in order to motivate them to go outside the comfort zones and bring in their creativity, all the while giving back to society in some form. He said the challenge which started in mid January was faced in each department of the Coca Cola companies in all 12 countries. “They need to raise the funds by themselves, because they are not given company funds,” Madurasinghe said. He said that this is a team based exercise where team initiatives are promoted.

“Also most importantly, it is not a business specific challenge and we do not drive profits based on this competition,” he explained.
“The competition ends on May 15 and a challenge trophy is awarded to the winner in Sri Lanka and that winner enters the global challenge,” he said, adding that the overall winner is awarded a cash prize worth US$ 5, 000.

Talking about an initiative by the Marketing Department of the company, he said the employees had undertaken to clean up PET bottle refuse (PET bottles are the plastic bottles used for aerated waters and mineral water) in Nuwara Eliya. “They have linked up with the Municipal Councils of Nuwara Eliya and the Public Health Office and has put a collection mechanism in place which will be used at a central point in the city as well as their Coke stalls (15 in total) as collection points where people could deposit their used PET bottles. They have also tied up with Kalu Kale Maha Vidyalaya, a school which is need of financial aid. Kalu Kale Maha Vidyalaya will lend support in terms of getting their students involved in the collection process,” he explained.

Madurasinghe said that at the end of the collection period all the PET bottles will be sold to a pre-identified recycling agent who will pay the school directly for the total amount of weight ages. With this money the school will be able to buy what they need,” he said adding that the project will clean up the town during a time when it gets polluted the most; while it will also benefit a school which was nearly closed down a few years ago.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.