Coca-Cola Japan announced on March 30 new voluntary energy-saving measures that will reduce the potential for electric power disruptions this summer. The additional efforts were announced at the conclusion of a two-day series of events in Tokyo attended by Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. His participation comes one year after his trip to Japan immediately following the March 11 disasters. Kent met with Coca-Cola Japan management and staff as well as all Japan bottling partners for an update on the progress of the Company's efforts to support the recovery in Japan."I am gratified to see the progress we have made with delivering on the promise of our Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund," said Kent. "With the first of 50 solar energy systems being installed in schools this week, our Live Positively values are making a difference in the affected communities who need our help."
"Coca-Cola has been a part of life in Japan for nearly 55 years, and we look forward to continuing the relationship for generations to come by supporting the communities where we do business."The energy-saving measures are the latest in the company's "Live Positively" commitment to fostering sustainable communities and will include:
The Company will inspire Japanese consumers on the importance of conserving resources through support of the Global Earth Hour Initiative on Saturday, March 31, 2012. The Company and its 12 Coca-Cola bottlers will turn off outdoor advertisements over 30 locations across the country. The Company will also encourage the 11 million Coca-Cola Park members to participate in Earth Hour 2012, March 31, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. All 23,000 Coca-Cola system employees will also be asked to renew their vigilance for conserving our limited resources together with their family and friends.
Coca-Cola Japan will close its offices the week of August 13 to 17 for Energy Saving Week.Even after this summer, the Coca-Cola System in Japan will include considerations of the unstable power situation into its operations. Coca-Cola Japan is voluntarily developing nationwide energy-saving measures in response to the power supply situation in each region, such as shutting off vending machines on a rotating basis.Over the past decade, the Coca-Cola System in Japan has worked with vending machine manufacturers in Japan and invested heavily to ensure that our vending machines are the most modern and energy-efficient in the country. As part of these initiatives, all new vending machines installed from 2012 onwards will be equipped with LED lighting as a standard feature. Coca-Cola is committed to long-term energy-saving solutions in Japan and is currently working with a vending machine manufacturer in Japan on innovations that would significantly reduce the peak-hour energy usage of this equipment. Prototype machines will be tested in the market this summer.
The Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund was established with contributions from The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Japan associates, and its 12 bottling partners in Japan. That contribution enabled the emergency distribution of more than 7 million bottles of needed beverages, such as water, tea and sports drinks, to national and local government authorities and other community groups in the hours immediately following the disaster. The Japan Coca-Cola system also activated free dispensing of products from selected vending machines at the same time in the stricken areas.The Fund will also contribute 1.5 billion yen to the rebuilding of public elementary and junior high schools by providing assistance for costs relating to the installation of solar power generation systems equipped with disaster-relief functions. Subsidies will be provided to a total of 50 schools in three stages between September 1, 2011 and March 31, 2014.During his visit, Kent also met with 20 students from Shoei Junior High School in Shinchi Cho, Fukushima, which is one of the schools that will receive the solar power generation systems supported by The Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund. The students came to Tokyo from Fukushima to express their gratitude for the Company's efforts and commitments with a musical performance.
The Fund is also partnering with Project TOMODACHI, a public-private partnership that supports Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties, and deepen the friendship between the United States and Japan over the long term.The TOMODACHI Summer 2012 Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program will provide 180 Japanese high school students from the affected areas with a three-week homestay program in various cities in the U.S.A. over a three-year period. Through this program, Coca-Cola hopes to nurture the active citizens and leaders of tomorrow by broadening their knowledge, expanding their horizons and providing life experiences with different cultures and ways of life. The first 60 student participants in the homestay program this year were selected last March 30 from a total of 910 applications.