Kent Leads Coca-Cola into the future with Sustainability Strategy
Muhtar Kent is not just the CEO of Coca-Cola, but is also the CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) as well. He appointed himself to the position of CSO because he recognizes the importance of sustainability. He believes that it is his responsibility as a leader to create change from the top of the organization, down throughout the entire organization. Kent has recently implemented a broad-ranging sustainability strategy at Coca-Cola he calls "Live Positively." This new strategy is integrated with Coca-Cola's overall business plan, and involves environmental, market, community, and workplace initiatives. This new strategy not only involves Coca-Cola's operations, but also spreads out to the company's suppliers and bottlers as well. Kent has established several goals to be met by this new strategy. For one, Coke is going "water neutral." This means that the company plans to return as much water to the word as it uses. This will reduce its carbon footprint for manufacturing operations by 5% in developed countries by 2015. This will also allow Coke to recover all its packaging to be reused rather than be sent to landfills. Going water neutral not only benefits the environment, but lowers the cost of production, lowers the break-even points, and allows Coke to spend more money on brands. Another part of the strategy is the introduction of the "PlantBottle," which is a partially bio-plastic bottle that is up to 30% plant material and 100% recyclable. PlantBottle is the first plastic bottle from renewable sources that can be recycled along with other PET plastic bottles in the existing recycling infrastructure. Coke has also committed to eliminate the use of hydro fluorocarbon gases in all of its new vending machines and coolers by 2015. Mr. Kent is not just a manager at Coca-Cola, but is a leader at the company. He is trying to create a change for the future by implementing his new "Live Positively" strategy. Kent is clearly an authentic leader via the intrapersonal definition. He leads with his own convictions. He is genuine, original, and bases his actions on his own personal values. He decided to make himself Chief Sustainability Officer, instead of nominating someone else. He also claims that he never plans on giving up his duties as the CSO. Kent has a vision for the future of his company, and his employees share his vision.
Do you think Coca-Cola can meet its goals?
Do you believe Pepsi will implement a similar strategy?
Do you feel Kent's leadership style is a good fit for his company?