Coca-Cola Philippines: Making Waves as A Transformative Force in Corporate Responsibility and Innovation

by - 7:59 AM

Image from Coke Philippines

Last week, we had the privilege of being invited to spend a day with our esteemed friends from Coca-Cola Philippines in Tagum Davao del Norte. These community events were truly transformative and left a lasting impression on me. It was an incredible opportunity to witness firsthand the impactful programs that Coca-Cola Philippines is spearheading.

The events included the iSTAR CFE Launch and Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting in Tagum, the iSTAR CFE National MOA Signing and iSTAR Mass Graduation, the Trash-free Pilipinas Program: Eco-Byaneng Hub Regional Launch, and concluded with a visit to the Tagum City LGU Eco-Housing Project x Eco-Byaneng Collaboration.

One of the notable initiatives is the Trash-Free Pilipinas Program, which aims to tackle waste management by actively collecting clear PET bottles for recycling and subsequent use in Coca-Cola products. The program has set up collection hubs equipped with compactors to prepare the bottles for transport to Cavite, where they will be processed and recycled. This not only reduces packaging production costs but also demonstrates a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Another remarkable aspect of the day was the turnover of the eco-housing project. This innovative approach to solid waste management utilizes materials that would otherwise be considered trash, such as ecobricks, as components for building houses. By repurposing waste materials, Coca-Cola Philippines is making a positive impact on both waste management and housing opportunities for deserving individuals.

Turnover of the units to the beneficiaries

Houses are made with eco-bricks 

The iSTAR program, specifically the launch in Tagum, stands out as an empowering and transformative initiative for women. By providing upskilling opportunities and digital training for small business owners, iSTAR aims to equip marginalized women with the necessary tools to thrive in an increasingly digital world. This program not only enables women to earn and contribute to their communities but also serves as a safeguard during challenging times like the ongoing pandemic.

Image from Coke Philippines

Coca-Cola PH's commitment to empowering micro-retailers is evident through the establishment of Centers for Entrepreneurship (CFEs) across key areas in the Philippines. These sustainable hubs offer training, mentoring, and financial support to small business owners. The CFEs are part of the digital Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (iSTAR) program, which aims to equip individuals with the skills needed to start and manage retail businesses through digital platforms.

Image from Coke Philippines: iSTAR students at the Tagum iSTAR center

During the launch of the CFE in Tagum, Coca-Cola Philippines President Tony del Rosario emphasized the company's dedication to supporting entrepreneurship and fostering economic growth at the community level. The iSTAR program is a result of a public-private partnership between Coca-Cola Philippines and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), with the shared goal of breaking the cycle of generational poverty. Through this collaboration, iSTAR's modules have been made accessible nationwide, reaching over 150,000 micro-entrepreneurs and surpassing the program's target of 100,000 graduates by 2025.

The CFEs are managed by a network of trusted partners, including microfinance institutions, cooperatives, civil society organizations, and local government units. This collaborative network aims to provide comprehensive business development, training, and support to micro-entrepreneurs, further strengthening Coca-Cola Philippines' commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and empowering Filipinos. By leveraging digital platforms and fostering business networks, micro-entrepreneurship can thrive, contributing to inclusive economic development.

The iSTAR Program and CFEs are just a part of Coca-Cola Philippines' broader initiatives to support micro-retailers. The Tindahan Extra Mile (TEM): Balik PET Bottle program, in collaboration with Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies, Inc. (BEST) and the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners (PASCO), promotes the circularity of plastic packaging. Micro-retailers are encouraged to transform their stores into collection points for recyclable PET bottles, earning environmental points that can be redeemed for cashback and products. Graduates of the iSTAR program receive support to join Coca-Cola Philippines' network of TEM partners, enabling them to continue growing their businesses and inspiring their communities to maintain cleanliness.

To learn more about Coca-Cola Philippines' impactful community initiatives, please visit the Coca-Cola Philippines Sustainability Hub.

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