Ingrid Saunders Jones – Senior Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company/ Chairperson, The Coca-Cola Foundation

Ingrid Saunders Jones

Meet one of PINK’s Top 10 Women in Sustainability, 2011!

By Rachel Pomerance

“I am proud to say I recycle more than I throw away,” says Coca-Cola’s Ingrid Saunders Jones. Not only has she helped Coca-Cola grow itr sustainability efforts, she’s been instrumental in programs like the Haiti Hope Project and the Critical Difference for Women program at Ohio State University.

Keeping a company as big as Coca-Cola environmentally friendly is no simple task – but Saunders Jones makes it look (almost) easy.

Why should Saunders Jones be proud?

Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” slogan carries a whole lot of goodwill. Its contributions range from preserving history and the environment to providing access to clean water. The following exemplify Coca-Cola’s stewardship:

  • Since its 1993 inception, The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program has helped more than 1,200 students become the first member of their families to attend college.

  • Its longtime partnership with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup has the company rolling up its proverbial shirtsleeves. In 2010, more than 45,000 Coca-Cola associates and their friends and families joined in to remove trash from local waterways. Plus, at least one percent of the company’s earnings each year are directed to community development. In 2010, that translated to more than $82 million to create healthy communities through recycling, physical fitness, education and water conservation.

  • Sustainable choices have Coca-Cola using more than 400 delivery trucks, powered by hybrid, electric or natural gas. The company has also demonstrated its commitment in packaging by creating the PlantBottle, an entirely recyclable PET plastic bottle, and opening a PET bottle-to-bottle recycling plant that is the world’s largest. Coca-Cola has also made a $30 million pledge to get safe drinking water to 2 million people in Africa by 2015.

  • A beloved international brand, Coca-Cola makes a point to look after citizens of the world. The company made a $30 million pledge to get safe drinking water to 2 million people in Africa by 2015. Its response to the earthquake in Haiti included $1 million and beverages for immediate emergency relief, plus ongoing assistance through the Haiti Hope Project, which uses proceeds from a new beverage, the Odwalla Haiti Hope Mango Lime-Aid, to spur sustainable development.

What’s next?

  • “As a member of the Coca-Cola family, it is our hope that we will one day live in a world where all people have access to clean safe water, where our packaging has a life beyond its original use, and where communities are healthy and prosperous,” Saunders Jones says.

  • She adds, “Since we live in cities we did not build … sustainability to me is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.”

Rachel Pomerance, a writer and public relations professional, specializes in sustainable transportation at Pomerance & Associates. The all-female firm, which is owned by her mother, Barbara Pomerance, manages the communications for the Washington Auto Show®.

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