Coca-Cola is a beverage company founded in 1892 that is best known for carbonated soft drinks. The original Coca-Cola drink contained trace quantities of cocaine. Today the company's products are far more controversial because many contain large quantities of sugar like Coke which has 10.6 grams per 100 ml, which has been directly linked to weight gain. The company is also notorious for marketing these drinks to children and paying scientists to promote the idea that lack of exercise is the cause of obesity rather than sugar. Coca-Cola was ranked the world’s No 1 plastic polluter after its beverage bottles were the most frequently found discarded on beaches, rivers, parks and other litter sites in over 50 countries. Coca-Cola has been accused of over-extraction of groundwater in India and Mexico and of abusing workers's rights in Colombia, Guatemala, Russia and Turkey.
Carbonated soft drinks
|Top 5 Offense Groups (Groups Defined)||Penalty Total||Number of Records|
(April 25, 2022)
- Citizen Coke by Bartow J. Elmore (2014)
- Coca-Cola: The Alternative Report by War on Want (2006)
- The Coke Machine by Michael Blanding (2010).
- The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink by Michael Blanding (2010)
- Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola by Mark Thomas (2008).
- The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company by Constance Hays (2004).
- Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water by Maude Barlow, Tony Clarke (2002)
- For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Unauthorized History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company that Makes It by Mark Pendergrast (1993).
- Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala by Henry J. Frundt (1987).
- Soft Drink, Hard Labor: Coca-Cola Workers in Guatemala by Miguel A. Reyes (1987).
- The Cola Wars by J.C. Louis and Harvey Z. Yazijian (1980).
- Coca-Cola: An Illustrated History by Pat Watters (1978).
- The Big Drink: The Story of Coca-Cola by E.J. Kahn Jr. (1960).
Other Key Sources
- Business and Human Rights Resource Centre's profile on Coca-Cola - UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an NGO that employs researchers on five continents who work with activists, companies and governments alike to advance human rights in business by eradicating abuse.
- Corporate Rap Sheet on Coca-Cola - Corporate Rap Sheets, which detail corporate wrongdoing by some of the world's largest companies, are written by Philip Mattera, who heads the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in the U.S.
- Mirador's profile on Coca-Cola - Mirador is a project of the Belgium-based NGO Research Group for an Alternative Economic Strategy (GRESEA), which monitors abuse carried out by the largest multinational corporations in Belgium and the world.
Modern Ghana | January 11, 2021
Angry workers of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company Limited in Ghana have protested at the premises of the company following the alleged dismissal of about 30 of their colleagues.
Roxanne Elias | WTOL 11 | November 3, 2020
Workers at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in north Toledo are on strike, already planning for the days ahead after they walked off the job just after midnight Sunday.
Plastic Pollution Coalition | February 27, 2020
“The Coca-Cola Company and our other defendants churn out millions of tons of plastic packaging each year and want us to believe that it is all being recycled. It’s a misinformation campaign, similar to those used by Big Tobacco, Big Oil, and Big Pharma. Now is the time to hold Big Plastic similarly accountable.”
Alexia Fernández Campbell | Vox | March 28, 2019
Dozens of workers at one of Coca-Cola’s largest bottling and distribution plants have refused to go to work for almost two months, demanding the same 20 percent increase with a $32,000 peso bonus.
- Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
- Center for Science in the Public Interest
- Commercial Alert
- Corporate Accountability International
- Food and Water Watch
- India Resource Center
- International Labor Rights Forum
- International Union of Foodworkers (IUF)
- Teamsters Brewery & Soft Drink Conference
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Sierra Club
- Sindicato dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias da Alimentação de Campinas e Região (SITAC)
- International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF)
- Plastic Pollution Coalition
- Earth Island
France 24 | February 17, 2022
They sent a letter to the multinational corporation, a copy of which AFP has seen, giving it 10 days to explain its "non-consensual use" of the word "Coca" in Coca-Cola -- the world's most popular fizzy drink. If the company fails to reply, the communities threatened "judicial and commercial measures"...
National Institute on Drug Abuse | November 9, 2020
Scientific research is constantly discovering new things about drugs, such as the health benefits and risks of using (or misusing) them. Sometimes, these discoveries lead to changes in the way a drug is used.
Ryan Felton | Consumer Reports | July 10, 2020
Coca-Cola churns out a number of beverages here, including Dasani bottled water, which generated more than $1 billion in U.S. sales in the past year, according to market research firm IRI.
Elaine Watson | Food Navigator-USA | June 20, 2019
High-protein milk brand Fairlife has been hit with a second wave of proposed class action lawsuits – one of which names JV partner Coca-Cola as a defendant - following the release of videos showing animal abuse at Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana, its “flagship farm,” which used to supply some of its milk.
Lisa Burden | HR Drive | August 23, 2018
Coca-Cola Refreshments USA has entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), promising to pay $2.25 million to settle nine disability discrimination charges alleging that the company failed to properly accommodate employees with disabilities.
Nina Lakhani | The Guardian | December 19, 2015
Coca-Cola has been accused of using legal manoeuvres to delay an official investigation into a misleading advertising campaign in Mexico by accusing the government agency of acting unconstitutionally.
Lisa Skeen | Nacla | April 7, 2010
All over the world, tabletops, football stadiums, and corner shop windows are branded with its iconographic white-on-red, swirling text. Coca-Cola isn’t just a product, it’s an institution and a corporate behemoth. And right now it is facing a lawsuit in New York brought by two bottling plant workers from Guatemala.
Stefan Armbruster | BBC | April 2, 2003
A US court has ruled that Coca-Cola's main Latin American bottler can stand trial for allegedly hiring right-wing paramilitaries to kill and intimidate union leaders in Colombia.
Erin McCormick | The Guardian | February 27, 2020
Coke, Pepsi, Nestlé and other large companies are being sued by a California environmental group for creating a plastic pollution “nuisance” and misleading consumers about the recyclability of plastic.
Laura Lerner | The Intercept | October 18, 2019
Audio obtained by The Intercept reveals how Coca-Cola’s “green” philanthropy helped squelch an important tool in fighting the plastic crisis.
Gabrielle Canon | The Guardian | June 6, 2019
Undercover footage showing young dairy calves being kicked, violently thrown, having their heads stamped into the ground and suffering from heat exposure at a US farm known as the “Disneyland of agricultural tourism” was published this week.
Greenpeace | October 2, 2017
Greenpeace has begun a worldwide campaign against Coca-Cola. It is high time that the soft drink multinational acknowledges responsibility for its contribution to plastic soup and sets a sustainable course.
India: 13 years after shut down of bottling plant in Kerala, villagers allege they don't have clean drinking water, waiting for justice for effects of pollution
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre | April 24, 2016
In March 2000, Coca Cola, under its Indian subsidiary Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCCBPL), commenced operations at its bottling plant at Plachimada, in the southern state of Kerala. Over the next few years, the area surrounding the plant allegedly began to feel the plant’s hazardous effects, as groundwater was contaminated and toxic waste released.
Ground Views | August 30, 2015
On 17th August 2015, local authorities discovered a leakage of diesel into the Kelani river, the source of drinking water for millions of Sri Lankans. Water supply in several parts of Sri Lanka including its commercial capital Colombo had to be suspended.
War on Want | November 19, 2007
Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The company claims to adhere to the "highest ethical standards" and to be "an outstanding corporate citizen in every community we serve". Yet Coca-Cola's activities around the world tell a different story.
Matthew Gruchow | Minnesota Daily | November 15, 2004
A group of demonstrators gathered Friday at Coffman Union to protest what it believes is The Coca-Cola Company’s harmful foreign water practices.
Ana Swanson | The New York Times | November 29, 2020
Nike and Coca-Cola are among the major companies and business groups lobbying Congress to weaken a bill that would ban imported goods made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, according to congressional staff members and other people familiar with the matter, as well as lobbying records that show vast spending on the legislation.
Philippines: Unions accuse Coca-Cola of using COVID-19 as pretext to target & dismiss union leaders; Company denies allegations
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre | July 7, 2020
Coca-Cola management in the Philippines is using COVID-19 as a pretext to target and dismiss union leaders at the San Fernando plant in Pampanga province, according to the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF).
Peniley Ramírez | Univision | March 13, 2017
The company is aware that children participate in the garbage collection. However, it does not appear that it has taken strict measures to avoid it, even though the company in principle opposes the direct or indirect use of child labor in its supply chains.
Agence France-Presse | Industry Week | November 24, 2016
More than 600 workers go on strike after Coca-Cola announced it was selling its bottling interests in China. Separately, Sony factory workers in Guangzhou have halted production for two weeks in protest at the sale of the Huanan subsidiary to a Chinese company.
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre | March 11, 2015
The strikers said that their salaries range from 500 to 1200 Egyptian pounds ($65-$157) only, which according to the workers is an insufficient amount that is incompatible with the price hike in Egypt and the effort put by distribution workers in the job.
Reuters | November 17, 2005
Turkish union workers sued the Coca-Cola Co and Turkish bottling partner Coca-Cola Icecek on Tuesday, claiming human rights violations and saying the soft-drink giant used Turkish secret police to perpetrate a tear gas attack at a local labor dispute.
Note: Most recent list is not always the most complete list.
- Coca-Cola Subsidiaries (via U.S. SEC 2018)
- Coca-Cola Subsidiaries (via U.S. SEC 2017)
- Coca-Cola Subsidiaries (via U.S. SEC 2015)
Croctail Subsidiary Tool using the CorpWatch API - This API uses automated parsers to extract the subsidiary relationship information from Exhibit 21 of companies' 10-K filings with the SEC.
- Coca-Cola Croctail
Jea Yu & Kimberly Overcast | Investopedia | May 15, 2021
Coca-Cola (KO) soda began in 1886 when Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton created the now-famous soft drink, which was sold in the soda fountain of a pharmacy.
Open Secrets - Tracks corporate lobbying of US politicians.
Import & Export Data
ImportYeti - Shipping Tracking Tool - Bill of ladings are public information that are too cost prohibitive, challenging to obtain and difficult to use for the average joe. ImportYeti's goal is to solve that problem.
Cliff Taylor | Irish Times | December 10, 2020
The Government points out that the tax rules here have changed – but with corporate tax receipts soaring as the big players move more assets here, there is no doubt that Ireland remains firmly in the spotlight.
Pan Demetrakakes | Food Processing | November 19, 2020
Coca-Cola has been evading taxes through accounting practices that allow the company to shunt profits overseas, a tax court judge has ruled.
Moriti Neto | O Joio e o Trigo | October 18, 2018
When Coca-Cola benefits from “tax gifts” earned in the Free Economic Zone of Manaus in Brazil, as we have shown, and it remits profits to the United States to the “administrative” head office registered in Delaware, the transnational beverage company benefits twice from billionaires tax maneuvers.
Kevin Drawbaugh | Reuters | April 1, 2018
Coca-Cola Co KO.N thought it had a deal with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on how much the company charged foreign affiliates for the rights to make and sell Coke products abroad.
Khadija Sharife | 100 Reporters | December 3, 2015
The Cayman-based Conco is one of more than 25 entities located in tax havens – just over 30 percent of the company’s total “financial” subsidiary disclosures, exposing a strategy explained by the company in the annual report as “tax planning.”
James O'brien | The Verge | May 31, 2018
When Coca-Cola announced plans earlier this year to recycle the equivalent of 100 percent of its packaging by 2030, the company touted the effort as building on its success with sustainable water use.
Jacob Kushner | The World | September 29, 2014
Last year, Coca-Cola announced a $100 million partnership with the International Finance Corporation to provide business skills training and micro-loans to “empower” women — those who sell Coca-Cola products, that is.
India: Activists claim Coca Cola forced to abandon expansion plans due to their efforts, company cited inordinate delay in approvals
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre | August 24, 2014
Coca Cola has decided not to pursue the expansion of its bottling on grounds of inordinate delay in receiving environmental clearances, however, activists campaigning against the expansion said the Coca Cola was "forced to abandon".
Perry Wheeler | Greenpeace | January 19, 2018
Greenpeace today criticized Coca Cola's new global plastics plan for failing to address the urgency of ocean plastic pollution.
Jacob Kushner | The World | September 29, 2014
Some here call the Mlalakua River by a different name: the Coca-Cola River. The nickname comes from the red-brown hue of the water. But it may also reflect the fact that among those factories that line the river’s banks is a Coca-Cola bottling plant, one of three in Tanzania.