Coca-Cola

Profile

Summary

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.

 

Products

carbonated soft drinks

Violations

Top 5 Offense Groups (Groups Defined)Penalty TotalNumber of Records
employment-related offenses$239,474,64126
safety-related offenses$811,50968
environment-related offenses$590,04716
consumer-protection-related offenses$325,0001
financial offenses$136,5001

(April 23, 2021) 

Number of Records
112
Total Penalties
$241,337,697 (April 23, 2021)
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.

Stories

Article Archive

Coca-Cola: The Alternative Report

Published by
War on Want
|

IntroductionThis is the third in a series of War on Want alternative company reports.Their purpose is to compare and contrast the rhetoric of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with the reality of companies’ a

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Coca-Cola yet again top global plastic polluter

Published by
Down to Earth
|

The Coca-Cola Co has emerged as the No.1 global plastic polluter for the second consecutive year, according to a report on the top 10 plastic polluting companies in the world. The beverages brand was followed by Nestlé SA and PepsiCo In.

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Videos & Podcasts
Protesters call for boycott of Coca-Cola
Staff of Coca Cola protest dismissal of 30 of their colleagues
Plachimada vs Coca-Cola: Residents still fight for justice, 15 years after the coke plant shut down

 

Books
  • Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola by Mark Thomas (2008).
  • Citizen Coke by Bartow J. Elmore (2014).
  • Coca-Cola: An Illustrated History by Pat Watters (1978).
  • Coca-Cola: The Alternative Report by War on Want (2006)
  • 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 Big Drink: The Story of Coca-Cola by E.J. Kahn Jr. (1960).The Coke Machine by Michael Blanding (2010).
  • The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink by Michael Blanding (2010)The Cola Wars by J.C. Louis and Harvey Z. Yazijian (1980).
  • The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company by Constance Hays (2004).

Historical References

Did Coca-Cola Ever Contain Cocaine?

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. 

Coke bottler faces death suit

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.

Activism

Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
Leaked Audio Reveals How Coca-Cola Undermines Plastic Recycling Efforts

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.

Greenpeace slams Coca-Cola plastic announcement as ‘dodging the main issue’

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.

Greenpeace campaign “Coca-Cola is flooding our oceans with plastic”

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.

Coca-Cola: drinking the world dry

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.

The Case Against Coke

Michael Blanding | The Nation | April 13, 2006

A global, grassroots campaign against Coca-Cola is using product bans and lawsuits to shed light on the corporate giant's exploitation and brutality in Colombia, India and elsewhere.

Protest at U starts campaign against Coca-Cola’s water use

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.

Major Investigations
Coke and Pepsi sued for creating a plastic pollution ‘nuisance’

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.

Fairlife, Coca-Cola, hit with second wave of lawsuits over animal abuse allegations

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.

Secret footage exposes abuse of calves at Coca-Cola affiliated dairy farm

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.

Coke claims to give back as much water as it uses. An investigation shows it isn’t even close

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.

Coca-Cola Sued for ‘Campaign of Violence’ in Guatemala

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.

Employment Practices
Coca-Cola workers in Ghana protest unfair dismissal of colleagues

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.

Coca-Cola plant employees protest, demanding better health care agreement in midst of pandemic

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. 

Chinese Coca-Cola Workers Strike Over Asset Sale

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.

Turk workers sue Coke

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.

Financials

Corporate Headquarters
1 Coca Cola Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
Most Recent Gross Revenue
$37.266 billion (2019) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
$8.920 billion (2019) | source
Stock Exchange Tickers
NYSE: KO
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details of subsidies received by Coca-Cola.
Major Projects
Coke claims to give back as much water as it uses. An investigation shows it isn’t even close

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.

Procurement

CorpWatch is still gathering procurement data on Coca Cola at this time.

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