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Case Study: Coke in India


Submitted By hk01wong
Words 922
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Case Study – Coke in India
Adapted by Lesley Fleischman from:
Hills, Jonathan and Welford, Richard. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. 12, 168–177 (2005)



Coke has 44 wholly owned and franchise owned bottling plants in India
Indian NGO finds that Coke and Pepsi products bottled in India contain pesticides.
Immediate impact on Coke stock price.
Coke threatened legal action over allegations.
Indian government tests confirm findings.

Coke hires PR firm, develops strategy to deflect media attention away
Escalating community protests at bottling plants, demonstrations, hunger strikes, etc. December


June 2004




April 2005

May 2005

Ordered by Indian court to stop drawing groundwater for its bottling plant in
Plachimada, Kerala
Judge ruled that no power to allow a private party to extract such a huge quantity of groundwater
Protesters claim that Coke water use was reducing agricultural yields
Coke cited lack of rainfall, not their operations, as cause of crop declines
Parliamentary committee finds high amounts of pesticide residue in Coke and Pepsi products bottled in India
Not illegal, Indian safety standards weak
Coke application for new bottling plant in Plachimada denied by local authorities because of groundwater use and wastewater
Pepsi had operations in same region, no similar denial
Coke works with local and national authorities to reassess its waste treatment
Denied that its operations in Plachimada using too much groundwater, but committed to using ‘advanced rainfall harvesting technology’ to help replenish the groundwater after a 60% decrease in rainfall over the previous

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