President Clinton and Leading CEOs Call on Private Sector to Develop Corporate Solutions to Global ChallengesMay 13, 2009
Washington, D.C. - President Bill Clinton today joined the chief executives of The Coca-Cola Company and Archer Daniels Midland Company in a forum hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the Brookings Institution on creating value for business and society.
The forum explored ways that leading CEOs are successfully integrating corporate social responsibility and sustainability programs into their core business in ways that enhance the bottom line. The panelists called on other major CEOs to follow suit, and provided examples of how major multinational companies are utilizing innovative practices to increase profits, reduce costs, and simultaneously fight climate change, increase educational opportunities, and reduce poverty.
At the forum, Archer Daniels Midland Company Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz announced ADM Cares, a social investment program that targets up to one percent of pretax earnings to initiatives that advance societal improvements in areas that are related to the company's business.
Today, the Harvard Kennedy School and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation released a new study on The Coca-Cola Company's Manual Distribution Centers (MDCs). The study demonstrated "the potential of large corporations to build economically viable business linkages with small enterprises in their value chains, which can also have development benefits." The MDCs account for over 80 percent of the company's sales in East Africa while creating small-business ownership opportunities and jobs for an increasing number of first-time entrepreneurs and women. To date, the Coca-Cola system has created over 2,500 MDCs in Africa employing over 12,000 people and generating over $500 million in annual revenues.
"The perception that businesses must choose between turning a profit and improving the communities where they operate is outdated and irrelevant in our interdependent world," said President Clinton. "Through the Clinton Global Initiative, more than 1,400 commitments valued at $46 billion are improving more than 200 million lives in 150 countries. Hundreds of these commitments, made by some of the world's leading companies, are demonstrating that investments in social and environmental programs in local communities and on other continents benefit both society and the bottom line."
"Building a sustainable future for our Company requires us to focus our efforts on initiatives that are good for communities and good for our Company," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. "That's why we're embedding the preservation of water and other natural resources into our business operations. And it's why we're focused on supporting jobs and economic empowerment everywhere we do business."
"Global businesses are uniquely positioned to harness the power of intellectual and financial capital to create progress," said Patricia A. Woertz, chairman and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Company. "As a leading agricultural processor, ADM's success, and the future we share with all, depends on the responsible, sustainable development of agriculture throughout the world. Our new ADM Cares program helps foster this development, supporting initiatives that teach sound agricultural practices, preserve and enhance environmentally sensitive lands, and further social and economic development in the hundreds of communities we call home."
The panel discussion offered a preview of CGI's Fifth Annual Meeting, taking place in New York City September 22-25, 2009. In a departure from past years, CGI plans to address climate change, education, global health and poverty alleviation in ways that will help businesses engage on these great global challenges. These Action Areas will be: Harnessing Innovation for Development; Strengthening Infrastructure; Developing Human Capital; and Financing a Sustainable Future.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state, 14 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,400 commitments valued at $46 billion, which have already improved the lives of 200 million people in 150 countries. Commitments made at the 2008 Annual Meeting are expected to affect almost 160 million people. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship; CGI Asia; and MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make their own Commitment to Action. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
Every day, the 27,000 people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) turn crops into renewable products that meet the demands of a growing world. At more than 230 processing plants, we convert corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses. We operate the world's premier crop origination and transportation network, connecting crops and markets in more than 60 countries. Our global headquarters is in Decatur, Illinois, and our net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, were $70 billion. For more information about our Company and our products, visit www.adm.com.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No.1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our Web site at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.