World Wildlife Fund and the Coca-Cola Company: A Global Partnership for Freshwater Conservation

20 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by E. Richard II Brownlee

E. Richard II Brownlee

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Allison Elias

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

This case is used in Darden's "Economics of Water" course elective. Suzanne Apple, senior vice president of private sector engagement at World Wildlife Fund-United States (WWF), was preparing for an important meeting with her counterpart at The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC). The two companies had formed a tremendously successful partnership several years earlier that focused on freshwater conservation and other environmental issues. With the original agreement set to expire, Apple needed to draft recommendations for a new agreement, ensuring that WWF's priorities aligned with TCCC's, and vice versa. But what should the scope and goals of the new partnership be? This case is supported by a teaching note for instructors.

Excerpt

UVA-ENT-0204

Rev. Oct. 9, 2015

World Wildlife Fund and The Coca-Cola Company:

A Global Partnership for Freshwater Conservation

Suzanne Apple, senior vice president of private sector engagement at World Wildlife Fund-United States (WWF-U.S.), believed that managing the five-year partnership agreement with The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), which had formally begun in 2007 and was about to expire, was one of her most rewarding and significant career accomplishments. This partnership pioneered a new model of collaboration between a global corporation and a global environmental nongovernmental organization (ENGO) that advanced both conservation and business objectives, but it was not without controversy. The partnership had focused primarily on freshwater conservation, a priority area for both WWF and TCCC, but it had also addressed climate change and sustainable agriculture issues. Because both organizations viewed the original partnership as successful and beneficial, both had expressed interest in continuing the relationship. Thus, although the creation of a new partnership was not really in doubt, its content and duration still needed to be developed. That task would primarily fall to Apple and her counterpart at TCCC, Greg Koch, managing director of global water stewardship. They had worked closely together over the past several years, and Apple looked forward to her upcoming meeting with Koch, at which they planned to finalize the specific content of the new partnership agreement. They would subsequently present their recommendations to their respective organizations for approval.

Apple was energized about spending the weekend preparing for her meeting with Koch, and she decided that it would be a good idea to take some time at the outset to reflect on how the original agreement came about, just what had been accomplished to date, and how things had evolved and changed over the agreement's duration. She believed this would provide her with a good start in preparing her recommendations regarding the new agreement. Some of the key components to be decided included whether there should be an overall theme for the new partnership and, if so, what it should be; the financial arrangements; the contract duration; and the scope and targets of the issues to be addressed. Apple knew that Koch would be spending the weekend engaged in a similar task, and she wondered just how similar their recommendations would turn out to be.

. . .

Keywords: freshwater, conservation, environment, partnership, nongovernmental organization, Coca-Cola, Coke, WWF, water, water scarcity, NGO

Suggested Citation

Brownlee, E. Richard II and Elias, Allison, World Wildlife Fund and the Coca-Cola Company: A Global Partnership for Freshwater Conservation. Darden Case No. UVA-ENT-0204, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974326

E. Richard II Brownlee (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Allison Elias

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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