FLINT, Mich. (Feb. 28, 2017) – The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé Waters North America, the PepsiCo Foundation and the Walmart Foundation today announced that they have partnered to fund an integrated recycling education and awareness initiative for the 10,000 school students affected by the Flint water crisis, led by national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful and its local Flint, Michigan, affiliate Keep Genesee County Beautiful (KGCB).
In January 2016, the four companies announced they would provide up to 6.5 million bottles of safe and clean drinking water to Flint school students. From the outset of the program, they have been providing for the storage and delivery of the bottled water, as well as the transporting of the empty water bottles for recycling.
The new initiative provides funding for a multi-tiered educational approach aimed at increasing the number of plastic bottles that are recycled within school grounds as well as create opportunities to provide students, teachers and staff with the knowledge and the passion to recycle at home, at school and on-the-go.
“Keep America Beautiful is thrilled to receive broad support from a host of partners in our efforts to educate, motivate and activate Flint’s students, teachers and the broader school community to properly recycle the tremendous amount of material that is being generated,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “This is a great opportunity for us to work closely with Keep Genesee County Beautiful to make a meaningful difference in improving recycling throughout Flint and to teach the next generation of environmental stewards the benefits of recycling and how to recycle right.”
The K-12 school-based program objectives are to:
- Provide outreach, tools, resources and activities to educate, motivate and activate students, staff and teachers to recycle more and recycle right;
- Organize, support and share resources with recycling champions at each school to support day-to-day recycling efforts;
- Share best practices and support school personnel responsible for collecting and consolidating recycling at each school on proper recycling bin placement, signage and collection of the recyclables; and
- Track and report the amount of recyclables being collected by the schools with the goal of achieving a 25 percent increase in recycling.
“Promoting recycling education and infrastructure to Flint schools in partnership with Keep America Beautiful is important and something we are actively engaged in,” said Aaron Stallings, Walmart Market Manager for the North Central Division. “We see this program contributing to a more resilient and sustainable Flint.”
“The Coca-Cola Company understands the importance of ongoing support for the residents of the City of Flint. Providing water for daily use was the first step and the promotion of recycling and recycling education round out this support,” said Bruce Karas, Vice President, Environment and Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company North America. “We must all do our part to ensure that residents’ needs are met and the City of Flint returns to the viable and vibrant city we all know it can be.”
“Water is a human right and as soon as the PepsiCo team learned about Flint and their drinking water supply, we reached out to be part of creating sustainable, local solutions,” said Tim Carey, Senior Director Sustainability and Recycling, PepsiCo. “We all want to be part of communities with abundant natural resources so PepsiCo is pleased to support the City of Flint and other partners to give back to Genesee County. We’re striving to collect every bottle and every can as part of this powerful partnership.”
“Access to clean, safe drinking water is the right of every man, woman and child. That is why helping our neighbors in Flint is something we’ve been proud to do,” said Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer for Nestlé Waters North America. “But our shared commitment doesn’t end there. We now need to work together so the bottles the coalition used to deliver safe drinking water are recovered and recycled. Together with our coalition partners and the families of Flint, we are very pleased to kick-start a massive recycling opportunity.”
Keep America Beautiful is working in tandem with KGCB to tailor the recycling educational lesson plans, tools and activities for Flint’s students, while ongoing recycling education and program implementation is being conducted by KGCB staff and volunteers. Resources include take-home materials in an effort to bring the school education and experience home, reaching families in their residences to also enhance curbside recycling participation.
“Since this crisis began, Keep Genesee County Beautiful has been the ‘go-to’ recycling resource for the Flint community. We help Flint residents cope with the water crisis by raising awareness and educating residents about the benefits of recycling, by signing up residents for curbside recycling and being a pickup point for recycling bins,” said Karen West, Program Director/Lead Consultant, KGCB. “We are incredibly grateful for this financial support and appreciate the opportunity to work with Keep America Beautiful and the students and staff of Flint schools to encourage, educate and engage the community in recycling.”
Keep America Beautiful is providing materials from its Waste in Place curriculum; its “I Want To Be Recycled” public service advertising campaign; Recycle-Bowl, its national in-school K-12 recycling competition; America Recycles Day and other resources as part of the overall programming to improve the in-school recycling rate.
View the Flint school-based recycling education program press conference here.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,528 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482.1 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting https://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at https://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/walmart.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.
About PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, the PepsiCo Foundation works with non-profit partners to develop innovative, sustainable solutions that address challenges in underserved communities around the world. The Foundation, along with PepsiCo and its employees, seeks to catalyze efforts that advance our Performance with Purpose 2025 goals related to increasing access to positive nutrition, providing access to safe water and enabling young women to progress through school and be successful in the workforce. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Global-Citizenship.
About Nestle Waters North America
Nestlé Waters North America provides people with an unrivaled portfolio of bottled waters for healthy hydration. Brands such as Nestlé® Pure Life®, Ice Mountain®, Poland Spring®, Perrier® and S.Pellegrino® have driven Nestlé Waters North America to be the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company by volume in the U.S. Based in Stamford, Connecticut with about 8,500 employees nationwide, Nestlé Waters is committed to reducing its environmental footprint across operations. As a natural resource company, Nestlé Waters sustainably manage about 40 spring sites, as well as nearly 14,000 acres of watershed as open space. The company is also committed to creating shared value and being a good neighbor in the 140 communities where it operates in the U.S.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands and nearly 3,900 beverage choices. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our company’s portfolio features 21 billion-dollar brands, 19 of which are available in reduced-, low- or no-calorie options. These brands include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dasani, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Del Valle, Georgia and Gold Peak. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, we are the No. 1 provider of both sparkling and still beverages. More than 1.9 billion servings of our beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries each day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at https://www.coca-colacompany.com/, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at https://www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.
About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country in which every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 620 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals.
About Keep Genesee County Beautiful
Keep Genesee Beautiful encourages, educates and engages residents in creating beautiful, clean, sustainable neighborhoods, parks and open spaces throughout the City of Flint and Genesee County. Our goal is to improve communities, their environment and quality of life, by cultivating personal responsibility in our citizens, with recycling being an essential part of that goal. Keep Genesee County Beautiful became Michigan’s first affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in April 2004, has received the prestigious national President’s Circle Award for 12 consecutive years and is one of this year’s Keep America Beautiful National Innovation Award winners. In January 2016, KGCB became an official program of the Genesee County Parks.
(Photo above) The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle Waters North America, the PepsiCo Foundation and the Walmart Foundation are partnering to fund an integrated recycling education and awareness initiative for all 10,000 Flint school students led by national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful and its local Flint, Michigan, affiliate Keep Genesee County Beautiful. Pictured from left at the press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan: Jim Winkler, VP and Regional General Manager, Walmart; Bruce Karas, VP, Environment and Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company; Scott Henzi, Regional VP, PepsiCo; Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nestle Waters North America; Karen West, Executive Director, Keep Genesee County Beautiful; Pamela Hadly, Superintendent, Ritchfield Public Academy; and Sharrece Farris, Deputy Superintendent, Flint Community Schools. (Photo by Chris Farina, Futura Photography)