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Coca-Cola: More than just a soda
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Coca-Cola: More than just a soda

Post Date: December 19, 2012

By Marlon D. Deleon, Communications Assistant

When asking CSULB students if they’ve heard of the Forty-Niner Shops, they usually respond with “the bookstore,” and although the Bookstore Services division is a major branch of the Shops, there’s a little more to them. When you think of Coca-Cola, your first thoughts are probably soda, the iconic silhouette of the glass bottle, and maybe polar bears. In similar fashion, the Coca-Cola Company is much more than “just soda.”

In early November, employees were given the opportunity to learn a little more about one of the Shops’ corporate partners when they were invited to visit the bottling facility in Downey, California and hear about sustainability efforts foreign and domestic. Full-time, part-time, and student employees from Bookstore, Dining, and Corporate departments, along with their guests, were treated to an inside look of this major bottling and distribution facility.

“It surprised me to hear about Coca-Cola’s efforts in being a more sustainable company. The bio-diesel transport trucks, the recycling of their water using reverse osmosis, and their water restoration projects around the nation. I can’t believe people don’t know about their contribution to the protection of our environment.” -Sandy Rivera, Frontline Student Assistant Everyone in attendance (of course, while enjoying Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, and Dasani water) was pleasantly surprised to learn about international efforts in water replenishment, environmental protection, and the pursuit of zero-waste facilities. Zero-waste execution refers to the amount of waste that makes to a landfill. This would mean that all materials are recycled, composted, or reclaimed for further use within the facility that produced/used it.

Jamie Ortiz, Communications—Graphics Student Supervisor, said, “Coke is one of the Shops’ biggest partners. Hearing about their sustainability practices is comforting, because they play such a huge part here on campus and around the world.” Although this presentation and tour was via special invitation, if you have the opportunity to take one, you should. Rivera continued, “We all agreed that it felt as though we were in Coke’s own version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The bonus was drinking the various Coke products throughout the entire tour.”

For this group of employees, Coca-Cola is now more than just a soda, but the partnership doesn’t stop there. Just before the start of the school year, CSULB was awarded a $500,000 grant for the First Generation Scholarship Program. This means that 25 CSULB students will be awarded four-year scholarships, courtesy of the Coca-Cola Foundation.

So if you grab a soda from the Beach Hut, Outpost, or even the Pyramid or Blair Field, remember our partners at the Coca-Cola Company and know they’ve teamed up with the Forty-Niner Shops to make that path to the diploma a little more refreshing.