The Coca-Cola Company starts delivering essentials like purified water and WiFi access in packs—or, more preciously, in kiosks—to the deprived regions as part of the EKOCENTER initiative. For the effort, aimed to improve well-being and social conditions in the rural communities in developing countries, the soft drinks giant teams up with a number of partners including DEKA R&D, IBM, McCann Health, NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG) and UPS to name a few.
The shipping units that work as “downtowns in a box” are designed in Coca-Cola’s signature red and white colours. They provide communities with an access to the water purification system, Slingshot, that uses vapor compression distillation to make dirty water safe. The kiosks are also offering a selection to “a locally tailored mix of products, services and resources that may include sustainable energy, wireless communications, refrigerated vaccination storage, health education,” states Coca-Cola in the press release.
In addition to delivering essentials, the kiosks are also to become centers for developing entrepreneurship in poor regions. In particular, the initiative is to inspire women in the area to start their own businesses. Operators of the kiosks—women and other entrepreneurs—will be invited to join the business skills trainings. These will be similar to the Coca-Cola’s 5by20 initiative aimed to engage 5 million female entrepreneurs across Coca-Cola’s chain by 2020.
The first EKOCENTER pilot venue has been installed in Heidelberg, South Africa. The partners hope to bring about 1,500-2,000 kiosks that will deliver essential services to 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America by the end of 2015. The goal of the initiative is to bring 500 million liters of safe drinking water to around 45,000 people in its first two years.
Read Coca-Cola’s official note to find out more about the initiative and learn in detail how each of the partners contributes to it.