Monday, December 03, 2007

Coca-Cola Company Supports Polar Bear Conservation With World Wildlife Fund

ATLANTA — As part of a larger commitment to climate protection, The Coca-Cola Company launched a new Web site, to help raise public awareness about the plight of the polar bear. Through the new digital portal and North America Coca-Cola stores, consumers can directly support polar bear conservation projects undertaken by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The company has also established a conservation seed fund called the Coca-Cola Polar Bear Support Fund, which will support new and existing projects by WWF.

"The polar bear has been an icon of Coca-Cola holiday marketing for nearly a century," said Jeff Seabright, vice president, Environment and Water Resources. "As its habitat declines with accelerating polar ice melt, the polar bear is now also a symbol of climate change. With this effort we hope to help WWF protect an animal that means so much to our Company and our consumers around the world

In addition to basic information about polar bear populations and habitat, the site includes external links to WWF that allow users to donate directly to WWF or to symbolically adopt a polar bear. The launch, along with the availability of polar bear e-cards, has been timed to encourage people to remember and support polar bears during the holiday season.

Until Dec. 31, consumers also will have the opportunity to support WWF's polar bear conservation efforts at all four North America Coca-Cola retail stores. Shoppers will be able to add $1, $3 or $5 to their purchase at checkout for donation to WWF. In addition, for every plush bear sold at Coca-Cola retail stores, The Coca-Cola Company will contribute $1 to WWF for polar bear conservation.

WWF is dedicated to ensuring that polar bear populations across the Arctic are more resilient to climate change and have a better chance of adapting to and surviving a warming Arctic. The WWF strategy focuses on reducing direct threats to polar bears, their habitat and their prey; engaging scientists, communities and other partners in conservation of the species and coastal and marine habitats; promoting and supporting field research; and communicating globally about the threats to the species.

The iconic polar bear advertising has become synonymous with Coca-Cola and its products. And it's nice to see the company lending support and helping to generate awareness about the plight of these animals. Today, less than 25,000 polar bears live in the wild and the species may become officially listed as endangered in the near future. Conservation solutions are needed today if the polar bear is to survive in the wild tomorrow.

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