Today close to 800 million people lack access to safe drinking water, nearly half the world lives on less than $2 a day and a quarter of humanity gets by without electricity. To help address some of these issues and spur economic and social development, Coca-Cola is partnering with public and private sector organisations to bring basic necessities to millions of people through EKOCENTER™, with a vision to empower community well-being through social enterprise.
For more than 125 years, The Coca-Cola Company has been committed to making a positive, lasting difference in the local communities where we operate. Through EKOCENTER, we are striving to continue this commitment. The project will bring necessities to some of the most remote and distressed areas of the world and also empower communities through entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.
What Is EKOCENTER?
EKOCENTER is a modular community market that is run by a local woman entrepreneur and also provides safe water, solar power and Internet access.
Integrating Coca-Cola’s sustainability priorities of well-being, women and water, EKOCENTER focuses on communities that are without access to basic goods and services. It is an “off-the-grid,” modularly designed kiosk that becomes a hub of community activity by providing a place of commerce as well as safe drinking water, solar power and wireless communication. Other functionality that can be added to jump-start community development includes social facilities and entertainment; power generation for charging phones; cooling/refrigeration of vaccines; education opportunities; and much more.
In 2014, we placed 25 EKOCENTERs in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Vietnam and in 2015 our goal is to place up to 150 additional units to prove out our business model.
The pilots will be conducted in collaboration with our partner SOLARKIOSK (www.solarkiosk.eu), a private company based in Berlin, Germany. SOLARKIOSK combines an award-winning design and innovative technology with an inclusive business model to enable economic and social development in off-the-grid communities. Since 2012 SOLARKIOSK has piloted kiosks in remote areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Botswana. The kiosks are designed by Graft Architects (www.graftlab.com), also from Germany.
Community participation and support are essential to the success of EKOCENTER, which is why we envision EKOCENTER being operated by local female entrepreneurs, complementing our 5by20 initiative, with assistance from technology, development, and financial partners.
How We’re Doing This: The Golden Triangle SOLARKIOSK Graft Pentair Ericsson Global Environment & Technology Fund IBM Inter-American Development Bank McCann Health Global Water Challenge