Coke Asks College Kids to Focus on the Environment

Competition Supports 2010 Shanghai World Expo's 'Better City, Better Life' Theme

By Published on .

SHANGHAI ( -- Coca-Cola Co. has developed a college environmental protection contest as part of its sponsorship of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo to tap the creativity of students and help address China's environmental challenges.

The promotion supports the theme of next year's Expo, "Better City, Better Life."

University students can submit ideas in the form of art, audio, video or other mediums through a co-promotion with Tencent, who'se site has become one of the leading portals in China. Web surfers can enter submissions and vote on entries through the end of this year on a dedicated QQ site, Some of the first entries can be viewed in English and Mandarin on a Coke China web site,

The winning entries will be promoted nationwide and winners will attend the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and showcase their work at the Coca-Cola pavilion, a 3,000 square-meter site with several thematic experience sections and an understandable focus on environmental issues. China's rapid industrialization over the past 25 years has resulted in major environmental problems, including 16 of the world's 20 most-polluted cities, according to the World Bank.
Air pollution is a serious issue in two-thirds of China's 338 largest cities, according to government statistics, and causes diseases that kill an estimated 656,000 Chinese a year, says the World Health Organization.

Almost all the nation's rivers are polluted, and 90% of underground water in cities is affected. Half the estimated 1.3 billion population lacks access to clean drinking water.

Coke has organized one of the largest student creativity contests ever held in China and the biggest one aimed at improving the environment, said Kenth Kaerhoeg, the company's Hong Kong-based group communications director for Asia. "[It] encourages the public to embrace an active and balanced lifestyle and commit to making sustainable thinking and actions a part of their lives."

Coke is promoting the contest with a roadshow of exhibits related to sustainability. It also produced limited-edition Coca-Cola cans and PET bottles, featuring the China Pavilion and the Expo logo.

In March 2009, Coke partnered with the Expo organizers in Shanghai to celebrate the 400-day countdown by turning off lights in observance of Earth Hour. In April, Coke unveiled a limited edition Coca-Cola pin set commemorating the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

The contest unites the Expo theme of sustainability and Coke's current corporate slogan, "Live positively," said Howard Lam, general manager of Coke's 2010 World Expo group. The goal is to "uncover small changes that can be put into practice in homes, schools, workplaces and cities."

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