Coca-Cola (Coke)

Georgia
Food Beverage and Tobacco

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

Summary:

Coca-Cola Co. has demonstrated a willingness to terminate relationships with organizations based on ideology and require unconstitutional diversity mandates from vendors and suppliers. It lacks policies to prevent viewpoint discrimination, while it denounced local legislative efforts to reform election security and protect the unborn. Coca-Cola will not give to faith-based charities but gives to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Based on its policies and past practices, Coca-Cola Company receives a "High Risk" rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

Coca-Cola Co. received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index from the HRC. Among other requirements, this means Coca-Cola has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (1). Coca-Cola terminated its relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council  in 2012 after Color of Change boycotted the organization (2). Coca-Cola also sent out a letter to all of its law firms demanding that they meet its demands for at least 30% of billable hours going to “diverse” hires (3). The General Counsel was later fired.

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Coca-Cola (including its foundation) does not grant requests for community support to “religious endeavors” (1).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

In a 2017 workplace rights document, Coca-Cola provided protections from religious and viewpoint discrimination (1). In a 2020 update, only religious protections were provided (2).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Coca-Cola signed an open letter supporting the Equality Act (1). Coca-Cola was also one of many Georgia-based companies that spoke out against the state’s election reform law (2). Atlanta-headquartered Coca-Cola was initially silent regarding the 2021 controversy surrounding the 2021 MLB All-Star game, but later gave in to pressure and publicly condemned Georgia’s voting election reform bill, which likely influenced the decision to relocate the game out of Atlanta (3). The corporation also denounced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation in Georgia in 2016 and the heartbeat bill in 2019 (4)(5). Employee training encouraged employees to “be less white” and promoted aspects of critical race theory (6).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Coca-Cola is a Platinum corporate partner of the HRC and donated to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (1) (2). Coca-Cola also donated to the ADL, a group that censors speech, and has received criticism for overtly censoring conservatives (3) (4).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

Coca-Cola has donated $2,500 to the Equality PAC (1).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
March 21, 2023

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