Coca Cola Company is a worldwide soft drink company with an international market presence in over 200 countries. The company is primarily based in Atlanta Georgia, USA and has traditionally operated by the trademark Coke. Coca Cola is now the world’s biggest soft drink company with a market dominance that can be traced back to the 20th century (Tuleja and O’Rourke, 2008, p. 91). In this regard, Coca Cola has extensive operations in most of its franchises around the globe. Expansively, this has also led to increased operations for the company both internally and externally. This has led to an expansion of its operations management functions throughout all sectors of the company. Many of its operations are overseen under several departments including production, manufacturing, marketing, environmental management among others.
For the purpose of this study we will evaluate the company’s performance regarding its environmental operations management functions. This is an integral operations process for the company because it strives to maintain responsible stewardship by providing products to the customers in the most environmentally friendly way. The company also intends to achieve environmental stability and sustenance in the long run by exemplifying this priority as one of its daily tasks. In relation, the company undertook a new name eKOsystem to represent this operation (Coca Cola, 2009).
This operations management process ensures the company complies to all legislative requirements in respective countries of operation. However, the company boasts of not only exceeding compliance to existing environmental laws; it also integrates sound environmental practices into the company’s day to day operations in the absence of specific regulatory requirements (Rainey, 2006, p. 292). This operations management process is therefore very crucial for the company’s operations around the globe and remains a key operational area for the company’s success.
Strategic Objectives of the Organization and the Selected Operation/Process
The company’s main objective is to provide customers with good products, made in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The environmental implications are therefore vey important when other operations of the company take place. In this regard, decision making is undertaken quite cautiously with consideration to environmental implications. Environmental operations management is therefore key when developing new brands, equipment, processes and facilities because they ought to be in line with the organizational vision of operating in an environmentally friendly way (Coca Cola, 2009).
In line with the company’s organizational goals, environmental operations management increases the company’s position with regard to compliance with existing legal laws on environmental preservation. This is observed during product design; modifying company’s equipments, packaging, facilities, business environment and the likes.
Operations management also increases opportunities for creative design and principles for the compliance of environmental laws. These opportunities are formed from a comprehensive and interactive approach that includes all stakeholders in the organization. This increases the company’s profile with regard to adherence to environmental laws when compared to other companies. Operations management also provides and opportunity for the company to review its capital projects in light of environmental issues. The company can therefore make informed decisions and take action on specific environmental concerns.
At Coca Cola, operations that incorporate environmental management and rejuvenate the company’s commitment towards environmental compliance are intrinsically incorporated into the business design and the cycle of planning. This also goes for business activities that are seen to eliminate or minimize the company’s impact on the environment.
To ensure proper planning, each division and group in the company’s structure is headed by an environmental coordinator. These functions are complimented by other company divisions including the legal, technical and marketing departments (Johnston and Staughton, 2009). An environmental coordinator is also allocated duties appropriately. Each plant in the entire operational system is also headed by an environmental coordinator.
The operations program stipulates specific duties and responsibilities of each member of the team. More specifically, the duties and roles of environmental coordinators are clearly stipulated in the operations program while performance evaluation is undertaken after every year. The operations management program also provides support to new individuals in the team. Consequently, this improves the ability to implement initiatives for new recruits. Management initiates this program through a comprehensive orientation to the company’s operational environment. The program is aimed at improving the overall environmental responsibility among employees because their environmental knowledge will consequently be boosted in the long run. Commonly, it happens through seminars, workshops, meetings and the likes. The program’s mechanism is derived from a development of training programs that encompass system-wide topics on environmental conservation to all bottling firms around the globe. The company’s operational design also stretches throughout the company. This comes from the company’s belief that implementation of effective management systems needs to include the input of all employees, at all levels. Consequently, the company’s officers, management and employees partake in the overall responsibility of implementing environmental management systems.
Utilization of Technology
Considering the impact globalization has had on world climate, Coca-Cola has adopted technological methods that increase the efficiency of its environmental operations program, while at the same time, reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere (Kaplan, 2004, p. 167). In this regard, the company has started using a fleet of heavy duty, electric trucks for delivery purposes. This has effectively improved the efficiency of its manufacturing plant. Its marketing department has also seen the adoption of energy efficient equipment which is free from CFC.
The company is also currently engaged in a 2008 initiative to use energy conservative tool kits in its production facility which will improve the company’s efforts to benchmark its progress and also increase energy efficiency. Complimentary to these efforts, the company has adopted a technological research project to device ways of providing more renewable energy sources. In the recent past, the company has made considerable efforts in using wind power and low impact water energy to power its machines (Coca Cola, 2008). This has provided the organization with alternative sources of power instead of coal and oil.
With regard to the company’s fleet of transportation equipment, including delivery trucks, forklifts and the likes, the company is currently undertaking technological exploration projects of developing energy conservative equipment. More specifically, the company is incorporating hybrid technology to improve its fleet. Since 2007, the company has been using hybrid cars and electric delivery trucks in most of its operations.
One of the company’s major technological advances has been evidenced in the development of more energy efficient refrigeration systems. This has been one of the company’s prominent climatic footprints because greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced a great deal, through development of energy efficient refrigeration systems. From the company’s research advancement, HFC insulation is no longer being used in its cooling facilities. Instead, the company now uses ultramodern natural refrigerant gas equipments that cut energy emissions by up to 75% when compared to the traditional cooling equipments (Coca Cola, 2010). In 2015, the company expects to make a full transition from traditional cooling equipments.
Operational Planning and Control
To implement an effective planning and control process, an organization ought to have good cooperation of members’ duties within its organizational network (Van Heck and Vervest, 2007). As part of its planning and control process, Coca Cola undertakes periodic environmental and safety audits to streamline its environmental operations. The company specifically undertakes periodic environmental standards audits on the company’s equipments and machinery. This program was established as the Good environmental Practice, for auditing systems of the environments. This program operates under the direction of the company management and corporate legal division. The company therefore ensures environmental safety standards are maintained in all manufacturing facilities.
Company management also ensures environmental safety requirements for all bottling franchises and partners while also evaluating the effectiveness and performance of environmental initiatives in all regional and divisional branches (Cohn, 1995, p. 257). Generally, this maintains the company’s image and reputation. Operations also provide procedures and mechanisms that comply with all environmental standards. An auxiliary environment health and safety audit is also observed in all company facilities, at least once in every three years.
In addition, the company undertakes an environmental due diligence program as a control mechanism. This acts as the guideline for the company’s operations. The key functions undertaken in this process involves operations in due diligence programs that are carried out before any new acquisition, sale or lease of real estate is undertaken in real assessments. In this manner, timely and responsible actions are undertaken during due diligence programs.
As a control process, the company also informs stakeholders of all its operations. The company has also established structures whereby all stakeholders, including government, employees, consumers, shareholders and other stakeholders effectively communicate and criticize the company’s operations. They also partake in environmental reporting without any inhibiting factors. In this manner, the company, in collaboration with all partners, reports to the stakeholders and also encourages feedback on their environmental operations performance. These ideas are effectively used for continuous improvement. Essentially, Coca cola undertakes many audit programs to make it accountable for its actions. The company also documents its actions and reports on its progress while improving its actions through feedback and recommendations.
Improvement, Failure and Quality
Coca Cola undertakes procedures of improvement, avoids failure and maintains quality through stewardship as its primary tool. In fact, the company is a steward of brands in the soft drink industry and also recognized for its high quality and consistency throughout its years of operations. Under the context of stewardship, the company is able to maintain its efficiency and environmental conduct diligently. The company identifies this initiative as the primary stage of building trust with the community at large. The company’s initiatives in preserving and protecting the environment are a big part of its vision and are pro-active at both local and corporate levels (Coca Cola, 2009).
Under the company’s stewardship program, operations are streamlined to act right at both local and global levels. However, this happens under the company’s vision of building and nurturing strong and powerful brands that can sustain in the industry for long. As strong stewards in environmental conservation, the company is open to progressive ideas that will elevate the company by reducing the impact on the environment and striving to continuously improve environmental operations management. As a primary goal, the company leads through innovation and guaranteeing all stakeholders of its commitment towards its environmental operations management; which is established in three critical areas of water efficiency, water quality, energy conservation and elimination and decrease of solid waste elimination in the environment (Coca Cola, 2009).
Another key area the company uses in its improvement and quality assurance program is through community partnerships (Fernando, 2009, p. 405). The company basically focuses on initiating community partnerships through a mutual understanding of both local and international environmental issues. The company is also at the forefront in undertaking research as part of its innovative initiatives. This openly enhances dialogue in all community environmental efforts. This is an open ground for operations management improvement. Operations also share the best practices on techniques in resource management with the community and environment. Conclusively, the company seeks partnerships with all stakeholders including public, private and governmental institutions to tackle major environmental issues between the environment and the company. The company also devotes all its efforts, skills, energies and resources to make a positive impact on both the global and local community (Coca Cola, 2009).
Operations management at Coca Cola Company with regard to environmental concerns is a primary management process the company intends to foresee throughout its operational life. This effort has been forged on technological grounds by providing energy efficient ways of operations. In the same regard, the company adopts planning and controlling mechanisms that keeps its operations in check through adoption of comprehensive audit procedures that are open to all stakeholders in the organization. The operational design is inclusive of all company employees, management and officers. Coca Cola’s operations management is however overseen under the stewardship of environmental coordinators and employees in practically all divisions. With a rejuvenated sense of action regarding important issues, the company intends to achieve organizational leadership through the adoption of innovative and committed ways of operations management.
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