One Young World Delegates Ready
to Make Their Mark on the World

Coca-Cola delegates return home feeling inspired, energised and ready to make a difference.

After four days of hearing from some of the world's most inspiring entrepreneurs, brave leaders and change-makers, One Young World 2018 came to a close last weekend.

The event brought together over 1,800 young leaders aged 18-30 from more than 190 countries in The Hague to discuss solutions to the world's most pressing issues.

Coca-Cola sent a delegation of 80 of its young talents from around to world to take a seat at the table, inspire fresh thinking and generate new ideas.

On the agenda were issues that this generation will face as business leaders of tomorrow, from climate change to the refugee crisis, youth unemployment, poverty and much more.

Delegates heard from the world's leading companies, non-governmental organisations and key influencers. Among the impressive line-up were: Bob Geldof, musician and activist; Akon, singer and social entrepreneur; Christiana Figueres, architect of the Paris Agreement; and Mark Tewksbury, one of the few openly gay Olympic champions in the world.

Ambitious plans for plastic

To discuss the pressing issue of fighting plastic pollution with the business leaders of tomorrow, Coca-Cola sustainability experts Ulrike Sapiro, Senior Director, Water Stewardship & Sustainable Agriculture, and Joe Franses, Vice-President, Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) presented our plans to make a World Without Waste a reality.

Ulrike Sapiro: "The world has a plastic waste problem; we have a responsibility to help solve it"

Ulrike and Joe shared some of the work Coca-Cola is doing in the areas of packaging design, distribution and engaging with stakeholders. They talked about our innovative Freestyle machines, how we use the power of our brands to encourage recycling, and ambitious programmes like Zero-Waste Cities in Greece. There, we are transforming our distribution to create a closed-loop recycling model.

They also stressed that Coca-Cola cannot solve this issue alone; businesses, governments and individuals all have a part to play. In a follow-up Q&A session, Joe and Ulrike spoke to delegates about our common ground for making a World Without Waste possible and the challenges we face along the way.

Part of a global movement

Our delegates returned home full of enthusiasm, energy and new friendships. We hear from some of them about how they plan to turn their new-found inspiration into meaningful impact.

Katerina SarakiIPM Manager and DME Controller for Greece, Cyprus and Malta:"Having spoken to delegates who attended last year's summit, I must admit my expectations were high. I can now safely say that this summit is one of my most memorable moments at Coke. I got the chance to connect with colleagues from other BUs as well as delegates from other international companies, young entrepreneurs and inspiring mentors."

Anastasia Rekshinskaya, FO Business Analyst Russia: "I really enjoyed the outstanding speakers at the summit, all highly committed to making the world a better, safer, cleaner and brighter place. I was thrilled to listen to the impactful speech by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, who called on young people everywhere to do their best to improve their communities and companies."

Alkistis Houliarakis, Communications Manager Western Europe: “Attending the OYW summit this year was an inspirational, thought-provoking and at times emotional experience for me. Together with my fellow 80 system colleagues we got to hear from leaders, young and old(er), about their journeys of courage, determination and altruism, that led them to take action and tackle head-on some of the world’s most pressing issues. Not surprisingly, plastic and plastic pollution was a topic that came out throughout the conference, and this didn’t come without some searching questions from other delegates about our contribution as a company and whether we are doing enough. To me, and in terms of our World Without Waste strategy, this highlighted that we need to maintain our sharp focus on developing the right actions, partnerships and solutions for plastic waste, as well as effectively communicating the actions we are taking. And clearly, we need to continue working at this pace, across all levels of the business."

Bieke Biesbrouck, Sr. Brand Manager Flavours & Adult BeLux: "I was blown away by the immense drive of the international young community, from 193 different countries, to really make an impact and do good for the world and the people living in it. I connected with people from Coke from different BUs as well as other companies and learned from their perspectives and situations. The speakers during the summit inspired me to take action myself and not doubt the fact that everyone can make a change and contribute to creating positive impact. We should stop talking and start doing more. It’s up to us to be the change."

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