Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated (NASDAQ: COKE) is the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler. They make, sell, and distribute Coca-Cola products along with other unique beverages and operate in 15 states and the District of Columbia. They now serve more than 50 million consumers across the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Their corporate office is located in Charlotte, NC. In 1902 three North Carolina entrepreneurs, J. B. Harrison, J. Luther Snyder, and J. P. Gibbons, set out to bring bottled Coca-Cola to the Carolinas. Before these pioneers got to work, drugstore soda fountains were the only places to enjoy a Coke. In the early days of bottled Coke, production workers washed refillable bottles by hand, used manually operated bottling machines to fill them, corked them by hand, and sold them from horse-drawn carriages. This helped build a thirst for Coke that survived the Great Depression and the sugar rationing of World War I and World War II. By the early 1970s, hand-washed bottles and horse-drawn carts had given way to sophisticated bottling and distribution operations. Today there are 13 manufacturing facilities and 80 distribution and sales centers.
CCBCC is not shy about making their true purpose known, which leads us to recognize them as this week’s Shining Light Company. In their own words: “At CCBCC, we believe our purpose is to serve others … to pursue excellence … and to grow profitably. Above all, we strive to honor God in everything we do.” Their core values go beyond the standard “honesty, integrity, and accountability” to include things like humility, morality, optimism, courage, and conviction. They seek to inspire and motivate those around them and develop servant leaders. To read their full purpose and vision statements, check out the following links:
That strong commitment to humility and servant leadership is easily seen in the company’s community involvement through Coke Cares.They sponsor youth programs and local schools, offer college scholarships, participate in community beautification programs, do home repairs for senior citizens, and work with Habitat for Humanity. Employees spend thousands of hours each year volunteering at hospices, homeless shelters, prisons, food banks, and other organizations to bring a smile and helping hand to those in need. They participate in fundraisers for everything from the Wounded Warrior Project to cancer research and local fire departments. One of the initiatives that particularly caught our attention was their support of a mission organization called With Open Eyes. The primary focus is to support indigenous pastors – “Mobile Messengers” – with the means of transportation so that they may go forth, evangelizing and growing the ministry of Jesus Christ.
CCBCC takes environmental stewardship very seriously. They pride themselves in operating some of the most water-efficient plants in the world. They far exceed industry standards for water conservation and wastewater is recycled using stringent quality standards. Through partnership with the Cumberland River Compact’s educational classes, their Nashville production facility helps to convert more than 500 empty concentrate drums into rain barrels each year. Since 2008, they have partnered with the World Wildlife Foundation to promote sustainable water reuse practices, and their Recycle & Win program helps keep tons of bottles and packaging out of landfills.
These examples all go to show what a difference a company can make when it decides that each day will not just be business as usual. Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated is helping to change lives – both in their communities and for eternity – and for that, we are proud to consider them a Shining Light Company.
DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.