Coca-Cola Pakistan has been honoured by Rotary International for the "Rotary Responsible Business Partner Award", in recoginition of Rotary Day, an annual event that highlights humanitarian activities that Rotary and the United Nations lead around the world, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The award would be given in recognition of Coca-Cola's support to 'Rotary's End Polio Now Campaign' in the Pakistan. Coca-Cola Pakistan is one of only two companies shortlisted for this honour, out of 20 nominations from all around the world, and for the first time a company from Pakistan has been able to secure this prestigious award. The other award recipient was Mercantil Banco Universal.
Rotary Day at the United Nations is an annual event where more than 1,500 Rotary Members, UN officials, diplomats, NGO leaders and corporate guests gather at the UN headquarters to learn about and discuss humanitarian challenges, while recognising and celebrating the positive impact of Rotary, partner companies like Coca-Cola Pakistan and others. The event was broadcasted live on
The theme of this year’s gathering at UN headquarters in New York City, “Responsible Business, Resilient Societies,” recognizes Rotary’s role at the intersection of commerce and cause. As leaders in their professions and communities, Rotary members often use their professional skills and networks to advance social causes, particularly economic development.
Coca-Cola supports Rotary's 'End Polio Now' campaign which involves awareness and advocacy campaigns to improve literacy levels regarding polio in underprivileged communities, and improving environmental conditions through treatment of open sewage systems, which are a major breeding ground of viruses causing polio and other diseases. To this end, Coca-Cola Pakistan is supporting the installation of solar-powered water filtration plants in 7 areas across Pakistan's high-risk areas, providing the residents of the community with safe and clean drinking water and improving the health status of children and adults. The first such plant was installed in the Malir area of Karachi and studies have shown that there is a reduction in water borne diseases by 56 percent already.
While receiving the award, Fahad Qadir, Director Public Affairs & Communications, Pakistan & Afghanistan, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation stated, “This award is a great honor, and a testament of Coca-Cola’s philosophy that a business is only as strong as the community it operates in. This year, there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of polio cases reported over last year. It has been a gargantuan effort for which many organizations, individuals, volunteers and polio health camp workers, national and international, have worked tirelessly to support the government of Pakistan.”
“The world is 99% polio free. We are ‘this close’ to ending polio and need the world leaders to support the ‘final push’ now while the goal has never been closer, or face the potential consequences of a new polio pandemic that could disable hundreds of thousand children within a decade,” said Aziz Memon, Rotary’s National PolioPlus Committee Chair for Pakistan, in recognition of Rotary's successful partnership with Coca-Cola. “We are very optimistic that the challenges will not deter us and soon Pakistan will become polio free.”
John Germ, President of Rotary International, explains the reason for recognizing these business leaders, "We want to lift up those entrepreneurs who leverage their skills to develop their local economies, serve their communities, and promote socially responsible business practices.".
As Pakistan is one of only three (Afghanistan and Nigeria are the two) polio endemic countries left in the world with an incidence of polio, eradication of the disease in Pakistan would have an immense and far-reaching impact on ending the occurrence of a serious disease from the planet forever.