Canadian Polar Bear Pride Can Drive Positive Change at Home and in the North

Coca-Cola Canada and World Wildlife Fund Partner to Raise Awareness and Funds to Protect the Polar Bear and its Habitat: The Last Ice Area

TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Polar bear pride runs strong and free from coast-to-coast. According to a recent poll by Coca-Cola Canada, 61 per cent of Canadians consider the polar bear to be a symbol of national pride. To help make a positive impact on this important northern species, Coca-Cola Canada is once again joining with WWF to make #everyactionmatter.

For the second year, Coca-Cola Canada and WWF Canada are teaming up to support Arctic Home, a five year commitment focused on conserving polar bears and their habitat. As part of this effort, WWF is working with Northern peoples to develop a plan for the Last Ice Area, an area of summer sea ice high in the Arctic that is expected to be the most resilient as the Arctic warms. The Last Ice Area could cover close to 1.4 million square kilometers - twice the size of Manitoba. With strong conservation planning, the region can offer both polar bears and local communities a healthy future.

"We are proud to continue our commitment to Arctic Home and build on the success of last year's campaign to support the Last Ice Area," said Nicola Kettlitz, President of Coca-Cola Ltd. "We want Canadians to know that every action matters when it comes to climate change, and that by working together we can ensure there is a place where polar bears and Northern communities will thrive for generations to come."

In addition to the $2 million Coca-Cola has committed over the next five years to polar bear conservation, 5 per cent of the proceeds from specially marked 12- and 15-packs in Canada, up to $235,000, will be donated to Arctic Home. This investment will continue to help advance research and build relationships to understand the impacts of climate change on Arctic habitats.

Arctic Home Funds at Work

Since launching the campaign in October 2011, WWF has invested more than $2 million into conservation programs and research, such as surveying polar bear population sizes and trends, mapping polar bear denning sites and better understanding the sea-ice ecosystem. Funding is also being used to refine modeling processes to help predict future ice conditions, organize workshops with local communities and governments, and generate more support and awareness for conservation.

WWF's work in the Arctic seeks to combine local traditional knowledge with new science and research. Arctic Home will help advance WWF's vision for an Arctic with stable ecosystems, viable populations of wildlife and a sustainable use of natural resources.

"Coca-Cola Canada and WWF's partnership is about working together to conserve one of the most important places on our planet," said Martin von Mirbach, Director, Arctic Program, WWF-Canada. "The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average, but with the support of Coca-Cola and Canadians, the Last Ice Area can help chart a future for sustainable northern communities and ecosystems."

Show Your Polar Bear Pride

The combined donations of Coca-Cola Canada and Canadians in the first year of Arctic Home proved that change can happen when everyone works together. For year two, Canadians can visit www.livepositively.ca/ArcticHome between January 14 and March 31 to pledge their support to make changes in their daily lives that can inspire and incite collective action. From committing to wash laundry in cold water to taking public transit to work at least one day a week, the whole family can get involved and take a stand for the polar bears' home.

The Arctic Home website will be a portal to learn more about the polar bear and the Last Ice Area. Visitors can find information about the Coca-Cola Canada / WWF Canada partnership and local events, share content, make a pledge to take action, see what other Canadians are doing and donate directly to the effort.

The Arctic Home program extends The Coca-Cola Company's support of WWF's polar bear conservation efforts, and builds upon the two organizations' global freshwater conservation partnership. Together, the Company and WWF have worked to conserve freshwater resources around the world, use water more efficiently and cut down carbon emissions in the Company's manufacturing operations. Joining WWF's Climate Savers program in 2008, Coca Cola's global commitment will prevent the release of more than 2 million metric tons of CO2 in 2015 - the equivalent of planting 600,000 acres of trees. Additionally, the broader partnership works to promote sustainable agriculture in the Company's supply chain. By combining international strengths and resources, the Company and WWF are able to go beyond what each organization could achieve on its own.

Arctic Home is another expression of The Coca-Cola Company's commitment to make a positive difference in the world through sustainable business practices. For more information, visit www.livepositively.ca/ArcticHome.

About WWF

WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. www.wwf.ca

About Coca-Cola Canada

Coca-Cola in Canada operates in all ten provinces, and employs 6,300 people in more than 50 facilities, including seven production facilities across Canada. We offer a wide variety of beverage brands, many of which come in no-calorie and low-calorie options. These beverages include sparkling soft drinks, still waters, juices and fruit beverages, sports drinks, energy drinks and ready-to-drink teas. We're proud to offer some of the most popular brands in Canada including Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coca-Cola Zero®, Sprite®, Fanta®, Nestea®, PowerAde®, Minute Maid®, Dasani® and vitaminwater®. Coca-Cola in Canada is represented by Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada and Coca-Cola Ltd. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.livepositively.ca or www.cocacola.ca.

Survey Methodology

The survey was completed online from December 4th to December 6th, 2012 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,500 Canadians, 18 years of age or older.  A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE Coca-Cola Canada

Image with caption: "Coca-Cola Canada and World Wildlife Fund Partner to Raise Awareness and Funds to Protect the Polar Bear and its Habitat: The Last Ice Area (CNW Group/Coca-Cola Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130114_C5460_PHOTO_EN_22460.jpg



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