Coca-Cola Beverages Florida has extended funding for Sustainability Superheroes, a professional development program that provides sustainability training, mentorship and resources for secondary school educators across Coke Florida’s 47-county Florida footprint.
Coke Florida, the third-largest privately held and the sixth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S., serving 21 million Florida consumers, said it is devoted to operating in an environmentally responsible way while creating opportunities for residents and visitors to do the same.
The company executes sustainability innovation and solutions in every aspect of its operations and produces packaging material that is 100 percent recyclable and, when recycled, contributes to a circular economy. Additionally, the bottler maintains strong partnerships with national and local organizations working to achieve a broader sustainability impact and provide a wide range of resources to educate communities.
“Sustainability is one of our core community pillars at Coke Florida,” said Erin Black, Coke Florida’s VP of sustainability, risk management and facilities. “As the local Coca-Cola bottler, we are committed to investing in our communities by providing tools and opportunities for educators to learn and teach others how to lead a more sustainable life. Their students are our next generation of environmental leaders.”
Sustainability Superheroes was developed in partnership with the University of South Florida Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education in 2019 with a $200,500 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. It has empowered nearly 1,300 Greater Tampa Bay K-12 teachers to introduce and incorporate sustainability topics into their school curriculum based on State of Florida standards.
With sustainability being an essential part of Coke Florida’s commercial priorities, Sustainability Superheroes has been expanded to school districts statewide, bringing the total investment in the program to $240,500. With committed funding from Coke Florida for the next two years, the USF Stavros Center will host a series of eight-session workshops held at least four times a year for educators from Jacksonville to The Keys.
Sustainability Superheroes will serve 150 teachers annually, reaching over 2,000 new students each year through various lessons and activities aligned with Coke Florida’s key sustainability initiatives, including recycling, water stewardship, litter and waste reduction and resiliency.
“The ongoing contributions will allow the Stavros Center to have a statewide impact in enhancing the instructional skills of K-12 educators in areas related to sustainability,” said Dick J. Puglisi, chair and director of the USF Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education.
“Although the USF Stavros Center’s regional impact is a six-county/school district area, the partnership with Coke Florida gives educators throughout Florida the opportunity to integrate sustainability concepts into their curriculum by participating in these professional development sessions.”
For more information, visit cocacolaflorida.com/home.