Cooperation with business has increasingly been seen as necessary and positive for the ICPDR in reaching the goals established under the DRPC.
As has been stated in the ICPDR Guidelines for Cooperation with Business, changes in corporate practice are essential to achieve progress in meeting the obligations under the DRPC. During recent years the ICPDR took initial first steps to cooperate with business. This cooperation has been beneficial in creating positive actions at the local level (i.e. joint actions on Danube Day, river clean-ups, and specific local actions) and constructively using the strengths (i.e. marketing) of the business sector together with the ICPDR strengths as an international organization active throughout the Danube.
Business Friends of the Danube
In 2008, the ICPDR has entered a new area of cooperating with the business sector by launching the 'Business Friends of the Danube'. This initiative has been put into life jointly together with The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Hellenic and the Austrian Broadcasting ORF. In 2009, Borealis joined the 'Business Friends of the Danube' and in 2012, General Electric Romania joined this community as the most recent member to date. The Business Friends of the Danube hold Annual Meetings and pursue activities in cooperation or in line with the ICPDR - modelled after the long-standing and highly successful "Green Danube Partnership" with the Coca-Cola System.
"Green Danube Partnership" with Coca-Cola
In June 2005, the ICPDR singed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Coca-Cola Company and its largest European bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic, for the joint protection and preservation of the Danube River. Under the agreement, an extensive range of activities have been initiated to promote public awareness (Danube Day Celebrations) and support conservation projects.
This is done in six countries in which The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Hellenic have substantial operations and business presence (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine). So far the cooperation has proved to be very successfull. Through the Danube Box, education materials were provided to thousands of teachers throughout the Danube River Basin. The cooperation with the Coca-Cola system has grown on the national level, too, with innumerous initiatives on the country level that were supported through this partnership.
Partnership Opportunities and How to Join
There are a number of opportunities available to both sides of the partnership. These should support ICPDR efforts in implementing the Danube River Protection Convention and EU legislation, through sustainable river basin management, environmental protection, nature conservation, pollution reduction, emergency preparedness and/or disaster relief.
Examples of possible activities, projects and opportunities include:
- Raising public awareness and participation through publicevents (e.g. Danube Day), educational materials (e.g. Danube Box) and publications (e.g. Danube Watch magazine)
- Improving scientific knowledge through research projects, expeditions and training
- Improving the knowledge and capacity of water managers
On becoming a partner, together with the ICPDR, a company will be able to make a difference for the Danube and for the own CSR activities.
- Business Friends of the Danube - Leaflet (2.91 MB)
Guidelines for Business Cooperation (135.02 KB) Guidelines for cooperation and relation with business and industry Document No.: IC/095 Version: FINAL
- ICPDR Partnership Handbook (6.84 MB)
Vienna, 2 June 2008 – Can the Danube still be saved? With the presentation of the Business Friends of the ICPDR responded with a “clear yes” to this specific question. Renowned Austrian and international companies agreed to support the ICDPR to protect the vulnerable Danube . In the presence of Austrian Federal Minister Josef Pröll, Coca-Cola Hellenic and The Coca-Cola Company as well as the ORF, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, expressed their support to ICPDR.