By Jacob KastrenakesThe Coca-Cola Company is beginning to set up one-stop shops for vital resources inside of developing communities. The shops, called Ekocenters, will supply resources like clean water, power, internet, vaccines, cooked meals, and — of course — Coke products to areas that don’t have access to them. By the end of 2015,
Coca-Cola plans to have set up between 1,500 and 2,000 Ekocenters in 20 total countries, which span across Africa, Asia, North America, and Latin America.
The Ekocenters’ business model hasn’t been finalized, reports The New York Times, and it isn’t clear which — if any — of their services will be offered for free. But the centers’ basic goal appears to be promoting access to water, power, and health supplies, and presumably those major services would be free or priced in an obtainable manner. At least one center has been operational as a pilot in South Africa, and Coca-Cola has been talking about the program since at least last year, when it announced its plans to bring clean water to developing communities.
Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent says that each of the Ekocenters will be run by a woman, and that they’ll hopefully become the center of communities without access to power and water. The centers are constructed by repurposed shipping containers, and each one will have a water purification system and solar panels built in. Right now, the Times reports that the Ekocenters cost over $100,000 each, but Coca-Cola is hoping that they’ll come down to below $2,000 as they begin building them in volume.