Our Approach to Stakeholder Engagement and Research

The Coca-Cola Company’s purpose is to refresh the world and make a difference.

Our vision is to craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, done sustainably for a better shared future. We believe that companies play a role in the societies in which they operate, and we believe collaboration with stakeholders is essential to achieving our purpose and that transparency is an important component to our approach.

 

On this page, we provide an overview in addition to the information disclosed on the company website.

Stakeholder Engagement

Overview

Throughout our disclosures on this page and through our other reporting mechanisms, including our combined 2020 Business & ESG Report, we seek to demonstrate our ambition and leadership in the food and beverage industry – using our global scale to address challenges that require broad collective action, such as fostering excellence in water stewardship, eliminating plastic waste, upholding human rights and supporting sustainable agriculture.

 

 

We engage with stakeholders through a variety of means, and information about the company’s corporate governance, including our Code of Business Conduct which covers the range of stakeholder engagement activities we undertake, can be found on our Corporate Governance page.

 

 

Bottling Partners

We are a global business that operates on a local scale. We are able to create global reach with local focus because of the strength of the Coca-Cola system, which is comprised of our company and our bottling partners. Each European market has its own bottler.

 

 

The primary way that our products reach the marketplace starts with The Coca-Cola Company, which manufactures and sells concentrates, beverage bases and syrups to bottling operations. Coca-Cola also owns the brands and is responsible for consumer brand marketing initiatives. Our bottling partners manufacture, package, merchandise and distribute final branded beverages to our customers and vending partners, who then sell our products to consumers.

 

 

All bottling partners work closely with customers – grocery stores, restaurants, street vendors, convenience stores, movie theaters and amusement parks, among many others – to execute localized strategies developed in partnership with our company. Further information can be found on our Coca-Cola System page.

 

 

In Europe, our bottling partners are:

 

  • Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, UK, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Andorra, Monaco).
  • Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Austria, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine).
  • Carlsberg Denmark (Denmark, Finland)
  • General Soft Drinks Limited (Malta)
  • Sibeg (Sicily)
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Shqiperia (Albania)

 

 

Our President and Chief Operating Officer, Brian Smith, and our Global Chief Marketing Officer, Manolo Arroyo, are members of board of Coca-Cola European Partners.

 

 

President of of Latin America Operating Unit for The Coca-Cola Company, Henrique Braun, and President of Africa Operating Unit for The Cola-Cola Company, Bruno Pietracci, are members of the board of Coca-Cola HBC.

 

 

Communities

Supporting the local communities in which we are privileged to operate is part of our DNA. One of the ways this is done is through The Coca-Cola Foundation, our company's independent, international philanthropic arm. Since its inception in 1984, The Foundation has awarded more than $1.2 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives globally. The focus areas include disaster relief, water access and economic empowerment. The Foundation has also increased charitable giving and donations in response to COVID-19 throughout Europe, and both the Foundation and the Coca-Cola Company in local markets have contributed during the COVID crisis, in part with the Red Cross. Both have also responded in the case of floodings and wildfires in several European markets. An outline of grants paid in 2020, including organization name, payment and description of activity, can be found in The Foundation’s 2020 Charitable Contributions page. Further information about our on-going engagement with the communities we serve can be found in our combined 2020 Business & ESG Report.

 

 

Customers and consumers

With over 30 million customers globally, our goal is to create value for all, both big and small. Our customers range from large stores like supermarkets, food service, and e-commerce platforms to smaller convenience stores. We work closely with our customers to improve our service and drive value-based relationships that lead to better business results and shared outcomes. We work together to achieve our sustainability goals, such as truckload optimization to reduce carbon emissions or consumer engagement to address plastic waste. We routinely seek customer satisfaction feedback across numerous markets. ‘

 

 

We also undertake consumer research, including through online surveys and focus groups, engaging with trusted partners including IPSOS, Kantar and others.

 

 

In all of the work we undertake with our customers, all employees are guided by our policies including our Code of Business Conduct, Privacy Policy and Prohibition on Cartel Activity.

 

 

Government and Political Engagement

We believe that companies must engage with governments and play a role in helping create the systemic change necessary to achieve a more inclusive society, sustainable economy and healthier planet. Coca-Cola European leaders meet with senior officials and join key events, highlighting our ESG actions. Our activities are compliant with all applicable laws and our values, and our company is registered with the Transparency Register of the European Union, and publishes a list of memberships of organizations and intermediaries on the EU Transparency Register.

 

 

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)

We believe we must work together by forming meaningful partnerships with NGOs that create shared opportunities for communities and people around the world. We are a Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and a proud signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, having reported progress annually for the last three years. We have a multi-year partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), whereby we have worked together on water replenishment, climate resilience, sustainable sourcing and preventing packaging waste in different countries in Europe.

 

 

Peer Companies and Trade Associations

Partnerships with peer companies are important as we seek to further our ESG goals and actions and collaborate on research projects that address questions of mutual interest. We are proud to partner with our peer companies globally across our geographic operating units.

 

 

In Europe, Coca-Cola is a member of UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, Food Drink Europe, AIM - European Brands Association, AmCham Europe and other organizations. With our peers, we take part in meaningful voluntary initiatives such as the EU Pledge and the EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing to contribute toward achieving policy objectives. Our employees play an active role as members of these trade associations and organizations and must have sufficient experience and authority to participate.

 

 

Suppliers

A sustainable and resilient agricultural supply chain is integral to our business and ESG goals, especially around climate, water, human rights and women’s enablement. We primarily purchase ingredients from suppliers, rather than raw agricultural materials directly from farms. Given this, our partnerships with suppliers are critical to ensure they are certified as safe by global regulatory agencies, meet the quality we expect in the ingredients we use in our products, and maintain operations that respect human rights in line with our Supplier Guiding Principles.

 

 

In addition, our Principles for Sustainable Agriculture guide our agricultural suppliers in their commitments to us to manage their supply chains responsibly. To provide greater insight and transparency into our ingredient supply chain, we have published a List of Tier 1 Suppliers, representing the top 80 percent of global spend for our four top priority ingredients by volume: sugar cane, sugar beet, corn (HFCS) and orange juice. In addition, we collaborate with our suppliers through trade organizations to identify and support initiatives of mutual interest, such as responding to questions by regulators and performing research to address questions.