Every year, we bring together a group of diverse stakeholders to review our sustainability performance and to help us develop a better understanding of their expectations for the future.
Stakeholder engagement is essential to growing our business and fulfilling our purpose. We need to engage and work in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders to make better business decisions and deliver on our commitments. Our key internal and external stakeholders include investors, employees, customers, consumers, suppliers, governments and regulators, The Coca‑Cola Company, and local communities. We also engage with other businesses through trade associations and universities. Every year, we hold a Group Stakeholder Forum, organised together with The Coca‑Cola Company, to discuss our material topics with a group of experts. In 2019, our focus was on water stewardship, which was ranked as having the second highest impact amongst our material issues by our stakeholders in our 2018 materiality survey.
The 2019 Stakeholder Forum was held in Athens, Greece, in a market where two out of our three manufacturing facilities are facing some water risk. We welcomed 34 participants from 20 countries, including customers, industry associations, nongovernmental organisations, policy makers, investors and peer companies. Discussions covered three main areas: using water more efficiently in our operations and in the value chain; establishing water stewardship initiatives with local communities (stakeholder partnerships); and helping to educate local households on more efficient use of water.
Stakeholder recommendations from the 2019 Forum included:
- using ‘big data’ and new technologies to mitigate water risks;
- including water use reduction in standards for agricultural suppliers;
- demonstrating leadership through innovative technologies and scale locally;
- working with governments to influence local business;
- using the power of the brands to communicate broadly about water scarcity;
- leveraging partnerships across markets to raise awareness and amplify achievements in water stewardship.
We are reviewing our stakeholders’ input and recommendations and will update on our actions later this year.
Our 2018 forum took place in a waste incineration plant in Vienna and discussions focused on packaging waste and the Coca‑Cola System’s World Without Waste strategy. We welcomed 35 participants from 20 countries representing customers, industry and waste associations, non governmental organisations, policy makers and investors.