We are an active member of the community in each of the 28 countries in which we operate.
We are a trusted partner in the communities in which we operate because of the way we run our business and work with stakeholders to deliver value locally. This trust gives us license to be ever more ambitious in tackling societal challenges.
In 2018, we invested €7.9 million in our communities.* The biggest proportion of this investment was allocated to local wellbeing programmes.
Alongside financial investments, we enable employees to volunteer a portion of their working week to support community programmes. This not only positively impacts our communities, but also provides learning and development opportunities for our employees and supports employee engagement and well-being.
In 2018, 21% of our employees volunteered more than 24,000 work hours in support of strategic community programmes, 10 % more than in 2017.**
Strategic priorities for community investment
Over the years, our community investments have evolved from philanthropic initiatives to long-term programmes aligned to three key strategic priorities:
- Youth and women
- World Without Waste
- Water stewardship
In addition, we are active in local well-being emergency relief efforts, providing help in times of disaster, either directly or via our stakeholder partnerships.
We believe in harnessing the potential of young people for the benefit of our communities. While levels of youth unemployment vary from country to country – from 3% in Switzerland to more than 60% in Bosnia – it remains an urgent concern in all the countries in which we are active.
This led us to launch #YouthEmpowered in 2017, a Group-wide flagship initiative to help young people to achieve their career ambitions by providing guidance, support and assistance during their transition from school to meaningful employment.
Our primary goal is to provide 1 million young people with skills and knowledge until 2025. By the end of 2018, more than 85,500 people participated in #Youth Empowered programmes, more than 750 of our people became mentors through the initiative, and we partnered with more than 380 local non-governmental organisations.***
As part of our process of aligning initiatives, we also began linking #Youth Empowered with 5by20, The Coca‑Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the Company’s value chain by 2020. In 2018, we undertook efforts to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs in countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Environmental protection and water stewardship
By implementing water stewardship programmes at the community level, we help to preserve the natural habitat of key water basins and access to clean water.
Moreover, we invest in programmes to prevent environmental damage from packaging waste and climate change.
All activities are done in partnership with or after engaging local water users, authorities and other key stakeholders in the community.
We also work together with environmental ministries, and intergovernmental and civil organisations, to preserve and protect important ecosystems.
Using indicators from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature’s Water Risk Filter and Global Water Tool, we have identified 17 of our plants as operating in water-risk areas. This includes facilities in Nigeria, Russia, Greece, Cyprus and Armenia. Moving forward, we will focus on either water access initiatives or on replenishment activities. For all these, we will seek partnerships with the Coca‑Cola System, other companies operating in the relevant watershed area and international organisations.
In 2017, Coca‑Cola Hellenic Armenia joined forces with USAID’s Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development project to support innovative irrigation in Hayanist village of Armenia. The initiative implemented during 2017 aims to reduce groundwater use in the Ararat Valley. It supports sustainable water resource management and sustainable practices of water users in the Ararat Valley through the use of science, technology, innovation and partnership initiatives. As a result of this project, water from fisheries, which was previously dumped into the drainage network, is now used for irrigating 40 ha of agricultural land in Hayanist.
We continue to support initiatives across our 28 countries to improve community well-being and health. We promote active, healthy lifestyles by installing active zones, walking trails and paths, and supporting sports events and social gatherings. As our business and product portfolio evolves, we expect that more of our impact on well-being will come directly from new products that support healthy lifestyles.
*Group-wide community investment in total, and in % as of pre-tax profit: €7,3m/1,6%(2016); €7,4m/1,3%(2017); €7,9/1,3%(2018), 2020 target: 2%
** Volunteering track record and future targets: 2016: 8%, 2017: 11%, 2018: 21%, 2019: 10%, 2020: 10%, 2025: 10%
*** #Youth Empowered track record and future targets: 2016: na; 2017: 21,500, 2018: 64,000; 2019:100,000; 2020: 120,000; 2025: 1,000,000