Understanding, considering and addressing the insights of our stakeholders related to economic, environmental and social issues is key to ensuring sustainable growth for Coca‑Cola HBC. In this context, the Annual Stakeholder Forum is a key element of our holistic approach to stakeholder engagement.
This year’s event, which took place in Athens on November 21, hosted a diverse group of approximately 30 high level executives and subject matter experts from all stakeholder groups, including customers, suppliers, employees, NGOs, government and inter-governmental organisations and academics. To create a casual setting and encourage interaction and engagement throughout the event, a private guided tour and dinner was organised for participants on the day prior to the Forum.
As every year, the main objective of the Forum was to provide an opportunity to key stakeholders to give feedback, ask questions and propose new ideas on issues that they find material. At the same time, the gathering of such a diverse and high level group of stakeholders enabled us to share content and exchange ideas through printed briefs on two issues that we consider critical for our business: sustainable sourcing and community engagement and investment with emphasis on youth development.
In order to set the scene for the two material issues, this year we asked representatives from organisations that play an important role in the chosen topics globally and across our footprint, such as the European Parliament and the United Nations to make an introduction from an external perspective:
- Ms Anita Househam – UN Global Compact representative
- Ms Eva Paunova – Member of the European Parliament
- Ms Milena Stoycheva – CEO of Junior Achievement Bulgaria
Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, former Chairman and Mrs Alexandra Papalexopoulou, member of the Social Responsibility Committee of the Coca‑Cola HBC Board of Directors, ensured high level representation of our Group at the Forum. Following Sir Michael’s opening remarks, participants worked in small groups around four thematic tables related to the issue briefs, to explore the topics of the forum in depth, employing the World Café methodology and principles. “Table hosts” facilitated the discussions in a Café environment and the guests made notes and drew onto tablecloths prepared by graphic recorders. This year we took special care and asked two of our young PA&C talents with a keen interest in sustainability, Natalya Seregina from Russia and Kristiana Chakarova from Bulgaria, to host two of the tables. Klaske de Jonge, our Group PA&C director, with her closing remarks brought the day to an end!
We are now in the process of evaluating the feedback provided and the new ideas put forward by stakeholders, within the broader framework of our business priorities and material issues. In this way we will identify the best way to integrate these learning into our day-to-day business and processes, so make sure to keep an eye on our website and intranet for the next steps and progress made!