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 2017, we invested €7.4 million in our communities, which is 2% more than 2016 and is equivalent to 1.3% of our pre-tax profit. The biggest proportion of this investment was allocated to youth development and more specifically to our flagship #YouthEmpowered programme.
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 2017, our employees volunteered more than 18,118 work hours in support of strategic community programmes.
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 development
- Environmental and water stewardship
- Community well-being
In addition, we are active in 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.
Results from the 2017 pilots in 21 countries include:
- 21,500 youths participated either though live workshops/training or in an engaging online session with value adding e-learning skills content;
- 550 of our employees became mentors;
- 3,200 hours of employee volunteer time was dedicated exclusively to helping young participants; and
- 6,500 online learners participated in our free, innovative educational platforms.
Because of our targeted efforts, at the end of the pilot year 2017, already more than 100 young people reported having found employment.
Our strategic business goal is to align #YouthEmpowered closer to our business priorities by integrating program graduates in our own workforce or into meaningful roles with our customers and partners. We also expect to see a benefit in terms of employee engagement and pride in the Company, and improved opportunities for the participants.
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.
We invested €1 million in environmental community programmes during 2017.
With the dedicated support of employee volunteers, in 2017 we collected 2,767 tonnes of waste at river and sea shores and cleaned more than 1,950 kilometres of river banks and beaches. We have also contributed to reforestation by planting more than 109,696 trees in over 203,400 square metres of land.
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.
As well as being committed to reducing the amount of sugar in our products by 2020 (see Consumers section), we continue to support initiatives across our 28 countries to improve community well-being and health. These encourage physical activity and include the installation of active zones, walking trails and paths, and support for sports events and social gatherings. Many of the programmes are implemented in partnership with The Coca‑Cola Company.