We are an active member of the community in each of the 28 countries in which we operate.
Our mission requires us to improve quality of life and invest in local communities and so we have integrated corporate responsibility and sustainability into our business. We aim to operate in a responsible way by engaging with stakeholders and communities to support their sustainable development.
Through our core business activities - which generate income for employees, supplier payments and government taxes - our focus remains to invest in community partnerships and projects that address environmental and social issues.
In September 2016, we set seven new long‑term sustainability targets, including a commitment to invest 2 percent of our annual pre‑tax profit in communities by the end of 2020. In 2016 we gave €7.3 million to socially responsible programmes, equivalent to 1.6% of our pre‑tax profit. This is higher than the LBG's average and puts us in a good position to achieve our target.
Our community investment focuses on three key strategic areas, which we have identified based on the existing societal and environmental needs in the countries where we work: community well-being, environmental and water stewardship and youth development.
Where the need arises we are also active in emergency relief efforts in all our markets, either providing relief directly or through stakeholder partnerships.
Environmental and water stewardship
As part of our water stewardship strategy we partner with international and national governmental and non-governmental organisations to preserve and protect important watersheds, such as the Danube and other rivers, their basins and watershed areas, including wetland habitats and biodiversity.
We work with our communities in every country to safeguard and enhance their well-being and quality of life, supporting events and social gatherings. Some of the initiatives we have undertaken include installation of free active zones, walking trails and paths, and implementation or expansion of bike share programmes, as well as support for movements on sports for all.
Unemployment among young people remains a significant challenge in many markets. We support enterprise educational programmes and offer internships, as well as empower underprivileged young people by providing skills training and access to funding.
We have a strong relationship with national Red Cross/Red Crescent societies.
This community partnership enables us to respond rapidly to emergencies by using our logistics and delivery systems to deliver safe drinking water – for example, during the floods in the Balkans during the summer of 2014.
In addition to emergency relief, our work with national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies includes community care, health training and fundraising.
I think I became a true Coca‑Cola Ambassador after working on my first team project, after I experienced my first Family Day and when I participated in my first volunteer action. It was then that I became immensely proud of being a member of such a large and authentic family. Jovana Tufegdzic, CSR Supervisor, Coca‑Cola HBC Serbia and Montenegro