Material issues

Our material issues are those that matter most to our stakeholders and broader shareholder groups, and subsequently impact the Company’s value drivers, competitive position and long-term value creation.

Annual materiality assessment

We assess our material issues annually to fully understand how to manage the risks and opportunities they present. This ensures that we prioritise the issues that have the greatest impact on the economy, society and the environment.

Our annual materiality assessment, is carried out in four phases by our cross-functional Mission 2025 Team:

  •  identify material issues;
  •  assess impact on or importance to stakeholders;
  •  assess impact on society and environment;
  •  review and validate findings.

The steps to ensure that management of material issues is successfully embedded in our strategy and operations are carried out by three groups within the Company.

  • The Mission 2025 Team assesses the list of material issues and ensures that our sustainability approach is fully aligned with our business priorities; 
  • The Social Responsibility Committee of the Board of Directors subsequently endorses the prioritised list of issues and the resulting materiality matrix; 
  • Finally, it is the responsibility of the Operating Committee to integrate our sustainability priorities into our business strategy.

To support our annual materiality assessment, we conduct an ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders, including employees, consumers, customers, suppliers, communities, governments, non-governmental organisations, investors, trade associations and academics. In addition, we monitor external trends, other industries and peer company’s materiality analysis and how these affect our ability to grow our business sustainably over time.


Our systematic materiality assessment process helps us prioritise the issues in line with the GRI Standards. The issues are interconnected and should not be viewed as separate items.

Learning from our stakeholders

Understanding the needs and interests of our stakeholders – including our partners, customers, suppliers and community members and employees – helps us to prioritise our material issues. This in turn helps us develop sustainable business strategies, enabling us to create value in the long term.

We actively seek out our stakeholders’ opinions and insights by:

  • Organising an annual stakeholder forum;
  • Interviewing key internal decision makers and external partners;
  • Engaging with external stakeholders on an ongoing basis;
  • Surveying our senior leaders from each function, country and the Group as well as more than 500 external stakeholders nominated by our 28 markets and the Group Corporate Office;
  • Considering the material issues list of The Coca‑Cola Company and other bottlers as well as other food and beverage companies;
  • Listening to feedback from our Group Risk Forum and all Risk registers of our markets.

Stakeholders engagement

Managing our material issues

The outcome of our material issues survey constitutes a ranking order of material issues. By assessing the importance of these issues to our stakeholders and their decision, combined with an assessment of the impact of the issue on society and environment, we derive the relative materiality of each issue and prioritise them accordingly. Following the process of prioritising our material issues, the Operating Committee ensures their proper implementation in our overall strategic framework. This includes setting and disclosing targets and metrics to measure progress.

We have linked our material issues to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established by the UN to achieve long-term growth and development by 2030. In 2018, when introducing Mission 2025 with our sustainability commitments, we aligned our materiality topics not only with the applicable goals, but with all relevant underlying targets for each SDG.

Natural Capital Impact Valuation study

Natural Capital is the stock of renewable and non-renewable natural resources that combine to yield a flow of benefits to people (reference: Natural Capital Coalition).

To understand our impact, we used the methodology of the Natural Capital Protocol, and evaluated our environmental impact across our entire value chain.

Our study translates Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) indicators into a monetary value.

Final impact is the cost that society bears as a result of our activities in the value chain.

Twelve environmental externalities were evaluated
  • Non-renewable energy use
  • Aquatic ecotoxicity
  • Aquatic eutrophication
  • Land occupation
  • Human toxicity, carcinogen
  • Human toxicity, non-carcinogen
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Respiratory effects (Particulate matter)
  • Ozone Depletion
  • Photochemical oxidation (smog creation)
  • Global warming
  • Water withdrawal (water consumption)

Coca‑Cola Hellenic Natural Capital Impact Valuation study

 

Our material issues are linked to the Mission 2025 sustainability commitments and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and their targets: