We identify and focus on the issues that have the biggest impact on our business and matter most to our stakeholders.
Material issues include the economic, environmental and social risks that could affect our reputation and ability to create value over the short, medium and long term.
At Coca‑Cola HBC we aim to understand and address the issues with the highest impact to our business and our communities. We are always looking to improve our approach to identifying the most important of these risks and impacts, and report on our approach and progress against material issues transparently.
The materiality process provides insights to our business strategy and makes sure that our integrated and sustainability reporting is relevant.
How we identify and prioritise material issues
To identify the key issues for our business, we monitor external trends and how these affect our ability to grow our business sustainably over time.
We prioritise these issues based on their relative importance to our business and to society at large, mapping the most important ones annually in our materiality matrix.
Our systematic materiality assessment process helps us prioritise the issues in line with the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
How material an issue is to our business depends on how it relates to:
- Our purpose, mission and business strategy
- The brands we produce and sell
- The impact our operations have on the economies, environment and society in the 28 countries in which we operate
- The importance of an issue to our stakeholders
- The extent we can influence the issue as a company
In 2016, we initiated a standard way of assessing materiality and engaging stakeholders for all our local operations reports, which also informs the Group materiality process. Markets use the same standard set of material issues as the Group and may amend these by adding up to three others which are of local relevance, with the endorsement of the local leadership teams.
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 stakeholder forums
- Interviewing key internal decision makers and external partners
- Engaging with external stakeholders on an ongoing basis
- Surveying over 300 of our leaders from each function, country and the Group as well as more than 360 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
To ensure good governance, the Social Responsibility Committee of the Board of Directors and the Sustainability Steering Committee, which consists of key subject matter experts and decision makers, regularly review our priorities in light of changing issues and expectations.
We review our material issues annually to make sure that we always reflect new insights from the business and our stakeholders.