"When we look at what has worked best for us over the past 125 years, it has not been about a single big-bang product innovation, a new marketing breakthrough or a bullet-proof business model. The secret to our secret formula has always been the power of the relationships and partnerships our people have forged all around the world." -- Muhtar Kent
We believe that dialogue with a wide-range of external stakeholders is critical to respecting human and workplace rights within our system. Our reporting and progress in the area of Human Rights includes a commitment to continuous dialogue, which enables us to identify and address potential issues proactively and collaboratively. By combining our experience with the expertise, passion and knowledge of our stakeholders and partners we develop robust approaches to respect human and workplace rights. Furthermore, by working with other relevant parties from various sectors including private, public, non-profit and labor, we believe we can have a greater and more sustainable impact than by working alone. Here are a few examples of our ongoing engagement.
International Union of Foodworkers (IUF)
Since 2005 we have met twice annually with the International Union of Foodworkers and several of its affiliates. The IUF is a world-wide federation of trade unions representing workers in sectors including agriculture and plantations, food and beverages, and hotels among others. More than 30 percent of our business system’s employees are members of unions affiliated with the IUF. The semi-annual meetings, in addition to ongoing communications, provide a forum to discuss a variety of labor relations matters. Read our updated joint statement (PDF).
Human Rights Conferences
During the past eight years we have hosted industry conferences on human rights topics at our facilities in Atlanta which have been sponsored by the United States Council for International Business, the International Organization of Employers and the United States Chamber of Commerce to tackle issues related to human rights. All of the conferences have been hosted at our World Headquarters in Atlanta office complex, except the seventh conference, which was at the new Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.
These conferences have engaged business in addressing forced labor, child labor, and other business and human rights issues. In 2010 and 2011, Professor John Ruggie, the former UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, was the keynote speaker and focused on his “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework for respecting human rights in a business context and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The 2015 conference, which convened more than 150 leaders from businesses, government and non-governmental organizations, focused on strategies to demonstrate respect for human rights in business. Conference panels addressed key issues including:
- Supply Chain Impacts: forced labor and land rights
- Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining: linkage to human rights
- Human Rights Due Diligence: how to do it, the importance of transparency and understanding stakeholder expectations
- Human Rights Remedy: a discussion of business’ accountability for remedy and what effective remedies look like
Agendas from the conferences hosted by TCCC to engage business on Human Rights issues:
- Demonstrating Respect for Human Rights in Business (2015)
- Integrating Respect for Human Rights in Business (2014)
- Addressing the Hard Issues: Myanmar, Human Trafficking, Conflict Minerals, Supply Chain, Guiding Principles Best Practice (2013)
- Addressing Human Trafficking in Labor Sourcing (2012)
- Implementing Respect for Human Rights (2011)
- Addressing Respect for Human Rights (2010)
- Addressing Child Labor (2009)
- Addressing Forced Labor (2008)
Brand Collaboration: AIM Progress
The Coca-Cola Company is a leading member of AIM-PROGRESS, a forum of 44 fast-moving consumer goods manufacturers and suppliers working together to promote responsible sourcing practices. Through AIM-PROGRESS's joint training initiative, members conduct in-person and virtual supplier training sessions around the world. During these day-long events, business leaders from participating companies provide perspective on why responsible sourcing is important to customers, stakeholders and sustainable businesses
Trainings cover the four major pillars of responsible sourcing: human rights and labor standards, health and safety, environmental compliance and business integrity. The sessions also provide a forum for suppliers to ask questions, share best practices and learn from each other.. To date the sessions have reached approximately 2,500 suppliers. . Over the last few years The Coca-Cola Company co-hosted events in collaboration with other AIM-PROGRESS members in New Delhi, Dubai, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos and Turkey.
Member companies recognize supplier audits completed on behalf of another company through a framework called Mutual Recognition. Recognizing audits conducted on behalf of another company reduces audit fatigue, reduces time and costs on the part of suppliers and shifts the focus from auditing to performance.
Each year AIM-PROGRESS conducts an annual benchmarking survey to track progress among members, identify trends and share best practices. The executive summary is available online and outlines member activities including conducting over 9,000 audits in 2014 and increased their focus on corrective actions and remediation.