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Human & Workplace Rights

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Human Workplace Rights

An essential ingredient in every one of our products is our profound commitment to human rights and workplace rights. Respecting human and workplace rights is fundamental to our culture and imperative for a sustainable business. In our Company and across our system, we are working to make sure all people are treated with dignity and respect. We consider human and workplace rights—as articulated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work—to be inviolable. We take a proactive approach to respecting these rights in every workplace of The Coca-Cola Company, in our bottling system, in our supply chain and in the communities in which we operate.

In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which provide guidance for addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity. We formally endorsed those principles after working for several years with Professor John Ruggie, the former UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights. His “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework for respecting human rights in a business context, along with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, are now among our primary touchstones as we develop our own programs and practices.

According to the Principles, any company implementing respect for human rights in a corporate context must put three primary components into place:

  • A policy commitment to meet the responsibility to respect human rights;
  • A due diligence process to identify, prevent, mitigate and be accountable for human rights abuses; and
  • Processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts the Company causes or to which it contributes.

We are implementing all three of these components in our Company and are working with our bottling partners and suppliers to help them implement the Principles as well.

The foundation of our approach lies in four key documents: Our Human Rights Statement; our Workplace Rights Policy; our Supplier Guiding Principles; and our Global Mutual Respect Policy, which we introduced in 2012 (please see below).

All four documents are consistent with the United Nations (UN) and International Labour Organization (ILO) declarations. Together, they describe our high standards and expectations, addressing such subjects as freedom of association, forced labor, child labor, discrimination, hours of work, safety, workplace security, and community and stakeholder engagement. Our Human Rights Statement, our Workplace Rights Policy and our Global Mutual Respect Policy apply to all entities in which The Coca-Cola Company owns a majority interest. Many of our larger bottling partners have their own human rights policies.

For several years, we have undertaken the complex work of ensuring that our entire business system and supply chain align with our policies. We expect our Company, our bottling partners and our suppliers to avoid causing, or contributing to, adverse human rights impacts as a result of business actions and to address such impacts when they occur. Furthermore, our Company, bottling partners and suppliers are also responsible for preventing or mitigating adverse human rights impacts directly linked to their operations, products or services by their business relationships.

To meet these expectations, our Company, bottling partners and suppliers are incorporating processes for identifying, preventing and mitigating their impacts on human rights. Additionally, all are required to implement a process for remediation of any adverse human rights impacts they cause or contribute to.

Our efforts to promote respect for human rights across the Coca-Cola system and throughout our supply chain are being recognized. In January 2011, Calvert Investments, Inc., announced that we met its “environmental, social and governance criteria as a result of clear progress in labor and human rights.” For more information, read Calvert's analysis of our progress.

Related Links:
Human Rights Statement
Workplace Rights Policy
Global Mutual Respect Policy
Supplier Guiding Principles
Human Rights Screensaver