Engaging our diverse stakeholders in long-term dialogue provides important input that informs our decision making, and helps us continuously improve and make progress toward our 2020 sustainability commitments.

Our Approach: An Ongoing Conversation, Continuous Improvement

We engage with our many stakeholder groups in a variety of formal and informal settings across the entire Coca-Cola system. Our engagements range from meetings with local, regional and national groups to ongoing dialogues with our bottlers, suppliers and consumers. At an international level, we are actively involved in multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as the United Nations Global Compact and the World Economic Forum, so that we can address pressing global challenges. By proactively working together with external stakeholder partners, we are able to identify and address issues by bringing together the expertise, knowledge and passion of many organizations and individuals. This approach helps us achieve far greater positive impact on environmental, social and other issues than by working alone.

We are committed to ongoing stakeholder engagement as a core component of our business and sustainability strategies, our annual reporting process, and our activities around the world. As active members of the communities where we live and work, we want to strengthen the fabric of our communities so that we can prosper together.

How We Engage with Stakeholders

The variety of our stakeholders and the breadth of our reach means we engage in different ways. Below we provide examples of our key stakeholders and the means by which we engage with them.

  • Bottling partners: day-to-day interaction as business partners, joint projects, joint business planning, functional groups on strategic issues, ‘Top-to-Top’ senior management forum, Global Environment Council;
  • Consumers: consumer hotlines, local websites, plant tours, research, surveys, focus groups;
  • Customers: regular visits, dedicated account teams, joint business planning, joint value creation initiatives, customer care centers, social media engagement, surveys;
  • Communities: community meetings, plant visits, partnerships on common issues, sponsorships, lectures at universities;
  • Employees: engagement surveys, senior executive business updates, town hall meetings, employee communications, individual development plans, health and safety communications programs, community and employee well-being projects, Ethics hotline;
  • Governments and regulatory authorities: foreign investment advisory councils, recycling and recovery initiatives, chambers of commerce;
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs): dialogue, partnerships on common issues, memberships of business and industry associations;
  • Shareowners and analysts: annual meeting of shareowners, quarterly earnings reports and webcasts, other investor presentations and webcasts, quarterly shareowner newsletter, and ongoing dialogue with investors and analysts;
  • Suppliers: joint value creation initiatives, annual supplier conference, sustainable sourcing, Supplier Guiding Principles, packaging associations;
  • Trade groups and industry and policy organizations: industry collaborations, joint value creation initiatives, ongoing dialogue, policy engagement activities. Learn more about:

Some of our engagement mechanisms and outcomes include:

Related to water sustainability, our efforts to protect local water sources can only be successful if they involve collaboration with local stakeholders, including governments, community members, water agencies, NGOs and others. As our bottling partners implement their source water protection plans (SWPPs), they engage local stakeholders and collaborate on solutions that serve local communities and ecosystems as well as our business. Learn more about our featured partnerships and stakeholder engagements around water stewardship.

Related to sustainable agriculture, in 2014 we continued working toward engaging suppliers of all our key ingredients through our new Supplier Engagement Program. It provides a framework consisting of seven stages of improvement toward reaching compliance with our Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles. We see beneficial synergy between our evolving sustainability reporting and stakeholder engagement processes. Our development of goals and strategies will continue to benefit from collaborative conversations with our stakeholders. Additionally, once our reports are published, we listen carefully to stakeholders’ feedback about where more clarification and explanation are desired within our disclosure topics.

Dialogue with a wide range of external stakeholders is critical to respecting human and workplace rights within our system. Continuous dialogue enables us to identify and address potential issues proactively and collaboratively. Click here for examples of our ongoing engagement in the area of human and workplace rights.

Employing the Golden Triangle Approach to Partnerships

“Given the complexity of today’s health and environmental issues, it’s challenging for one business — even one industry — to make a material difference on its own. Instead, we must rely on partnerships that connect across what I call the “Golden Triangle” of business, government and civil society.” -- Muhtar Kent, CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

We apply our Golden Triangle partnership approach to our stakeholder engagement work, spanning the public, private and civil society sectors. We recognize and embrace the idea that the collaborative power of partnerships can achieve much greater collective impact than would be possible by any one organization or sector working in isolation. The Golden Triangle partnership approach is a core part of our business strategy, and can foster sustainable business growth, environmental stewardship and social progress. We highlight examples of our Golden Triangle approach throughout our sustainability report.
Project Catalyst Partners

Project Catalyst – a quintessential Golden Triangle partnership of cane farmers, industry, government and civil society – aims to reduce polluted run-off from cane farms from entering the Great Barrier Reef. Click here to read about this grower-led initiative, which has expanded over eight years to nearly 80 cane farmers introducing and adopting innovative agricultural practices to improve soil, nutrient, pesticide, irrigation and storm water management on more than 20,000 hectares of farm land in North Queensland, Australia. Project Catalyst partners (left to right): Dermot O'Gorman, Chief Executive Officer of World Wildlife Fund-Australia; Roberto Mercadé, Business Unit President for Coca-Cola South Pacific; Joe Muscat and Tony Bugeja, cane farmers in Project Catalyst; Bea Perez, Chief Sustainability Officer of The Coca-Cola Company; and Royce Bishop, Chair of Reef Catchments Limited.

We Want to Hear From You

We set high standards for transparency and exemplary corporate citizenship, and work hard to live up to our stakeholders’ expectations. Comments, suggestions and critiques on our sustainability practices and reporting are welcome. Please send us a message via our virtual agent on the Contact Us page of Coca-Cola Journey.