External assurance of sustainability performance indicators and other criteria is important to The Coca-Cola Company. Accuracy and reliability of information is key for making decisions, monitoring performance and external reporting.
As we continue to align our key performance indicators (KPIs) with our 2020 Sustainability Commitments, our aim is to apply rigor and independent review to all our KPIs – working closely with our external assurance partner. However, unlike financial accounting standards, there are currently no industry norms or globally recognized practices for evaluating and measuring many of the performance indicators in our 2020 Sustainability Commitments. This is evolving work and we continue to explore ways to increase transparency and validation of our metrics. A new report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Assurance: Generating Value from External Assurance of Sustainability Reporting, discusses how reporters and assurers can maximize value creation and reduce inefficiency during the assurance process.
Every year, we work to expand our list of assured KPIs. We prioritize the KPIs we review based on maturity (stage of development), timeliness (proximity to target completion) and where the metric ranks in our issue prioritization. In addition to assuring our KPIs, we conduct internal reviews throughout the year, as well as conducting assurance readiness programs that prepare our KPIs for external assurance.
The non-financial information included in the report is subject to certain uncertainties due to limitations inherent in the nature of measuring such data. For example, selection of different but acceptable measurement techniques can result in variances in measurements across the complete Coca-Cola system. However, our Company is committed to disclosing the most accurate information and metrics possible for our stakeholders and the public.
This is why, as we march toward our 2020 Sustainability Commitments, the quality and completeness of our disclosures is paramount.
Ernst & Young LLP performed independent review-level assurance for the calendar year ending December 31, 2015 on sustainability indicators related to: Front-of-pack labeling; Greenhouse gas emissions (manufacturing activities); Number of markets offering low- or no-calorie beverage options; Number of women enabled by the 5by20TM Program; Water replenish; and Water use ratio.
Additional external review of non-financial metrics was provided by other third parties. The following indicators have been assessed for the 2015 calendar year ending December 31, 2015: compliance with commitments to responsible marketing; and compliance with our Human and Workplace Rights policy.
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