Throughout the disclosures on this page and through our other reporting mechanisms, including our combined 2020 Business & ESG Report, we seek to demonstrate our ambition to work collaboratively with partners to address challenges that require broad collective action, such as water stewardship, sugar reduction and low- and no- calorie sweetener innovation, packaging circularity and climate action.
We undertake a variety of activities with diverse partners across a range of different areas and have included an overview of key activities for each below. In our work, we seek to apply the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, consistency and accountability to promote positive impact and create a cycle of collaboration and shared value. We engage with stakeholders through a variety of means, including meetings, conferences, briefings, events, roundtables, focus groups, interviews and public engagements. Our activities are underpinned by our company’s policies and practices, and, of course, applicable government laws, rules and regulations. Throughout this site we provide links to our policies and other supporting materials where applicable for further reading.
Our company’s Board of Directors, chaired by our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and comprising of 11 independent directors, all elected by our shareowners, has various committees to oversee our activities. These include an Audit Committee, Committee on Directors and Corporate Governance, Talent & Compensation Committee, Finance Committee, ESG & Public Policy Committee and an Executive Committee. Further information about the company’s corporate governance, including our Code of Business Conduct which covers the range of stakeholder engagement activities we undertake, can be found on our Corporate Governance page. Below we have included details as to when our Chairman and CEO holds a board or committee position within an organization. Further details regarding the positions held by our full executive leadership team can be found on our Leadership page.
Collaborations with stakeholders are essential to living our purpose. Throughout this page we aim to provide a holistic overview of our stakeholder engagement, focusing on our approach, as well as related data and policies.
We are a global business that operates on a local scale, in every community where we do business. We are able to create global reach with local focus because of the strength of the Coca-Cola system, which is comprised of our company and our bottling partners worldwide.
The primary way that our products reach the marketplace starts with The Coca-Cola Company, which manufactures and sells concentrates and syrups to authorized bottling operations. Coca-Cola also owns the brands and is responsible for consumer brand marketing initiatives. Our bottling partners manufacture, package, merchandise and distribute finished branded beverages to our customers and vending partners, who then sell our products to consumers.
All bottling partners work closely with customers – grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and movie theaters, among many others – to execute localized strategies developed in partnership with our company. Further information can be found on our Coca-Cola System page.
Supporting the local communities in which we are privileged to operate is part of our DNA. One of the ways this is done is through The Coca-Cola Foundation, our company's independent, international philanthropic arm. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives globally. The focus areas include disaster relief, water access and economic empowerment. The Foundation has also increased charitable giving and donations in response to COVID-19. In 2020, donations made by the Coca-Cola system, when combined with independent contributions from The Coca-Cola Foundation, totaled more than $90 million, benefiting more than 25 million people in 118 countries and territories. In 2021, the Foundation provided $20 million to the COVID-19 Stop the Spread Fund. An outline of grants paid, including organization name, payment and description of activity, can be found on The Coca-Cola Foundation page.
Beyond independent philanthropic activities, the company engages communities through its core business, distribution model and supply chain, focusing on our ESG priority areas. Through its sustainable development initiatives, which includes water stewardship, community recycling and economic empowerment, the company strives to have a positive impact in communities across the world in which we operate. Further information can be found in our combined 2020 Business & ESG Report.
At the core of The Coca-Cola Company is its consumers. We listen to consumer feedback and seek to offer people the products they want. We have approximately 200 master brands across the following beverage types: Coca-Cola and sparkling flavors; Hydration, sports, tea and coffee; Nutrition, juice, dairy and plant; and Emerging categories. We undertake consumer research, including through online surveys and focus groups, engaging with trusted partners such as IPSOS, Kantar and others.
With approximately 30 million customer outlets globally, our goal is to create value for all, both big and small. Our customers range from large stores like supermarkets, food service, and e-commerce platforms to smaller convenience stores. Our system works closely with our customers to improve our service and drive value-based relationships that lead to better business results and shared outcomes.
Our people and culture initiatives are critical business priorities, and we strive to be a global employer of choice that attracts high-performing talent with the passion, skills and mindsets to drive us on our journey to refresh the world and make a difference. We are committed to building an equitable and inclusive culture that inspires and supports the growth of our employees, serves our communities and shapes a more sustainable business. Focusing on four key growth behaviors – being curious, empowered, inclusive and agile – we value how we work as much as what we achieve. In 2021, the company ranked number 12 out of 750 in Forbes’ 2021 World’s Best Employers and number 22 in Fortune’s 2021 list of Most Admired Companies (and number 1 in the beverage industry). Further awards can be found on the company’s Our Culture page and our suite of policies can be found under the Employment section in our company’s policies page.
We believe that a safe and healthy workplace is a fundamental right of every person and a business imperative. Everyday, the people who produce and distribute our beverages should leave work as healthy and safe as when they arrived. In recent years, we have made progress toward our goal of zero work-related injuries and illnesses for employees and contractors, driven by our vision of Zero Is Possible. Further information on can be found on our Human & Workplace Rights Materials for Employees page.
We believe that companies must engage with governments around the world and play a role in helping create a more inclusive society, sustainable economy and healthier planet. In the U.S., the company engages directly with lawmakers and policymakers at the federal, state and local levels. At a global level, the company participates in activities through the United Nations Global Compact on achieving progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The company is also a strategic partner of the World Economic Forum and participates in their activities and engagements with government officials. Further information can be found in our combined 2020 Business & ESG Report.
Our activities must be compliant with all applicable laws and our values. The ESG & Public Policy Committee of the Board of Directors is charged with oversight and annual review of the company’s public policy agenda, political contributions, and lobbying. The Coca-Cola Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors is responsible for oversight and approval of PAC programming and contributions. Further details, including our oversight and compliance practices, can be found on our Political Engagement in the United States page. Information on our U.S. political contributions is available on our PAC Political Contributions page.
Health care professionals (HCP) and academic experts advance societal understanding of factors relevant to our business including health and hydration, product packaging and environmental stewardship. We engage with these stakeholders directly, and with partners such as peers and trade associations, to ensure we stay apprised of the latest research and expert perspectives. We also engage HCPs and academic experts to inform our innovation in functional ingredients, low- and no- calorie sweeteners, product and packaging technologies, and to advise on research needs.
We have an internal governance process for research and partnership activities that engage the HCP and the academic community, and we are guided by our policies including our Code of Business Conduct and our Research Principles. In addition, on a consolidated and easy-to-navigate page, we provide a list of Journal Publications we have authored and/or directly funded, either fully or partially, going back to 2008.
We value investor perception and feedback, continuously engaging with our investors through various communications platforms such as earnings calls, annual meetings, investor conferences and one-on-one meetings. Through these interactions, we understand the topics important to our investors and ensure our disclosures are oriented towards providing information on relevant topics.
The Investors page on our website offers a wide range of information and data, including downloadable materials, reports, presentations and videos on company strategy, structure and performance. The page also contains an archive of our financial filings and transcripts/audio recordings of our public investor events.
We believe we must work together by forming meaningful partnerships with NGOs that create shared opportunities for communities and people around the world. We are a partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and a proud signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, having reported progress annually for the last three years. We have a 14-year, 50+ country partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), whereby we have worked together on water replenishment, climate resilience, sustainable sourcing and preventing packaging waste. We are members of the International Food Information Council (IFIC), a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to communicate science-based information about health, nutrition, food safety and agriculture. The insights from and engagement with NGOs inform and help deliver business and ESG goals.
Our Chairman and CEO James Quincey is a member of the Special Olympics Board of Directors, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) International Business Council, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, Global Plastic Action Partnership and the 2030 Water Resources Group. Further information on the range of NGO partnerships we undertake globally can be found on our Partnerships page.
Partnerships with peer companies are important as we seek to collaborate on research projects and further our ESG goals and actions. In cooperation with our industry peers, we participate in many sugar reduction initiatives around the world, tailoring our approach to help reduce the intake of added sugars to meet the expectations of local consumers and stakeholders. In North America, we’re part of the American Beverage Association’s Balance Calories Initiative, which has committed to decrease beverage calories in the American diet by 20% per person by 2025. Together with seven of our peers, we were an inaugural investor in Circulate Capital, an investment firm dedicated to financing innovations that prevent plastic waste from entering oceans. The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund has raised over $100 million since its launch in 2019. Our Chairman and CEO James Quincey is Co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum, a member of the Business Roundtable, a founding member of the New York Stock Exchange Board Advisory Council and a member of Pfizer’s Board of Directors. Further information on initiatives we undertake globally with our peers can be found in our latest combined 2020 Business & ESG Report.
We aim to provide stakeholders with complete, transparent and candid information in our public communications. We recognize that there is a need for standardization across reporting frameworks, and we’re always evaluating reporting options, working with disclosure organizations and listening to stakeholder feedback. We have a robust reporting process that spans many years and our latest combined 2020 Business & ESG Report indexes its contents to several important reporting frameworks and standards: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework (UNGPRF). We provided our first CDP, (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) submission in 2005, and continue to disclose to CDP on climate, water, and most recently forests.
A sustainable and resilient agricultural supply chain is integral to our business and ESG goals, especially around climate, water and human rights. We primarily purchase ingredients from suppliers, rather than raw agricultural materials directly from farms. Given this, our partnerships with suppliers are critical to ensure they are certified as safe by global regulatory agencies, meet the quality we expect in the ingredients we use in our products, and maintain operations that respect human rights in line with our Supplier Guiding Principles. In addition, our Principles for Sustainable Agriculture guide our agricultural suppliers in their commitments to us to manage their supply chains responsibly. We also collaborate with our suppliers through trade organizations and support credible third-party standards, including the Farm Sustainability Assessment of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, the Bonsucro sustainable sugar cane standard and the Rainforest Alliance certification. To provide greater insight and transparency into our ingredient supply chain, we have published a List of Tier 1 Suppliers, representing the top 80 per cent of global spend for our top four priority ingredients by volume: sugar cane, sugar beets, corn (HFCS) and orange juice.
We are members of trade associations and organizations that represent a broad spectrum of views on industry and policy issues. Mission consistency is important to us, and through our internal governance processes, and through the ESG & Public Policy Committee of our Board of Directors, we review our participation on a regular basis. On this site we have published a list of U.S.-based Trade Associations and Organizations of which The Coca-Cola Company is a member of, and the non-deductible portion of our membership contribution that has been identified as lobbying. In Europe, the company is registered with the Transparency Register of the European Union, and publishes a list of memberships of organizations on the EU Transparency Register.
We are fully committed to collaborative problem-solving, understanding that we don’t always agree with the views of the groups of which we are members. We believe that is the best way to address a problem, have the greatest impact, and achieve the best outcome. We joined a coalition of companies in successfully petitioning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to update its policy on climate change, sending a letter encouraging the chamber to embrace the Business Roundtable statement and continue to play an active role in both the Chamber’s Climate Task Force Advisory Group and Climate Solutions Working Group.
In addition to the information provided above on our global engagements and initiatives, we have dedicated stakeholder engagement pages across each of our other geographical operating units outside of North America. Their pages can be found here:
Collaborations with key stakeholders, both internal and external, are essential to living our purpose. Throughout this page we have aimed to provide a holistic overview of our stakeholder engagement, focusing on our approach, and related data and policies. For feedback or questions, please contact us.
On this page we outline our scientific research principles and provide information on key areas of company research.
Rigorous scientific research is essential to support our innovation efforts, but also ensures we offer products that are safe and meet global regulatory requirements, and allows us to address questions of public health and consumer interest. Whether it is the research we fund independently or when we work in partnership, our company associates and others with whom we engage are required to adhere to the highest level of scientific integrity and to align with our research principles. This includes research performed through contract research organizations, consortiums, trade associations, independent third parties, NGOs, or direct engagement with scientific experts.
In late 2015 we committed to posting all of our funding for well-being scientific research and partnerships, going back to 2010. This list can be found here.
For feedback or questions, please contact us.
The Coca-Cola Company is committed to providing consumers with choice in great tasting beverages. This includes choices to help them manage calorie and sugar intake. In order to do this, Coca-Cola has developed a number of low- and no- sugar variants of our beverage brands. Key to delivering these options has been research into methods of sugar reduction as well as the development of new sweeteners and sweetener systems, while staying true to delivering great tasting beverages.
To help with this work, we rely on our long history of innovation in low- and no- calorie beverages grounded in our deep expertise in sweetener research, and the journey continues. We are applying our skills and knowledge to identify and bring to market low- and no- calorie sweetener options that exist in nature. Accordingly, the company has spent over $100 million on sweetener innovation and sugar reduction research since 2008. We have been joined in such efforts by other members of the food, beverage, and ingredient industries, who combined have invested over $1 billion dollars during this same period. This has helped lead to the development and broad use of stevia, and other sugar reduction technologies. Our efforts can further be observed by the publication of over 70 journal articles and many more patents since 2008.
In addition to our investigations into sweeteners, our research studies topics relate to the function of our beverages and the ingredients they contain, but also ensures product safety and support for statements or claims we make on our beverages. However, as we announced in 2015, the company will continue to prohibit support for any activities that seek to promote the health effects of sugar and initiatives that exclusively promote physical activity as the way to reach a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
As a total beverage company, our product offerings continue to evolve and respond to consumers’ desires for more choice across categories. We will continue initiatives to reduce sugar across our portfolio while providing more beverage options with nutrition and functional benefits. We will offer smaller packaging choices and provide consumers with clear information about our products.
Our research is governed by the following principles, which are based on standards of practice from global expert organizations, and they are reviewed on an annual basis:
We perform scientific research to support our innovation, to understand the functional effects of our products and ingredients they contain, to confirm their safety and to ensure that any claims are properly substantiated.
A global list of published journal articles going back to 2008 reflecting research that The Coca-Cola Company has directly funded, either partially or fully, or authored, can be found below and is tabulated by subject area (the lists exclude research undertaken by third parties such as trade associations). The articles cover a range of topics core to our business ranging from sweetener innovation, hydration and sports performance, to safety, sustainability and food science, revealing the wide breadth of research we have funded and/or authored over many years.
We have made our best effort to list all research within these research categories. If we learn of any errors or missing papers, we will update the list accordingly.
Our vision is to craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body and spirit. And done in ways that create a more sustainable business and better shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities and our planet.
Transparent collaboration with stakeholders is essential to achieving our purpose. We believe that meaningful partnerships can drive collective action and build shared opportunities for people and communities around the world.
On this page, we provide a holistic overview of our partnership across two important areas: