Addressing Global Issues
We take a proactive approach to respecting human 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. We use due diligence as a means to identify and prevent human rights risks to people in our business and value chain. Where we have identified adverse human rights impacts resulting from or caused by our business activities, we are committed to provide for or cooperate in, their fair and equitable remediation.
Between 2015 and 2017, we focused on identifying the most severe actual and potential impacts on human rights associated with our activities and business relationships – our salient human rights risks. We conducted workshops with participants from functions across four continents involving more than 180 experts. The risk ranking that resulted from these workshops was further discussed in a global stakeholder consultation process. As a result of this internal and external input, we identified the following 13 salient human rights issues associated with the Company`s activities and business relationships:
- Safety and health of all workers, security, right to life;
- Equality / nondiscrimination and related issues / risks;
- Child labor;
- Forced migrant labor / forced labor of seasonal workers;
- Freedom of association;
- Access to water, environmental pollution, wastewater;
- Working hours;
- Healthy lifestyles;
- Land rights;
- Product safety / quality;
- Rights linked to sponsorships;
- Right to privacy; and
- Linkage to corruption / anti-bribery risks through value chain.
The Coca‑Cola Company's Human Rights Report provides a comprehensive view on how we address these issues.
The Coca‑Cola Company has also committed to conduct 28 third-party due diligence studies by 2020, focused on child labor, forced labor and land rights related to our sugar supply chain. These country studies focus on sugar because it is one of the biggest commodities we source. Please find links to these studies below and learn about the methodology here. More information on the sugar studies and our follow up is included in our human rights report and in this summary report on lessons learned to date.
When we identify that we have caused or contributed to adverse human rights impacts, we are committed to providing for or cooperating in remediation. There are various channels through which individuals, groups and communities can raise grievances. At the global level, trade unions and civil society may raise concerns about adverse human rights impacts through our ongoing dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders. At a regional level, our Business Units around the world proactively engage with local communities where they conduct business. Any serious issue, that cannot be addressed locally, may be escalated to the global level, where a cross-functional team will investigate the issue.
In addition, we undertake regular audits of our Company-owned facilities, independent bottlers, and direct, authorized suppliers. When an audit identifies any non-compliances, a corrective action plan is established to have these issues addressed within an agreed time frame. The corrective action is tracked and may require a re-audit to determine if the improvement has occurred. We also expect our suppliers and bottlers to provide workers with a mechanism to express grievances without fear of reprisal and ensure concerns are appropriately addressed in a timely manner. Employees of The Coca‑Cola Company are encouraged to report grievances through the EthicsLine, a global web and telephone information and reporting service. Telephone calls are toll-free, and the EthicsLine is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with translators available. For systemic issues, such as human rights risks linked to mega-sporting events, we collaborate with other like-minded organizations and companies to prevent, mitigate and remedy adverse human rights impacts.