Our Approach

In order to address the right issues and report on them effectively, we conducted a priority issue analysis as part of our reporting to the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Guidelines. Prioritizing sustainability issues on a relative basis is a best practice in corporate sustainability reporting, and is a requirement of reporting in accordance with the GRI guidelines. All issues that we identified are important to our Company. Our priority issues for sustainability reporting are found in the upper right portion of the matrix.

Our Priority Issue Analysis

We conducted our first priority issue analysis in 2014 and our second in 2015. We strengthened our process in 2015 to better align our priorities not just within The Coca-Cola Company, but across the Coca-Cola system. We also increased the number of inputs by conducting more interviews with Coca-Cola leaders across the globe, our bottling partners and external stakeholders.

We applied the GRI Reporting Principles for Defining Report Content to select these issues. Our process for identifying the strategic priority areas and issues we report on was:

  • Using recognized sustainability reporting standards and working together with a third-party management consulting firm, we began with a list of more than 100 environmental, social and governance topics of potential relevance.
  • From this list, we identified the most relevant sustainability topics for the Coca-Cola system and then assessed each topic's impact and importance to the Coca-Cola system and our stakeholders.
  • We reviewed a broad variety of internal and external stakeholder source documents, including interview transcripts, questionnaires and surveys from direct engagement with our stakeholder groups. We reviewed surveys, profiles and information requests from prominent ranking organizations including CDP and the United Nations Global Compact, among others. We also reviewed documents that revealed the interests of our customers, investors and the issues identified by our industry peers.
  • We held sessions to ensure that face-to-face engagement with diverse groups of stakeholders informed our analysis, including through our collaboration with Ceres.
  • We reviewed topics against global trends.
  • We engaged executives across The Coca-Cola Company and received feedback from Finance, Legal, Audit, Technical, Chief Sustainability Office and Public Affairs & Communications, who reviewed and vetted both the process and outcomes.
  • The results of our analyses appear on the prioritization matrix, which shows the relative significance of each topic from these diverse perspectives.
  • Our highest priority topics—in the upper-right band of the matrix—were determined to be the top priority issues to report on for the Coca-Cola system.

Priority Issues Matrix

Our most recent priority issue analysis, conducted in 2015, primarily captures stakeholders’ perspectives during a moment in time, but their concerns were communicated against the evolving context of our business. Based on our findings, the following changes resulted from our priority issue analysis update:

First, we listened to our stakeholders’ feedback to address the issue of obesity more directly. We updated the disclosure heading to Obesity Concerns and Category Perceptions (formerly Active Healthy Living), because we believe it more accurately represents our work in the area. It also reflects the growing concern about obesity among consumers, public health professionals and government stakeholders. Changing the name reflects our commitment to be part of the solution to this complex public health challenge.

Additionally, because both Marketing Responsibly and Transparent Nutrition Information are integral parts of our efforts to address obesity concerns, they are now included in our definition of Obesity Concerns and Category Perceptions.
Finally, this year we included Women’s Economic Empowerment and Occupational Safety & Health in our top priority issues. Women’s Economic Empowerment ranked higher this year, which aligns with our leadership priorities and reflects, in part, an increase in the view that our 5by20TM initiative is a key driver in improving trust and brand reputation. Occupational Safety & Health has always been an important issue for us and our system and the topic’s positioning reflects our continued emphasis on safety. 

While our reporting covers all issues included in this assessment, we have not set targets or KPIs for every issue tracked. We continue to report against our 2020 sustainability commitments, and will rely on our ongoing stakeholder engagement and future revisions to our matrix to guide the next evolution of our performance indicators. In addition to our 2020 scorecard, we also report on GRI G4 indicators that align to our priority issues. See our full GRI Index, which provides an overview of our indicators and disclosures against the GRI guidelines, in addition to the UNGC Communication of Progress, the UN Guiding Principles of Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.