The Coca-Cola Company’s commitment to Human Rights is unwavering and one that requires constant review and reflection. Today, more than ever, we’re faced with an ever-changing and dynamic operating environment that puts business in a position in which it must continuously evolve. Such change and adaptation have been a constant for The Coca-Cola Company over its more than 130 years and we’ve worked to help ensure the company, our brands, business operations and engagements with communities are reflective of key issues and consumer needs and expectations – for today and well into the future.
It’s in that spirit and changing operational environment, that we are proud to launch an updated Human Rights Policy. This policy, which serves as the cornerstone of our human rights work, establishes a clear foundation for managing our business, in accordance with overarching global principles, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The company’s Public Issues and Diversity Review Committee, which I am honored to chair, provides oversight for this policy and closely monitors the company’s human rights work and ongoing efforts to ensure that we are respecting human rights in our value chain. The updated policy reflects lessons learned from extensive consultations around the world, involving associates within the company as well as external stakeholders, to identify the salient human rights risks that are the most severe potential impacts associated with our business.
Through this update, we aim to address these salient human rights risks in a comprehensive manner in an effort to help ensure that the company does not cause or contribute to adverse human rights impacts, wherever we operate.
Any policy is only as good as its implementation. The roll-out and implementation of the updated human rights policy will be a key focus of the company in the days ahead. And, leadership sets the tone, starting with CEO James Quincey, calling on all associates to follow the updated Human Rights policy and report any violations of the policy without fear of retaliation.
In addition, we’ve translated the updated Human Rights Policy and accompanying guidance into even more languages than before, to ensure that associates fully understand the company’s commitments to all employees and also to clarify what is expected of them. This will be coupled with training for our associates and socialization of this policy across the Coca-Cola system and with its business partners.
Collaboration and partnership are key to advance human rights and strengthen the human rights performance of The Coca-Cola
Company. This is accompanied by a deep and faithful engagement within the Coca-Cola
system and with stakeholders, driven by a commitment to work together to ensure we are respecting and promoting human rights in our end to end value chain.
Alexis Herman, Chair of the Public Issues and Diversity Review Committee, Board of Directors, The Coca-Cola Company