Our People and Communities

Our people and communities


We know that our business can only be as healthy and strong as our people and the communities in which we operate


Mission 2025 sustainability commitments

  • Target zero fatalities among our workforce and reduce (lost time) accident rate by 50% vs. 2017;
  • 50% of manager positions will be held by women;
  • 10% community participants will join first-time managers’ development programmes;
  • Train one million young people through #YouthEmpowered;
  • Engage in 20 Zero Waste partnerships (city and/or coast);
  • 10% of employees will take part in volunteering initiatives.



We have strong and diverse brands that are part of our unique history but our secret ingredient for success is our people.

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Human Rights Framework

Respect for human rights is fundamental to the sustainability of Coca Cola HBC and the communities in which we operate. We are committed to ensuring that people are treated with dignity and respect.

Our Human Rights Policy is guided by international human rights principles, such as the International Labour Organisation’s international labour standards and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (also known as the Ruggie Framework), and covers diversity, collective bargaining and workplace security. Our Supplier Guiding Principles are also aligned with our Human Rights Policy and we expect our partners to respect the same workplace values as we do.

Regular reviews ensure that we adhere to all applicable laws and regulations, our Code of Business Conduct and internal standards. Certification on a regular basis confirms that we are in legal compliance, processes are well implemented, targets are set and reached, and reporting is timely and accurate. In addition, we have a well-publicised whistleblower system in place, with all cases investigated.

Among other activities, in 2019, we held a cross-functional workshop on Human Rights, with external speakers, as part of our drive to ensure that we continue our collaboration across functions in this vitally important area.

Workplace Accountability Audits

Our due diligence compliance model is driven through an external audit process.

Workplace Accountability Audits (Supplier Guiding Principles audits in our manufacturing operations) are conducted with a minimum cycle of every three years in Coca-Cola HBC’s plants.

The audit cycle is defined based on the audit outcome, with yearly follow up conducted for manufacturing sites with orange or red status. For all audit findings in all plants, mitigation or remediation process are required and implemented. (Green status means zero findings (no risk); yellow means low risk; orange means medium risk and red means high risk.)

Workplace Accountability Audits are conducted through an internationally recognized and accredited auditing organization. The audits cover our own processes and employees, contractors and others who are not employees such as staff of third-party service providers, (eg for security or canteens). Identified risks and mitigation plans are reviewed regularly by senior management.

Workplace accountability audits cover: Laws and regulations; Modern Slavery; Human Trafficking; Child Labor; Forced Labor; Abuse of Labor; Collective Bargaining; Wages and benefits; Working hours and overtime; Business Integrity; Work Environment; Health & Safety; Environment; and Demonstration of compliance. The audits specifically cover our own employees, children, migrant workers, women, indigenous people, and third-party contracted labour in our premises.

New acquisitions are internally assessed for compliance to the SGPs, as part of the acquisition process, which includes relevant monitoring and enforcement activities related to Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking, Child Labour and Human Rights generally, to the extent applicable to the target’s business and supply chain, including the steps taken by the target entity to ensure slavery, human trafficking, child labour and other human rights violations are not taking place in any of its supply chains and in any part of its own business. During the initial year of integration the assessment on compliance to the SGPs continues and is covered by the external audit process upon full business and process integration.

All our 52 manufacturing sites were audited in the three-year cycle 2018-2020, with findings identified in 10 plants and corrective action plans put in place for all 10 plants. These mitigation plans were closed in six of those 10 plants within findings, resulting in some 8% of all CCH plants with active mitigation plans by end 2020. During 2020, the following remediation actions were taken on our most significant findings: we have reviewed our use of contractors and sub-contracting processes for long-term third-party services and implemented additional clauses to our contracts with such parties relating to Health and Safety; and we have reviewed and improved our employee documentation in those countries where findings in this area were identified. There were no findings of human rights violations related to our own employees in 2020 and therefore no remediation actions to redress such violations were required.


The health and safety of our people and contractors is managed as a key priority, with emphasis placed on the critical importance of ensuring the well-being of everyone at our workplaces.

As part of our Mission 2025 sustainability commitments, we target zero work-related fatalities (every year) and our goal is to reduce lost time accidents per 100 FTE by 50% by 2025 vs. the 2017 baseline.

Our fleet safety training programmes aim to improve safety for all drivers within the Group. The blend of online, classroom and on-the-road training elements is adjusted for different groups, reflecting their relative risk classification. To reduce the number of road accidents, we have continued installing collision avoidance technology in fleet vehicles.

In 2020 we achieved the so far lowest and therefore best lost time accident rate (LTAR) per 100 FTEs - 0.23, and the best results for accidents per million kilometres driven (APMK) - 2.02.

The behavioral based safety programme (BBS) was deployed in the last years. Now we have achieved the full implementation in all our manufacturing and warehouse facilities and extended it further to our commercial departments in 18 countries.

In 2020 we have conducted an external health and safety cultural survey in commercial departments with a 66% participation rate and a 80% score. We have assessed four specific categories: people, process, purpose and proactivity, and have evaluated for all four several dimensions, such as empowerment, strategy, awareness, training, communication etc. Based on the survey result, the local organisations developed corrective action plans for the areas with lower scores. We are continuing to follow up the progress towards the plan on a regular base.

Regular health and safety awareness trainings are completed by all our employees. Further, we deploy bi-annual awareness campaigns, so called “health and safety weeks”, where different health and safety topics are communicated and discussed within our organisation. In 2020 the overarching theme of the safety campaign was “Who you are staying safe for?”, reminding our employees that they are not just staying safe for themselves but also for their families, friends and colleagues who all care about them.

In 2021 we will launch a new programme called “Life Saving Rules”, developed together with The Coca-Cola Company and other bottlers. The programme promotes 14 safety rules with specific requirements which should be gradually implemented in all the production and logistic sites where we operate.

Employee Assistance Programme

In 2020, we introduced an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) across all of our countries, helping employees manage any personal or employment matters – health, relationships or financial – that might impact their wellbeing and work performance. Operated by an industry leader in this service, our EAP offers a free service available 24/7 for employees and their immediate families to access support when they need it, with all information shared private and confidential.

The programme offers emotional support, such as with anxiety, depression, stress management, bereavement or personal relationship issues, as well as practical every day support, such as on financial issues, parenting, retirement planning or any other matters that might be causing concern.

Access to the EAP is through dedicated telephone lines in our local languages. Initially, a professional assessment of which kind of support the individual would most benefit from is offered, followed by referral, as appropriate, to a counsellor for support. There is an online app, too, that employees can use to access support and resources.

The EAP offers an additional service for managers to help them address workplace issues, such as dealing with conflict, communicating with team members, building resilience and boosting morale.

The challenges of the pandemic meant that it was more important than ever to support our employees. The EAP is there to help our people, any time, on any matter.

As part of our responsibility towards the health and wellness of our employees, we have also developed a framework for health and dependent care and offer a range of flexible working arrangements.

Health and Dependent Care

Our Health and Dependent Care Framework was designed to address the wellbeing needs of our employees. This framework provides our countries with the structure and flexibility required in order to offer benefits above statutory requirements while taking local demands into account.

Our Health Care initiatives fall under three pillars (medical plans, targeted health programmes and paid sick leave) and may include medical and health insurance benefits, preventative measures such as vaccination programmes and medical check-ups, gym facilities or subsidized gym memberships and nutrition information.  We have implemented mandatory medical coverage for our employees in our countries where the statutory medical infrastructure is not robust.

Our Dependent Care initiatives also fall under three pillars (carer’s leave, subsidies and development) and may include maternity and paternity leave in excess of the legally required minimum, subsidies for kindergarten or school activities, school supplies, family events and career days. The amount of additional leave and/or additional pay for maternity and paternity leave varies among our countries. In Switzerland, two additional weeks of paid maternity leave and four additional days of paternity leave are offered. In Ireland and the UK, statutory minimum maternity pay is supplemented to provide 10 weeks of full pay and up to 18 weeks of half pay of the employee’s annual base salary, while the Company contributes to statutory paternity pay for the first week of leave so that the employee is fully paid. In Cyprus, Greece and Ukraine, a further three days of paid maternity and paternity leave are offered to our employees. We have implemented a minimum paternity leave of five days across all our countries.

Our approach to wellbeing exemplifies our values while supporting our employees and allowing them to thrive.

Flexible working arrangements

We define flexible working as flexibility on when, where and how work is done. Across the company, we promote the use of flexible working to support the delivery of our business strategy.

Our approach is founded on the principle that flexible working is a win-win for employees as well as for our business. We believe that flexible working arrangements are a partnership between manager and employee. Managers trust employees to make it work and employees know they are trusted to deliver high performance. Our framework allows employees to sustain energy, be more productive and help grow our company.

In response to the pandemic, we moved quickly to ensure as many employees as possible could work remotely, with some 39% of our workforce now working from home, and over half of our workforce (53%) covered by flexible working time arrangements in 2020.

The forms of flexible working offered include:

  • Flex time: Employees vary their start and finish times
  • Remote work: Flexibility in where employees perform their job, e.g.., from home
  • Part-time work: Employees work fewer hours than the standard working hours
  • Compressed working: Employees work standard hours across fewer days.



Global alignment

Over the years, our community investments have evolved from standalone philanthropic initiatives to long-term, group-wide programmes closely linked to our business priorities and material issues. We took steps to align our community agenda with The Coca Cola Company’s global priorities and initiatives. The size and reach of the Coca Cola System has unique advantages in helping to address global challenges, including those in scope of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

While we continue to work on issues of local relevance in specific markets, we have prioritised three programme areas that are of critical importance across all of our 28 countries of operation:

  • empowering youth and women;
  • achieving a World Without Waste;
  • water stewardship initiatives.

We have introduced country-level guidelines for community spending. Going forward, our markets will allocate their community budgets to reflect our programme priorities with 40% directed to youth empowerment programmes, 30% to waste management, 20% to water stewardship and 10% allocated for local initiatives. Our overall spending – €10.6 million in 2019 – shows that we allocated 31% on youth, 18% on waste, 33% on water, and 18% on local programmes out of the total community investment. Five of our 17 new commitments for 2025 help to drive progress in the three prioritised programme areas of our updated community strategy:

  • train one million young people through #YouthEmpowered;
  • engage in 20 Zero Waste partnerships (city and/or coast);
  • help secure water availability for all our communities in water-risk areas;
  • have 10% community participants in first-time managers’ development programmes;
  • have 10% of employees take part in volunteering initiatives.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our community initiatives contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our initiatives to empower youth and women contribute to the goals for quality education, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, and partnerships.

Our initiatives regarding water stewardship and waste reduction aid global progress toward the SDGs for clean water and sanitation, and climate action. Wellbeing related initiatives, such as the installation of walking trails, help advance the global objectives of good health and wellbeing, and support sustainable cities and communities.

Through our flagship programme #YouthEmpowered, we have been tackling one of the most relevant societal issues in many of our markets – the employability of young people. Since introducing #YouthEmpowered in 2017, we have rolled out the programme to all of our markets.

Markets with specific employment challenges, such as Greece, Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina, are posing particular barriers to young job seekers. In other countries with labour shortages, young people may enter the job market but without the skillset needed. 

The programme aims to support vulnerable youth, educationally underserved and those aspiring for better employment. It was designed to facilitate their transition from school to meaningful employment and help them adapt to changing work environments.

#YouthEmpowered offers in-person and online training to help young people develop business acumen and life skills. In addition to this comprehensive training, we offer mentoring sessions alongside Coca-Cola HBC senior managers. As a result, programme participants are also able to build professional and personal networks. To ensure the highest quality of curriculum and improve the outreach, we partner with the highly renowned NGOs in the field of youth development.

We tailor our approach to address specific needs and leverage collaboration with local partners, further strengthening the impact of the programme. In Poland, our online quest helps young people understand their strengths and the skills needed for the local job market. In Ukraine, where our platform was recognised as the best innovative project for the country’s youth, we help students prepare for their graduation exams. In Italy, we have established new partnerships to recognise excellence and leadership for girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

With the grave economic disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, our #YouthEmpowered initiative to improve the employability of young people is more important than ever. In Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and various other markets, we were able to step up engagement with young people through digital platforms re-designed for a local approach. In Croatia, Greece and Russia, we re-purposed #YouthEmpowered tools to support the hard-hit hospitality and tourism sectors, with new modules designed to build skills and re-train employees.

As a part of our process of aligning initiatives, we have linked #YouthEmpowered with 5by20, The Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the Company’s value chain. 2020 marked a successful completion of the programme with more than six million women entrepreneurs enabled, with #YouthEmpowered’s significant contribution in Central and Eastern Europe.

Since the launch, more than 330,000 young people have participated in #YouthEmpowered programmes. We will continue to engage, refining our efforts for greater impact and seeking to reach one million young people across our markets by 2025.

We believe every package has value and life beyond its initial use and that it should be collected and recycled into a new package. We seek to minimise the overall amount of packaging that we use. Together with our suppliers and partners, we are working to design more sustainable packaging and take action to ensure that our packaging does not end up as waste.

Read more about our World Without Waste strategy here: World Without Waste | Coca-Cola HBC (coca-colahellenic.com)

Maintaining the long-term sustainability of the watersheds around our bottling plants is important to our business and to our relationships with local communities. Coca-Cola HBC is supportive of the new global 2030 Water Framework for the Coca-Cola System. The objectives include less shared water challenges, better watershed health and sustainable supply chains as well as more community water resilience.

As a result of the new framework, in 2020 we have reclassified our bottling plants, i.e. production facilities in water stress areas, or in areas which lack access to drinking water. Based on this allotment, 19 of our 54 plants operate in water priority areas. Most of these are in Nigeria, with challenges related to water access and sanitation. Other locations include Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Russia, with particular opportunities for water-replenishment activities, nature-based solutions, and water quality improvements.

In line with our Mission 2025, we are committed to improve water efficiency by 20% versus the baseline of 2017 and to help secure water availability for the communities and environment specifically in those areas.

We protect the water resources supplying our facilities, reduce the amount of water we use to produce our soft drinks and treat wastewater to levels that support aquatic life. We also partner with suppliers to minimise our water footprint across the value chain.

Addressing the water availability, we will focus on either water access initiatives or on replenishment activities. For all these, we will seek partnerships within The Coca-Cola System, with other companies operating in the relevant watershed area and international organisations.

As an example, we trained a total of 217 participants from five state municipal water suppliers in Nigeria to secure water availability for local communities. We launched this initiative in partnership with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI International) and US Agency for International Development with the aim of developing technical and managerial capabilities, supporting the municipal supplier to secure water availability in the communities.

Along with our three key programme areas, we address local issues which have strategic relevance for our business. We support initiatives across our 28 countries to improve community wellbeing and health. By partnering with the Red Cross, local NGOs and foodbanks, we help vulnerable groups and people in need. In natural disasters or crisis situations, we are often among the first companies to lend a hand to emergency services and communities with in-kind or cash contributions. In addition to donating our products, sanitising equipment and emergency relief funds, we encourage our employees to act as volunteers. Furthermore, we promote active, healthy lifestyles by installing active zones, walking trails and paths, and supporting sports events and social gatherings.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, at the beginning of 2020 we channeled our efforts into supporting hospitals, HoReCa sector and communities. Over the pandemic period, we have donated over five million litres of beverages to hospitals, NGOs, front-line workers and foodbanks. Through our supply chain infrastructure, we produced face shields and sanitiser bottles. Our people also volunteered at local help-at-home programmes to aid those in need during the difficult lockdown times. Read more about our response to the COVID-19 crisis here: COVID-19 | Coca-Cola HBC (coca-colahellenic.com)

Despite the pandemic, we continued with our long-standing projects aimed at local community wellbeing. Our “After Us” initiative in Romania is aimed at preserving the country’s natural resources and cultural heritage. Within the programme, we carried out eco-touristic projects in The Land of Dornas where our local water brands are produced, around the Bigar waterfall in the Caras-Severin County and in Tecșești, an isolated village in Transylvania. In Czechia, following our guidance, Prague 14, our local plant's district, has adopted responsible waste management principles for all cultural and sports events. In Ireland, we continued our support of the Simon Community, Fareshare, and FoodCloud making monthly product donations to help address food poverty and reducing food waste. 

We strive for long-term partnerships with nongovernmental organisations, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to maximise the impact of community programmes. In 2020, we cooperated with more than 940 local and international organisations and partners, including the International Federation of the Red Cross, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Junior Achievement, Teach for All and the Global Water Partnership.

Beyond our financial investments to address the pressing challenges described above, we enable our people to volunteer a portion of their work hours to support community programmes. This not only positively impacts our communities, but provides learning and development opportunities and supports employee engagement and wellbeing.

Within our Mission 2025 sustainability commitments, we aim to have at least 10% of our employees taking part in volunteering activities during their work time every year and we have a few countries which have committed to having 100% of their employees participate at least 1 day in volunteering initiatives.

Cash contribution €2,774,316
Employee volunteering during paid working hours     €357,043
In-kind, including product donations €5,200,781
Management overheads    €1,059,995