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 management 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 55 manufacturing sites were audited in the three-year cycle 2020-2022, with findings identified in 3 plants and corrective action plans put in place for all 3 plants. These mitigation plans were closed in 1 of those 3 plants within findings, resulting in some 4% of all Coca-Cola HBC plants with active mitigation plans by end 2022. During Q1 of 2023 remaining remediation actions were closed on our most significant findings by introducing enhanced control over the 3rd party recruiting companies (labour agencies) and 3rd party logistic contractors with specific legal clauses,  and added assurance mechanisms for compliance with the Supplier Guiding Principles (SGP) in Nigeria. There were no findings of human rights violations related to our own employees in 2022 and therefore no remediation actions to redress such violations were required.

We make the health and safety of our people, contractors and visitors a key priority and place emphasis on the critical importance of ensuring the well-being of everyone at our workplaces.

Mission 2025 sustainability commitments

As part of our Mission 2025 sustainability commitments, we have the following targets:

  • Every year: 0 work-related fatalities;
  • Reduce lost time accidents per 100 FTE by 50% by 2025 vs. the 2017 baseline.

Alongside, we are monitoring other relevant H&S indicators, such as Near miss, Severe near miss, Medical treatment cases, First aid, Behavior Based Safety (BBS) observations conducted, Safety barrier removal rate, BBS observers trained, Accidents per million km driven (APMK), etc.

In 2022 we achieved 0.34 lost time accident rate (LTAR) per 100 FTEs, and the Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate for contractors (per million hours worked) was reported 1.92. We are proud to report continuous improvement of the accidents per million kilometers driven (APMK) which is 1.85 in 2022.

In Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) we have implemented thorough process for assessing Occupational Health and Safety risks for all routine and non-routine activities across the organization. To register continuous improvement cycle and assuring health and safety of all employees, contractors and visitors, learnings from all incidents recorded in CCH are included in this process.

All health and safety related incidents are being investigated locally by x-functional teams of experts from different departments. Steps taken for the investigation are based on 14 internal investigation principles which are published in our Incident Management Investigation document. The investigation teams use Structured Problem-Solving methodology, including Fishbone analysis and 5 WHY principles. The analysis of incidents is performed in steps: 1) interviews, 2) incident preservation procedure, 3) root cause analysis and 4) corrective/preventive action plan.

After the incident investigation, one-pager lesson learned document is created and shared locally with all respective teams. It serves as a tool for learning and prevention of similar incidents in the future. This document is published on a special internal platform for knowledge sharing, accessible for all. 

On top of the above and to proactively prevent any at-risk situations potentially leading to occupational health incidents, severe injuries or fatalities, we have introduced new measure being reported by all our operations, called Potential Severe Injuries and Fatalities (SIFp). All SIFp identified (e.g., severe near miss, incidents etc.) trigger revision of the risk assessment and hazard mitigation measures.

To take learnings from the severe near misses, SIF potentials and all incidents, we share and publish individual lessons learned across all our operations.

H&S Programs and initiatives

Our fleet safety training programmes aim to improve safety for all drivers within the Group. The blend of 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.

To drive our safety culture across the entire organization, we have developed and deployed Behavior Based safety program. Currently we have achieved full implementation in all our manufacturing and warehouse facilities and extended it further to our commercial function in 90% of our territories as well as started in our administrative offices. We succeeded in covering 34% of office areas by the end of 2021. During 2021, we eliminated 82.8% of barriers to safety identified under this programme. We are proud to report that, by the end of 2021, 7,652 employees and 865 contractors were trained as behaviour-based safety observers supporting the programme.

Regular health and safety awareness trainings are completed by all our employees. Moreover, we deploy bi-annual awareness campaigns, so called “health and safety weeks”, where we engage with employees across the markets in different health and safety topics.

In 2021 we launched a new The Coca-Cola Company programme called “Life Saving Rules”. It promotes 14 safety rules with specific requirements covering full scope of our processes across the entire organization. Compliance with these requirements is being assessed on a quarterly basis in every location, taking corrective actions to achieve error-intolerant systems and processes.

H&S Management Systems

We’ve implemented our occupational health and safety (OHS) management system based on both national standards in the country where we operate and based on The Coca-Cola Company KORE requirements, which are either equal or in many cases stricter than the local regulation/requirements.

Our operations are certified in ISO 45001 certification: 98% of manufacturing plants and 99.8% of produced volume are currently certified. 100% of our Business Units (BUs) are covered by the internal health & safety management system. This includes manufacturing plants, offices, sales offices, our own distribution centers and warehouses, the contractors working in our premises, and third party contractors. As part of the OHS management system, regular on-site inspections are performed by the local safety teams, by central safety team and by so-called cross-border auditors (internal team of safety experts) who verify compliance, share the expertise and best practice in Risk mitigation. Our data collection and reporting system utilises special software and it is in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. The data is analyzed for safety performance indicators to ensure that operations are properly monitored and that corrective actions are taken in a timely manner. OHS performance of each facility and BU is regularly reported to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

We expect our suppliers to provide a safe workplace with policies and practices in place to minimize the risk of accidents, injury, and exposure to health risks. That is why our suppliers are required to acknowledge acceptance to comply with our Supplier Guiding Principles (SGPs) and with the Principles for Sustainable Agriculture (PSA), which includes: compliance with local legal and CCH Occupational Health and Safety requirements; risk management through Health & Safety management plans; providing and requiring the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); providing trainings on health and safety, including the use of PPE; assuring all workers have access to drinking water, toilets and hygiene facilities and are made aware of medical care facilities.

We are committed to providing our employees with a safe and healthy work environment that safeguards their mental and physical wellbeing. To support this objective, we have a strong health and safety programme in place to drive a harmonised approach to mitigating safety risks and create a culture of continuous improvement.
We have established several Healthy working environment initiatives focusing on ergonomic workplace, illumination, noise, indoor air quality and humidity. For each of these, specific design requirements are described in our Engineering Specifications and regularly trainings are performed to the employees (e.g., via specific Toolbox Talks). Besides, noise and indoor air control are regulated by The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) as a mandatory requirement for bottlers. Compliance to requirements is controlled by TCCC by regular on-site or virtual audits. In 2021, one on-site and 16 virtual compliance audits were completed by TCCC in our facilities and plants.

CCH conducts compliance assurance process through internal audits, audits conducted by TCCC and external audits as per ISO 45001 requirements and Supplier Guiding Principles (SGP).

Coca-Cola HBC and Emergency Preparedness

In Coca-Cola HBC we have local emergency preparedness procedures available and annually tested in each site. Testing is primarily done for fire safety and at manufacturing locations. It is also ran for the emergency spill preparedness and throughout working shifts. This testing includes assurance of employee’s safety, and people evacuation and are conducted with the collaboration with local medical and fire protection emergency services. Based on safety risk assessment for high complexity manufacturing sites, we have trained dedicated fire emergency response teams.

The Group Business resilience team is leading emergency preparedness assessment of all our operating business units. This assessment includes H&S response in emergency situations.

The health and wellness of our employees is one of our top priorities, that is why we looked for new approaches to well-being and employee support which was easily accessible to our employees in our plants, offices or when working remotely.  Two of  the initiatives focused on the mental well-being of our employees were the introduction of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and launching a dedicated mental-wellbeing platform to provide our people the resources needed.  We also continue to provide our framework for health and dependent care and offer a range of flexible working arrangements.

Mental Well-Being

To ensure a workplace that safeguards mental health and supports our people when mental well-being issues arise, in 2020 we introduced an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and in 2021 we created a mental well-being platform for our employees.  

Within this platform, our employees can find our mental well-being policy and a number of other useful resources on topics such as resilience and stress management. Alongside this, we’re helping our leaders understand how they can assist in safeguarding the mental well-being of their teams, so we also created an informative guide for all managers. 

Our EAP, available 24/7 across all of our countries, helps 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 for employees and their immediate families to access support in their local language 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 everyday support, such as on financial issues, parenting, retirement planning or any other matters that might be causing concern.

In 2022, we provided further help to our employee in Ukraine through our EAP, including dedicated webinars on fostering resilience, supporting relatives and children, and much more. We offered targeted mental health assistance and nurtured the emotional connection with our people and their families through different master classes, contests for children and informal meet-ups.

The EAP also 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 EAP is there to help our people, any time, on any matter.

Download our Mental Well-being Policy

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 are structured 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 markets where the statutory medical infrastructure is unable of covering all the needs.

Our Dependent Care initiatives are also structured under three pillars (carer’s leave, subsidies and development) and may include maternity and paternity leave additionally to 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. A minimum paternity leave of five days has been implemented across all our countries.

In many of our business units, we provide lactation rooms or a private space for nursing mothers.  

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 regardless of their chosen location for working. 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.   We continue to provide remote working opportunities to employees, while over 73% of our workforce is covered by some form of flexible working arrangement. 

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 29 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 – €7.4 million in 2022 – shows that we allocated 19% to youth, 15.3% to waste management, 6.4% to water, 0.4% to Covid-19 support, 0.5% to disaster relief, 20.3% for the Ukranian crisis and 38.1% to local programmes out of total community investment. The big amount spent on local priorities comes from our response to natural disasters (such as earthquakes, floods, and wildfires) that happened in our territories. About €1 million was the amount of our investment in Greece for the restoration of the burnt by wildfires area close to Athens. 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, we support the iLearn platform, which provides free, high-quality education to high school graduates. In Armenia, we work with a major online educational platform, enabling students to improve their social and business skills. In Italy, we take part in a Ministry of Education’s teaching scheme, encouraging high school students to gain additional training or do internships, and run ‘Girls in STEM’, a programme that encourages female students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or math. 

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. To make the programme more accessible, in most of our markets we have reengineered it to fully digitised solutions. In some countries, we have partly repurposed #YouthEmpowered to support the hard-hit hospitality and tourism sectors. For example, in Italy, within the programme we have created a series of training for students at hotel schools to ensure a better fit with employers’ current needs and demands. In Greece, we have strategically defined HoReCa professionals as one of the three key target groups for #YouthEmpowered and provide them with upskilling and reskilling opportunities.

Since the launch in 2017, more than 794,000 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, in Nigeria, one of the main water risk areas, in 2020, 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.

Besides, in 2021, we created a water task force to upgrade the water facilities in our operations in Nigeria. By the end of 2021, all water systems at our bottling plants there had been upgraded with new installations and advancements, such as new sand and carbon filters, water tanks, and the drilling of new boreholes. These advancements will enable us to reduce our impact on precious water resources.

Along with our three key programme areas, we address local issues which have strategic relevance for our business. We support initiatives across our 29 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.

During the first half of 2021 and the disrupting lockdowns across our territories, we continued providing support for those fighting COVID-19 on the front lines in all our markets by making product, in-kind and in-cash contributions to hospitals, shelters and NGOs, including the Red Cross and food banks. In Greece we also supported the vaccination efforts of the health system and donated 301 refrigerators for vaccine storage.

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 2022, we cooperated with more than 643 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 €4,292,227
Employee volunteering during paid working hours     €263,623
In-kind, including product donations €3,102,445
Management overheads   €1,533,052