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At Coca-Cola HBC, we deal with materiality issues every year. We try to find out how to deal with the opportunities and risks that the year brought. We pay attention to the correct prioritisation of the work that has the greatest impact on the economy, society and the environment.  

The report published every year (Integrated Annual Report) by the Coca-Cola HBC group is in accordance with the principles of the International Integrated Reporting Council and is prepared in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative standards. We also regularly check our approach to standards, make constant improvements and use tried-and-tested procedures. 

This year, for example, we improved the transparency of the information we provide to investors and other stakeholders and we expanded the volume of published information based on recommendations of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) concerning companies producing non-alcoholic beverages.  

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2020 through Stakeholders’ Eyes 

Our material issues include topics that have an important economic, environmental and social impact or significantly influence our stakeholders’ assessments and decision-making. At the end of 2020, as a part of the Coca-Cola HBC group, we realised the annual survey of materiality among almost 900 internal and external stakeholders. The survey was realised with The Coca-Cola Company for the first time and it is therefore a result of our whole Coca-Cola system. The survey’s results show the rankings of materiality of individual matters. The survey compares the importance of the issue for our stakeholders together with the impact of the matter on society and the environment.  

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly influenced how we and our stakeholders approach the importance of individual matters and had an influence on the distribution of individual topics. The economic troubles caused by the pandemic led to an increase in the importance of the economic impact and sustainable acquisition of resources. Fears for health and safety rose markedly, which increased the priority of good conditions and the involvement of employees. For the third time in a row, first place was occupied by packaging and waste management, closely followed by the impact on the environment.  

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What Do We Learn from Our Stakeholders?   

Understanding the needs and interests of our stakeholders – including our partners, customers, suppliers, members of the community and employees – helps us create the right Materiality Matrix over time.  It is then a significant helper when developing a sustainable business strategy. 

We actively look for opinions and insights from stakeholders: 

  • We hold an annual international Stakeholders Forum; 

  • We hold talks with key people with internal decision-making powers and with external partners; 

  • In ongoing fashion, we work with external stakeholders; 

  • We do research among our leading representatives from every position, country and the whole group, as well as with more than 500 external stakeholders nominated in our 28 markets; 

  • We take into consideration the list of material issues of The Coca-Cola Company and other bottling plants and food and beverage companies; 

  • We listen to feedback from the Group Risk Forum and all risk registers on our markets. 

Management of our Materiality issues 

The result of our Materiality survey is rankings of importance. By assessing the materiality of such issues for our stakeholders and their decisions in combination with an assessment of the impact of the relevant issue on the company and the environment, we derive the relevant materiality of each issue and we give it a priority in accordance with this. In connection with the process for determining priorities in our material issues, the operating committee arranges their full implementation in the overall strategy. This includes the determination and publication of aims and metrics for measuring progress. 

We have linked our material issues with the sustainable development goals (SDG) that were set by the UN with the aim of achieving long-term growth and development by 2030. In 2018, when launching the Sustainability Mission 2025 we harmonised our obligations in the field of sustainability and our materiality issues not only with valid goals, but with all the relevant basic aims for each SDG. 

How Do We Assess Material Issues? 

Our material issues are those that have the largest importance for our stakeholders and wider groups of shareholders and therefore have an impact on our company’s value pillars, our competitive position and the creation of values over the long term. 

Annual assessment 

Our material matters are subject to an annual assessment, so that we can fully understand how to manage risks and the opportunities they present. Thanks to this, we can prefer topics that have the greatest impact on the economy, society and the environment. 

Our annual evaluation of materiality is performed in four stages by a multi-disciplinary team that pays attention, in particular, to our Sustainability Mission 2025.  


  • determination of material issues; 

  • assessment of impact on stakeholders or their significance; 

  • assessment of impact on society and the environment; 

  • review and confirmation of findings. 

The steps to ensure that the management of material issues is successfully anchored in our strategy and business activities as such are performed by three groups in the whole Coca-Cola HBC Group. 

  • The Sustainability Mission 2025 team assesses the list of material issues and ensures that our approach to sustainability is fully in compliance with our business priorities; 

  • The committee for social responsibility, based on the Board of Directors’ actions, subsequently approves a priority list of issues with a resulting materiality matrix; 

  • And finally, it is the duty of the operating committee to integrate our sustainability priorities into our business strategy. 

For our annual materiality evaluation, we conduct an ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders, which include employees, consumers, customers, suppliers, communities, governments, non-governmental organisations, investors, business associations and, for example, academics. In addition to this, we monitor external trends and other industries, to see how our business’ ability to sustainably grow over the long term is influenced.