The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How CCE sells and markets its products responsibly

Manufacturing and distributing more than 40 of the most popular beverage brands in the world, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Light, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta and Sprite, and a growing range of water, juices and juice drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and ready-to-drink teas, CCE (Coca-Cola Enterprises) is committed to providing clear and transparent information on its products, also driving awareness, among consumers, of its no- or low-calorie options.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2516/2016 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report by CCE published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Abstract

In 2015 CCE sold, through more than one million retail customers, approximately 12 billion bottles and cans, generating almost $7 billion in revenue and $866 million in operating income. Responsible marketing is, thus, a top priority. In order to sell and market its products responsibly CCE took action to:

  • provide clear nutritional information
  • establish Responsible Marketing Guidelines
  • never market products to children under 12
  • responsibly market products in relation to alcohol

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2516/2016 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report CCE identified a range of material issues, such as energy efficiency and carbon reduction, innovation in packaging, water consumption, supply chain traceability, use of recycled materials. Among these, selling and marketing its products responsibly stands out as a key material issue for CCE.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups CCE engages with:

Stakeholder Group
Government/regulators
Customers
Academia and networks
NGOs/associations
Suppliers
Investors
Employees and Employee networks

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics, CCE carried out a series of stakeholder roundtables.

What actions were taken by CCE to sell and market its products responsibly?

In its 2516/2016 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report CCE reports that it took the following actions for selling and marketing its products responsibly:

  • Providing clear nutritional information
  • CCE is committed to providing clear and transparent nutritional labelling on its products and has voluntarily included ingredients and nutrition information on all product labels, since 2003. In addition, since 2007, CCE has featured Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) and in 2013 joined with UNESDA (Union of European Beverages Associations) to feature front-of-pack Reference Intake (RI) labels across all products. In Great Britain, CCE joined, in 2014, the UK Government’s voluntary, colour-coded, front-of-pack nutrition labelling scheme and committed to double its media investment in no- and low-calorie variants of Coca-Cola. CCE also provides extra information about ingredients on pack labels, to help consumers make the right personal choices. For example, energy drinks carry a statement indicating that they are not suitable for children and pregnant and breast-feeding women.
  • Establishing Responsible Marketing Guidelines
  • CCE has established Responsible Marketing Guidelines, to encourage the sale of no- and low-calorie beverages. CCE seeks to make no- and low-calorie beverages most prominent in any meal deal or snack promotion, and developed guidance for its sales teams on how to work with customers to develop meal and snack promotions that showcase healthier food choice options of a proper portion size.
  • Never marketing products to children under 12
  • CCE has, since 2009, committed to not market any of its products to children under the age of 12. Through UNESDA, CCE committed to not advertise in printed media, on websites or during broadcast programmes specifically aimed at children. In addition, CCE never provides free samples to children under 12, unless an adult or carer is present. CCE’s internet sites and content are also designed for visitors aged 12 or above, using features and elements that appeal mostly to visitors over the age of 12. CCE has additionally committed to not undertake direct commercial activity in primary schools, unless requested by school authorities or parents, and has signed the UNESDA initiative to ensure energy drinks are not marketed to under-16s.
  • Responsibly marketing products in relation to alcohol
  • CCE recognises that adult consumers may choose to drink its products in combination with alcohol. Accordingly, CCE provides guidance to its sales teams to ensure products promoted in association with alcohol are directed to consumers above the legal drinking age, and that materials depict moderate and responsible drinking, containing appropriate responsible drinking statements. Additionally, CCE promotes its drinks as a non-alcoholic alternative, and works in conjunction with the THINK! driver friendly programme in Great Britain to offer a free second drink during Christmas when ordering a Coca-Cola Zero, Schweppes or Appletiser product. In 2015, this programme was supported by approximately 8,000 bars and pubs across the UK.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 416-1 Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories

2) Disclosure 416-2 Incidents of non-compliance concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services

3) Disclosure 417-1 Requirements for product and service information and labeling

4) Disclosure 417-2 Incidents of non-compliance concerning product and service information and labeling

5) Disclosure 102-2 Activities, brands, products, and services

6) Disclosure 417-3 Incidents of non-compliance concerning marketing communications

 

Disclosure 416-1 Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories does not correspond to any SDG.

Disclosure 416-2 Incidents of non-compliance concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Compliance with laws and regulations

Disclosure 417-1 Requirements for product and service information and labeling corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Business theme: Product and service information and labeling
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Compliance with laws and regulations

Disclosure 417-2 Incidents of non-compliance concerning product and service information and labeling corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Compliance with laws and regulations

Disclosure 102-2 Activities, brands, products, and services corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Business theme: Education for sustainable development

Disclosure 417-3 Incidents of non-compliance concerning marketing communications does not correspond to any SDG.

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by CCE, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to CCE: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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