In 2019, the Coca-Cola HBC AG Group announced a new growth strategy to be completed until 2025. Their corporate strategy is based on five key pillars, each of which is essential for responsible and sustainable growth that creates value for the company and their stakeholders as well. This strategy is closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, which identified the path to be taken together to create a sustainable world.
Last year was also outstanding in terms of business efficiency for Hungary's leading beverage manufacturer. The company operates on a stable foundation, and its successful financial performance allows the further expansion of domestic production activities. The goal remains to become the largest production base in Central Europe by expanding its production capacity and introducing modern technological developments. Coca-Cola HBC Hungary had investments worth approximately HUF 5.9 billion in the country last year.
Consumer health and nutrition
As a total beverage manufacturer, the company aims to provide its consumers beverages that meet consumer occasions around the clock by building a wide portfolio of high quality products. In 2019, the company further expanded its product portfolio and launched new products, including a number of low-sugar and low-calorie beverages. Preserving the health of consumers is a goal that the company constantly keeps in mind when developing its portfolio. Nowadays, beverages with reduced calorie make up an increasing proportion of the product range – in 2019, 48% of the portfolio is low-calorie or calorie-free – and the sugar content of existing products is steadily declining. Together with the members of the Hungarian Mineral Water, Fruit Juice and Soft Drink Association, the company has voluntarily pledged that by the end of 2020, soft drinks’ sugar and calorie content will be reduced by 50% compared to 2010. By the end of 2019, the industry’s companies had reduced the average sugar and calorie content of soft drinks and juices in Hungary by 43%.
Keep it in circulation
Packaging waste is a strategic environmental topic for Coca-Cola HBC Hungary: it is an issue relating to fundamental business processes, and its solution is becoming increasingly urgent. Proper packaging is also essential for product freshness and food safety considerations. At the same time, the long-term impact of packaging materials – especially plastic – on the environment has made it clear that new, sustainable solutions must be found. The company is committed to being not only a part of change but also an engine for it. The sustainability approach and goals for packaging waste have been integrated into the World Without Waste strategy announced in early 2018. With this strategy, the Coca-Cola HBC AG Group is closely linked to The Coca-Cola Company's efforts and considers it a priority to work together with various means for this common cause. In 2019, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary has started to optimize its operating processes in a new approach, with the ambition to create a circular economy. They want to build a future where unnecessary or wasteful use of raw materials is avoided, and materials keep their value within the cycle for a long time. The company strives to build up a closed-loop economic model that is based on resource efficiency and innovation, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint. The cycle consisting the collection and recycling of packaging materials is the most effective way to manage packaging waste, so in 2019, several of the company’s developments and campaigns targeted this topic. PET bottles produced by Coca-Cola HBC Hungary are made of 100% recyclable plastic and the company is constantly increasing the amount of recycled production material. As a result, the proportion of recycled plastic per bottles was almost 24% in 2019. The goal is to increase this ratio to 50% by 2030.
Employee commitment and well-being
The key of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary’s long-term growth and success is their employees. The satisfaction, improvement, and safety of employees with attractive promotion opportunities are the basis of the excellent performance that creates value not only for the company but also for its customers and consumers. The company has taken a number of measures recently to make the work environment friendly and innovative and to make their employees proud of their company. Based on Randstad’s survey, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary became the most attractive and well-known workplace in the Hungarian FMCG sector in 2019. The PwC survey’s Excellence Award confirmed that a suitable work environment, flexible working, a predictable workload, and a fair starting salary are also attractive to young people starting their careers.
Corporate social responsibility
Coca-Cola HBC Hungary believes that its business success largely depends on the well-being and strength of the communities where the company is present, and its responsible operation requires to respond to the needs of these communities. They aspire for an open partnership and mutual respect with communities everywhere. They support the individuals and communities they contact with through their volunteer corporate programs and the #YouthEmpowered program. They also seek to actively involve employees in the company’s community programs. The most successful events of 2019 were the volunteer days organized for the Zero Waste Tisza program. More than 160 colleagues participated in the program and helped to dispose over 3.3 tons of waste in the upper section of Tisza. Preserving our natural resources has created opportunities for both waste recycling and community building.
The company’s full Sustainability Report 2019 is available on this link.