Nick Brown, Head of Sustainability, CCEP GB
I've been quiet over the last couple of months as we've been busy supporting our employees, our customers and our communities, so I thought I'd give you an insight on the things we've been working on.
In these strange times, many of us, myself included, are feeling a greater need than ever to work together with our friends, families, colleagues and neighbours to support our communities.
At Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) our focus is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both our people and our communities. We’ve joined more than 200 businesses in signing the C-19 Business Pledge to help our employees, customers and communities through the outbreak, and are more committed than ever to ensuring that we are fulfilling our role as a force for good during this difficult time.
Providing help and support to the vulnerable
Sadly, a number of the most vulnerable people have been left isolated without support, with the demand for food banks and other community support groups higher than ever before. That’s why, together with The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation, we’ve been working with FareShare, the UK’s biggest food redistribution charity, providing the equivalent of nearly two million healthy meals and one million drinks to those who need it. We’ve also joined forces with Neighbourly to support the launch of the Neighbourly Community Fund, which will support 1,200 local groups and around 250,000 vulnerable people.
Staying by the side of our charity partners
As the number of people in need of support increases, so does the challenges that arise for the groups that are there to support them. We’re working with them to aid their vital Covid-19 relief efforts, including making funds available to match donations raised for Special Olympics GB and UK Youth - causes that are close to the hearts of many at CCEP.
Empowering employees to make a difference
I have been touched by the kindness of my colleagues who have come out in force to help their local communities. We amended our volunteering policy to make it easier for our employees to support their communities through the Covid-19 Mutual Aid Platform and the NHS Volunteers campaign, which included the use of company vehicles for volunteering. Talking to those who are involved shows what a great impact they are having, and we are constantly looking at how we can help them to do more in their volunteering. We also encourage our people to nominate local charities and community projects as part of our Support My Cause initiative, which provides immediate relief to those smaller causes delivering such important work.
Coming together to support key workers
We are honoured to be supporting our frontline healthcare workers and have provided more than 1.5 million drinks to key workers on the frontline, including those in hospitals and foodbanks, as well as installing equipment and providing stock to a number of the NHS Nightingale Hospitals.
Helping amplify important messages
At a time like this, it doesn’t feel appropriate to carry on with commercial advertising. We’ve put all spend across all of our brands on hold. This is of course the right thing to do, but also means we can direct our efforts more towards supporting our people and communities. In the past few weeks, we have donated available media space to organisations such as Public Health England to reinforce the call to action for emergency relief fundraising efforts.
Supporting our customers
We have also pledged our support to the NFRN who are issuing grants to retailers in financial difficulty, and we continue to take part in other programmes such as the Morning Advertiser’s United We Stand and Better Retailing support hub that offers advice and support to our customers.
We know that the impact of the virus will be felt for many months to come, and businesses will continually be re-assessing their plans and their role in helping communities weather the storm. In the meantime, we remain committed to doing all that we can by collaborating with partners to reach out to those in need during this time.