By: The Ethisphere Institute

Coca-Cola’s Commitment to Fair and Honest Practices Worldwide.

The Coca-Cola Company recently hosted an Ethics and Compliance Best Practices Sharing Forum at their worldwide headquarters in Atlanta, GA. The event featured C-level executives, government officials, and compliance and ethics professionals representing a diverse set of industries, including, Delta Airlines, General Electric, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Ernst & Young, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, KPMG, Morrison & Foerster, Porsche AG and many others. Throughout the two-day forum, attendees and panelists engaged in thoughtful discussion around building and sustaining a culture of integrity.

Coca-Cola CEO Highlights Long-Term Growth at Annual Meeting of Shareowners.

Coca-Cola CEO Highlights Long-Term Growth at Annual Meeting of Shareowners.

“It is the responsibility of every Coca-Cola employee and every individual who represents the Coca-Cola brand to uphold the values that our brand represents,” said Joe Moan, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Coca-Cola in his opening remarks. “We take that responsibility very seriously and the focus of our ethics and compliance program is to help all of our employees and partners understand how to do things the right way.  We spend a lot of energy to put the right training and the right systems in place to make sure business is conducted fairly, ethically and honestly around the globe.”

The purpose of the Forum was to create a platform to promote innovative thinking and leadership across the industry.  Coca-Cola brought together some of its bottling company partners from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to share trends, exchange best practices and discuss hotly debated topics. Some of the session highlights included “Emerging Cyber Threats,” “Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption,” “Profile of a Fraudster” and the conversations were led by experts from top law firms, industry professionals and the FBI.

Jonathan Whitacre, Executive Vice President, Ethisphere Services, moderated the panel “Building Culture Through Ethical Leadership,” which featured insights from Juan Antonio del Rueda Gamboa, Corporate Affairs Director & Secretary of the Board, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, S.L. Spyros Mellos, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Coca-Cola HBC AG. “Across the industry, we are seeing so many companies focusing on the risks from their third-party relationships,” said Whitacre during his session.  “That’s very important for reputation management, especially for a global company like Coca-Cola, who consistently ranks as having one of the most valuable brands in the world.”

The beverage titan’s Code of Conduct, for example addresses critical issues around employee behavior. Through clear and concise messaging, Coca Cola’s Code demonstrates how to promote ethics and create a speak up culture without the fear of retaliation.

“The Coca-Cola team has taken it upon themselves to bring their key third-party bottlers to Atlanta and to help them think about ways to enhance their ethics and compliance programs,” added Whitacre. “That is something we at Ethisphere certainly applaud and would consider a best practice for other companies to emulate.”