Our company’s deepest sympathies go out to those who have been tragically impacted by the coronavirus. We are carefully following government guidelines around the world and taking precautionary steps to do what we can to prevent the further spread of the virus.
As a matter of principle, we will always put the health, safety and security of our associates, consumers, customers and communities first. Our company’s approach in this difficult situation is grounded in our purpose, which puts people first and ensures we have the right preparations and plans in place.
Since the outbreak of the virus late last year, we have been implementing precautionary measures to protect employees in our facilities around the world, including providing alcohol wipes and hand sanitizers; installing temperature screening in certain international offices and manufacturing facilities; and setting up health monitoring mechanisms in affected regions.
Key milestones in our company’s response to coronavirus are outlined below and will continue to be updated.
Business Continuity Plans
Around the world, we have preparedness plans in place at our facilities to ensure continued operations, including plans for remote work where temporary office closures are necessary. Our teams have conducted preparedness exercises of their business continuity plans, including at our Atlanta headquarters and in our Japan offices, where employees were required to work remotely. The exercise allowed us to test our IT infrastructure and better evaluate the policies and procedures we have in place. We’re also incorporating best-practices from locations around the world that have had to close offices for some period of time, such as China, Korea, Japan and Italy. Employees in some offices in heavily affected areas, for example, have begun to alternate the days they work remotely to reduce the number of people physically in the office each day.
Focus on All Facilities
At our Atlanta headquarters and our facilities around the world, we have increased cleaning as well as the distribution of wipes and sanitizers. Local teams have developed plans to ensure all facilities – from production to distribution – have plans in place to address any potential employee health issues.
Travel Guidance for Employees
Travel has been suspended or limited in some international markets and within some countries. For markets where there are no restrictions, we’ve asked all employees to consider whether a trip is necessary and to work with their managers to determine whether travel is time-sensitive or can be postponed. For large events, we are relying on guidance from relevant government authorities and/or event organizers.
We have activated Incident Management & Crisis Resolution (IMCR) teams throughout the world. These teams centrally coordinate the company’s actions across teams and with our bottling partners. The company has had its IMCR process in place for 20 years to manage incidents and crises around the world.
Guidance for Managers
We have provided all people managers with a guide to address a variety of potential scenarios, with the goal of ensuring speed and consistency in their responses.
The Coca-Cola system and The Coca-Cola Foundation have made contributions to support relief efforts in China and Korea, and we are reviewing additional opportunities to support other communities.
On Feb. 21, the company shared the expected impact from the coronavirus on first quarter 2020 results, focusing on China. The company plans to provide additional information in its first quarter earnings release in April.