Our company’s deepest sympathies go out to those who have been 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.
Implementing Business Continuity Plans
Around the world, we have preparedness plans in place at our facilities to ensure continued operations, while also taking all necessary steps to keep our teams healthy and safe.
Our teams have conducted preparedness exercises of their business continuity plans. We’re incorporating best-practices from locations that have had to temporarily close facilities for some period of time, such as China, Korea, Japan and Italy. Employees in some heavily affected areas, for example, successfully created schedules where they alternated the days they worked remotely. We’ve also used staggered shifts for production to protect employees’ health and maintain operations. We tested our IT infrastructure in advance, including at our global headquarters, through preparedness exercises where employees were required to work remotely.
Protecting Employee Health and Product Safety
Local teams around the world have developed plans to ensure all facilities – from offices to production and distribution – have appropriate plans in place to protect our employees and ensure all our products are safe.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, we have implemented additional cleaning and sanitization routines, focused on high-touch surfaces, and have taken steps to restrict visitors to our facilities.
In the United States, for example, interactions with delivery drivers have been limited through maintaining appropriate separation and limiting the need to leave their trucks. Plants are prepared to implement split shifts, with the appropriate distancing based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to avoid shift-to-shift contact, if needed.
We have also reinforced the CDC hygiene and exposure guidelines with our employees. If we become aware that an employee is ill or had direct or indirect contact with someone with COVID-19, we will immediately implement our isolation and sanitization protocols and will begin any necessary quarantines, in line with guidance from local health officials.
It’s important to note that our plant employees have minimal to no contact with our finished products. According to the CDC, there has been no known coronavirus transmission through food, and there is “likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.”
Encouraging Remote Work Where Possible
In line with recommendations to reduce large gatherings and increase social distancing,
In North America, all U.S. and Canada office locations and manufacturing plants remain open. However, the company has asked the vast majority of employees at its Atlanta Office Campus (AOC) and other North America administrative office locations to work remotely, beginning March 16 and continuing through April 13. The change was made out of an abundance of caution and is in line with recommendations to reduce large gatherings and increase social distancing. A very small number of employees are likely to continue working at the AOC during this time. Those who hold roles that require them to be onsite will be able to work in an environment with fewer people and in a way that keeps the campus healthy and safe. The company intends to return to normal operations on April 13 but will continue to reevaluate its plans. To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the AOC.
To ensure we continue to make our beverages available to communities in this time of need, plant-based employees in the U.S. and Canada continue to work at their locations but are following established business continuity plans to ensure their continued safety and well-being.
The World of
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.
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.
Specifically, together with Vietnam Red Cross Society,
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.