We are continually improving our products’ environmental performance across the entire value chain (see Environmental life cycle of products). And we give our consumers product information based on scientific, substantiated evidence so that they can make informed choices.
Enhancing consumer understanding
Our Brand and CSV Advisory Team shares its consumer insights and provides guidance on how best to communicate with consumers. We believe this information helps consumers in their purchasing decisions. Here are some recent examples:
- In France, we continue to promote an interactive Nescafé life cycle assessment (LCA) communication tool. Users can learn about the environmental impacts at each product phase, or across the full life cycle.
- The Nescafé campaign in the UK (see also Packaging) emphasised environmental benefits, with the claim of ’50% fewer lorries’, along with a ‘great value’ message. Other sustainability messages, such as our commitment to the Nescafé Plan, appear on different versions of the products. As well as increasing sales and market share, research has shown that the campaign has made our target buyers think more positively about the Nescafé brand.
- In Singapore, we continue to offer the world’s first free mobile application for iPhone and Android devices to help consumers correctly dispose of, recover or recycle their packaging. The 123Recycle application scans a product’s barcode to provide information on how to sort and dispose of the different parts of its packaging. The application can be downloaded from the iTunes app store or from the Android market.
- We issued a sustainability glossary and usage guidance to our communication professionals. This complements our Brands and CSV Communication Standard and claim approval process, helping marketers deliver credible, informative sustainability content.
- We launched our Beyond the Label initiative to give consumers more product information transparency. The UK Kit Kat pilot encourages consumers to scan a QR code on the package to discover more about the product and its impacts on nutrition, environment and society.
Benchmarking consumer awareness
In a Corporate Equity Monitor (CEM) study in 2011, based on 40,477 consumer responses, we were rated by consumers in 23 of 29 countries as performing better than the industry average on the statement “Nestlé cares for the environment”. In 76% of these countries, we significantly outperformed the industry average by at least ten points.
In addition, we are engaging in social media listening, reviewing consumer services feedback and doing brand research in the countries in which we operate to continually improve our understanding of consumer interest, expectations and behaviours related to environmental sustainability.
We support several initiatives around the world to establish scientifically reliable and uniform environmental assessment methodologies and communication tools, such as the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table – an initiative that is co-chaired by the European Commission and food supply chain partners and supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Environment Agency.
The Roundtable has released 10 guiding principles on voluntary environmental assessment and communication of environmental information, including to consumers, and two reports, one on Communicating environmental performance along the food chain and the other on Continuous Environmental Improvement along the food chain.
We also continue to participate in voluntary initiatives to provide consumers with environmental information about our products, including participation in a national experiment on environmental communication to consumers in France, launched in 2011 by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing. In 2012, our focus within the French experiment was to evaluate the effectiveness of our environmental communication – particularly in relation to products such as Vittel, Nescafé and Nespresso – and to understand consumer receptivity to information concerning GHG emissions, water and biodiversity.
We’re working to improve the environmental information we provide to consumers about our products including their packaging, continuing our support for initiatives to develop scientifically reliable and consistent communication tools for consumers, through fora such as the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table.