Human rights

Our commitment: Assess and address human rights impacts in our operations and supply chain

Our commitment: Assess and address human rights impacts in our operations and supply chain

We have to make sure that respect for human rights remains at the forefront of Nestlé’s business, by continually reviewing, monitoring and addressing the human rights risks of our activities. By upholding international human rights standards, and continuous and consistent application of our own policies, which are aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Nestlé can make a positive impact on all our stakeholders.

Our objectives

By 2015: All FTSE4Good Countries of Concern where we operate are covered and our employees trained to reduce human rights risks in our operations. (FTSE4Good is an ethical stock market index series of the London Stock Exchange, designed to measure objectively the performance of companies that meet globally recognised responsibility standards.)

By 2015: Include human rights across all 12 categories covered by the Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Guideline.

By 2016: Develop action plans and targets for each of the 11 priority human rights risks.

By 2018: Carry out six additional human rights impact assessments in countries where we have significant business operations.

Our progress

With five years’ experience of rolling out our Human Rights Due Diligence Programme across our value chain in various countries, we now have a better understanding of what our human rights priorities should be. These are largely determined by the nature and scope of our business activities, such as the complexity of our supply chains and the diversity of the countries in which we operate. However, it is first and foremost the severity of the impacts we may have on our stakeholders that determines our priorities.

We follow an integrated approach to report on our performance through our Human Rights Due Diligence Programme. In addition, Nestlé is one of the early adopters of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework. As a result, we have identified 11 salient issues (those human rights at risk of the most severe negative impact on stakeholders through the company’s activities and business relationships, and therefore the material issues we most need to address):

  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining;
  • Working time;
  • Workers’ accommodation and access to basic needs;
  • Safety and health;
  • Living wage;
  • Data protection and privacy;
  • Child labour;
  • Forced labour;
  • Land acquisition;
  • Access to water and sanitation; and
  • Access to grievance mechanism.

Please refer to the full Nestlé in society: Creating Shared Value report for comprehensive reporting against the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework.

Given increasing concerns about labour and human rights abuses in the seafood supply chain, and our commitment to eliminate such practices, Nestlé published an Action Plan on seafood sourced from Thailand. It contains a series of actions designed to protect workers from abuses.

In 2015, we trained 8130 employees on human rights across nine FTSE4Good Countries of Concern, meaning 72 778 employees across 66 countries have been trained since 2011. All our 12 priority raw ingredient categories – cocoa, coffee, dairy, fish and seafood, hazelnuts, meat, poultry and eggs, palm oil, pulp and paper, shea, soya, sugar, and vanilla – are covered by the human rights clause of our Responsible Sourcing Guideline, some having further category-specific human rights clauses. In 2015, we carried out Human Rights Impact Assessments in two countries. For reasons beyond our control, planned assessments could not be carried out in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. As a result, our original 2015 objective could not be met in full and a new 2018 objective has been introduced to provide an extension, allowing these and other remaining assessments to be carried out.

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