We engage with governments, authorities and other relevant bodies towards the development of public policies in line with our CSV, sustainability and compliance commitments. We have policies and systems in place to ensure this engagement is fully transparent.
The Nestlé Policy on Transparent Interaction with Authorities and Organisations (pdf, 3 Mb) ensures that all our employees involved in engagement activities understand the high standards of transparency and professionalism we demand. It also requires them to follow our approved processes and procedures.
We are listed in the EU interest representation register and follow its code of conduct governing transparency and legitimacy in our dealings with EU institutions. As required by United States law, we file quarterly publicly available reports with the US Congress, in which we outline our engagement activities.
To ensure alignment across our global operations, all our key positions and policies are published on our internal intranet that can be accessed by employees worldwide. A new training course for Public Affairs staff in our country operations has also been launched at our International Training Centre Rive Reine. This emphasises the need for a consistent and transparent approach in our interactions with stakeholders and the authorities.
Our policies are also available to the public. In 2012 we also introduced an 'Ask Nestlé' section of the website outlining our key positions on Products, Packaging and Labelling, Quality and Safety, Human Rights and Labour Relations, Health and Nutrition, Raw Materials, Sourcing and the Environment.
As members of industry associations and multi-stakeholder initiatives we continue to advocate for publication of our policy positions. On water, we have been reporting for several years now on our public policy engagement and collective action. We also publish on our website, our positions on the World Health Organization and World Health Assembly’s agenda points related to maternal, infant and young child nutrition, as well as our membership to industry associations in the field of infant nutrition.
Furthermore during 2013, we will launch a grievance mechanism online (with worldwide freephone hotlines) which will enable stakeholders to raise any concerns directly.
During the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum in Brazil, José Lopez, Executive Vice President for Operations, outlined the link between food security and sustainable agriculture and provided a number of recommendations for governments to consider, including:
- Investment in agricultural productivity with a focus on smallholders
- New accounting rules for natural capital and improved monitoring of ecosystems
- Improving the quality and access to nutritional foods
- Increased attention on bio-fortification through plant selection and breeding, and
- Enhanced transparency and traceability.
The overarching message was that global partnership between all players is needed, with the support of governments and regulators whose role it is to create a level playing field.
International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA)
As a founding member of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), we, along with other major food and non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers, have committed to support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2004 Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health by taking action in five areas:
- reformulating and developing new products that support the goals of improving diets
- providing easily understood nutrition information to all consumers
- extending responsible advertising and marketing to children initiatives globally
- raising awareness on balanced diets and increased levels of physical activity, and
- seeking or promoting public-private partnerships that support the WHO’s Global Strategy.
For more information on our work with IFBA, please visit Responsible Advertising and Marketing.
PAHO Initiative on salt reduction
In 2011, we became a signatory to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and World Economic Forum (WEF) statement on ‘Dietary Salt Reduction in the Americas’, which is part of our commitment to support The Pan American Forum for Action on Non-Communicable Diseases.
EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health
Through the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, and, together with other food manufacturers, organisations from the agricultural sector, retailers, caterers, advertisers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), healthcare professionals and public authorities, we support the platform's aims through our commitments on advertising and marketing, reformulating products, modifying portion sizes and promoting healthy lifestyles. We have been actively involved in the platform since 2005 through our membership with FoodDrinkEurope and the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). Our commitment on advertising to children, as a member of the EU Pledge, was made within the framework of WFA.
2030 Water Resources Group
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Water Resources Group is an influential public-private water network that seeks new insights into water scarcity, explores the opportunities and costs of possible solutions, and fosters results-based stakeholder dialogue. Since 2008, the WEF Water Resources Group has been under the leadership of our Chairman Mr Brabeck-Letmathe. We have also played a leading role in the 2030 Water Resources Group.
The WEF-WRG published its landmark report, Charting Our Water Future (pdf, 6 Mb), in November 2009. As well as providing a clear insight into global challenges, the work also provides practical tools to help stakeholders compare the impact, scale, cost, trade-offs and effectiveness of different measures and technologies to reduce the water gap at a watershed level, enabling water management to be integrated into wider economic and social decisions.
For more information on our involvement in the 2030 World Resources Group, please visit Water: Public Policy Engagement.
World Economic Forum
Through our engagement with the World Economic Forum (WEF), an independent, international organisation, we play an active part in working with business, political, and academic thought leaders to help shape global, regional and industry agendas. At the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January 2012, Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe highlighted the global water shortage in relation to agriculture sourcing and production. Mr Brabeck-Letmathe warned that over the next two decades, the water shortfall would reduce global cereal production by a third and could trigger social unrest. He proposed collaboration and sustainable intensification of agriculture as a way to solve the world’s water crisis and feed its growing population. Our CEO Paul Bulcke has taken on the role of Co-chair of the WEF's Healthy Living Initiative, which aims to bring together governments, the private sector and civil society to have an impact on healthy living and non-communicable diseases.
For more information on our involvement in the World Economic Forum, please visit Water: Public Policy Engagement.
UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate
As a founding signatory of the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, we work with environmental organisations and other stakeholders on initiatives to support water disclosure, public policy engagement and the human right to water. We actively participate in the Mandate’s working groups and publish a public Communication on Progress every year.
For more information on our involvement in UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, please visit Water: Collective action.
World Water Week
For several years we’ve played an active role at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, during which experts, practitioners, decision-makers and leaders from around the globe exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop innovative solutions. At the 2012 World Water Week, our CEO Paul Bulcke called for greater value to be placed on water to avert a global food crisis. Mr Bulcke cited water scarcity as one of the main reasons for increased tension between food supply and demand. He urged governments to take the lead in devising credible, cost-effective strategies to address water shortages, while stressing that business, civil society and other stakeholders must be prepared to take greater responsibility for the problem.
For more information on our involvement at the World Water Week, please visit Water: Collective action.