Public policy and advocacy

Companies are increasingly playing an active role in society; often businesses are asked and even expected to participate in the development of laws, rules and policy documents. Providing our expertise, to assist informed decision-making in a collaborative environment with governments, authorities and other relevant bodies, is therefore an important responsibility. It is also of great importance to ensure that our behaviour doesn’t undercut trust and the credibility of our company, and the Nestlé Policy on transparent interaction with authorities and organisations (pdf, 3Mb) is in place to ensure this is the case. We engage with external organisations to help implement public policies that are aligned with our Creating Shared Value commitments. Furthermore, as members of industry associations and multi-stakeholder initiatives, we advocate for the publication of collective policy positions in a number of areas:

- on nutrition: -on water stewardship: -and on rural development:

Operating transparently

The Nestlé Policy on Transparent Interaction with Authorities and Organisations (pdf, 3Mb) outlines our expectation that all employees follow the company’s approved processes and procedures for interacting with external bodies. It ensures that those employees involved in engagement activity with external organisations understand the high standards of transparency and professionalism we demand. We are listed in the European Union (EU) interest representation register, which provides citizens with direct access to information about who engages with EU decision makers, and we follow the register’s code of conduct whenever we deal with EU institutions. In the USA, we file quarterly public reports with the US Congress, in which we outline our engagement activities.

We want all Nestlé employees to behave in a consistent and transparent way whenever they interact with our stakeholders. This is a key objective of our training course for country-level public affairs staff at our International Training Centre in Rive Reine, Switzerland. To ensure alignment across our global operations, all our key positions and policies are published on our internal intranet, which can be accessed by employees worldwide.

Going further

All of our policies are available to the public, and we describe our positions on products, packaging and labelling, quality and safety, human rights and labour relations, health and nutrition, raw materials, sourcing and the environment in the Ask Nestlé section of our website. In 2013, we launched Tell Us, an online external grievance system that enables our stakeholders to raise any concerns they may have with us directly.