Stakeholder engagement

We understand the importance of maintaining an effective dialogue with our stakeholders, it helps us to create shared value and to deliver our commitments, which often requires a collaborative approach. Our global engagement activities with stakeholders are coordinated by the Nestlé Public Affairs team and delivered through regular stakeholder convenings and a series of Nestlé Creating Shared Value Fora. Our individual businesses engage with stakeholders at a country level. The outcomes of these activities are fed back to senior management and taken into account during the strategic development of our policies and action plans for the following year. Feedback from our stakeholder convenings is also considered when assessing the material issues of our business.

  • Our stakeholder convenings are hosted and organised by external experts, to ensure that we receive independent opinions and feedback. The events address issues that are specific to our value chain and key focus areas where we can create shared value.

    Locations of our stakeholder convenings
    2007 Geneva
    2008 Washington DC
    2009 Geneva and Kuala Lumpur
    2011 New Delhi and London
    2012 Nairobi and London
    2013 London
    2014 London and Jakarta

    In 2014, we held stakeholder convenings in London (49 stakeholders) and Jakarta (90 stakeholders), which were attended by representatives of NGOs, academia, government, industry associations and international bodies.

    The annual global stakeholder convening held in London on 28 April 2014 featured senior executive participation from Nestlé SA Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (last year it was CEO Paul Bulcke) and Nestlé UK & Ireland CEO Fiona Kendrick. The convening included presentations given by the Nestlé SA Public Affairs team, a stakeholder panel discussion and focused discussions on nutrition, the environment and sustainability, human rights and compliance and rural development. There was a strong focus during discussions on the Nestlé business model and our role in influencing collective action and in facilitating change for sustainable development.

    The Indonesia stakeholder convening was held in Jakarta on 15–16 December 2014. It marked our largest convening to date, attended by stakeholders as well as Nestlé senior executives including Executive Vice President Nandu Nandkishore and Nestlé Indonesia President Director Arshad Chaudhry, and experts from local and global teams. This is understood to have been the first stakeholder engagement event in a ‘convening format’ to have been held by industry in Indonesia. Discussion was characterised by a strong understanding of the interconnectedness of Creating Shared Value issues, consensus on the need for coordinated, collective action, and commitment to advancing multi-stakeholder solutions with Nestlé. Stakeholders called on Nestlé to leverage its structures to coordinate action in multiple Creating Shared Value areas.

  • Our global stakeholder network is vast, ranging from people we engage with regularly during our operations to those whose public positions influence our activities. Nestlé identifies the following groups as fundamental to our continuing business success:

    • Academia;
    • Communities;
    • Consumers and the general public;
    • Customers;
    • Employees;
    • Governments;
    • Industry and trade associations;
    • Intergovernmental organisations;
    • NGOs;
    • Reporting agencies;
    • Shareholders and the financial community; and
    • Suppliers (including farmers and smallholders).
  • Participants at the convenings made a number of recommendations, which we have shared below.

    Develop and communicate a long-term CSV vision for Nestlé as a whole and in each CSV focus area.

    Stakeholders want to see Nestlé articulate a longer-term vision for what ‘the world’s leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company’ would look like in 5, 10 and 15 years’ time, and potentially in different countries or regions.

    Stakeholders encouraged Nestlé to continue to focus on the outcomes secured by delivering on its nutrition, health and wellness commitments.

    Advance product portfolio changes to be best in class in all product categories – emphasising ‘adding good stuff in’ as well as ‘taking bad stuff out’, providing useful portion guidance and, ultimately, divesting unhealthy brands.

    Stakeholders called on Nestlé to continue to address urgently the basics of sugar, fat and salt, and to work on micronutrient fortification in middle- and lower-income countries.

    Some also wanted to see Nestlé ultimately divest less healthy items from its portfolio, while others were interested in what Nestlé could do to continue to improve portion guidance.

    Engage more actively on the early childhood nutrition agenda.

    Nestlé was encouraged to find common ground with organisations in this challenging area.

    Stakeholders see both stunting and childhood obesity as urgent health concerns where Nestlé can play a more active role in finding solutions.

    Ensure both that Nestlé’s marketing is ‘pristine’ in every market and that Nestlé uses its influencing power to drive better marketing across the industry.

    There is a desire to see Nestlé lead the industry to reframe the marketing environment that children are exposed to, and to work with retailers to drive more responsible marketing practices such as reducing or eliminating multi-buy promotions of foods high in sugar, salt and fat.

    Use Nestlé’s advocacy and convening power with governments and with industry peers to promote better health and nutrition.

    Stakeholders want to see Nestlé engaging with governments and positively influencing industry legislation on the health and nutrition agenda.

    They suggested that Nestlé could lead an industry contribution to preventing diabetes and promoting healthier eating policies.

    They also encouraged Nestlé to tackle hunger and malnutrition with stunting as a more specific focus.

    Contribute to industry-wide learning in terms of ‘doing well AND making a profit’ and influencing corporate and consumer behaviour.

    Stakeholders would like to see Nestlé be transparent about the challenges it faces in terms of balancing profit and change in the short and long term, particularly in competitive environments where others are not participating in a ‘race to the top’, eg in regions such as China.

    Stakeholders also suggested that Nestlé promotes research and data that can be used to drive corporate action or consumer behaviour change, such as the economic cost of food waste or how to influence healthier eating decisions.

    Leverage existing systems across the whole supply chain to engage and initiate education at a grassroots level to increase understanding and awareness of health and nutrition issues (including food safety and Non Communicable Diseases for farmers, suppliers, employees, communities, consumers, business and students.

    Stakeholders recognised how nutrition is a broad issue with an integrated dynamic involving the whole supply chain (from farm to ‘table’: healthy farmers to healthy crops to healthy nutrition to healthy people). They want to see Nestlé raise awareness and increase education specifically in the area of public health, nutrition (threshold levels for sugar and salt) and food safety as a means to tackling the NCDs and the ‘double burden’ of malnutrition.

    Recommendation that engagement should be done at the local grassroots level, eg mother and child groups in the villages.

    Share research data, information and best practice.

    There was agreement among stakeholders that collective action could help fill gaps in information and align communication of key public messages. There was a call for Nestlé to share its data and best practices from other markets for replicability and scale, eg human rights work and data on health and nutrition or the ‘greening supply chain’ model from Pakistan.

    Move beyond using language of compliance in the CSV triangle and commitments, and be more ambitious.

    Stakeholders want Nestlé to be more vocal about its more ambitious targets as a means to influencing best practice across the industry.


    Source: SustainAbility – based on 2014 convenings in London and Jakarta.

  • The sixth Creating Shared Value Forum took place on 9th October 2014, with leading experts present to stimulate thought and open discussion.

    Read more about the CSV Global Forum