While we encourage our businesses to identify key stakeholders at a national level, our global engagement is co-ordinated centrally, through the Creating Shared Value Forum series and regular stakeholder convenings. Together, these are an important part of an engagement process that underpins our materiality assessment.
The Creating Shared Value Forum focuses on the role of business in development, particularly as it relates to nutrition, rural development and water. The stakeholder convenings include additional issues specific to our company, including environmental sustainability, human rights, compliance and the delivery of our commitments, as well as our three Creating Shared Value focus areas – nutrition, water and rural livelihoods. Stakeholder convenings have taken place in 2007 (Geneva); 2008 (Washington DC); 2009 (Geneva and Kuala Lumpur); 2011 (New Delhi and London); 2012 (Nairobi and London); and 2013 (London).
The outcomes of stakeholder convenings are fed back to senior management and taken into account in the development of our policies, commitments and actions for the following year. For instance, feedback from earlier convenings has been incorporated into our new Rural Development Framework and also led to our partnership with the Fair Labor Association (FLA), in which we are currently working to identify and eliminate child labour in our cocoa supply chain. Feedback from the convenings also forms the basis for our materiality analysis.
Stakeholder convening 2013
Our London convening has become a regular event and in March 2013, we held our third convening there. Our objectives were to understand stakeholder expectations and concerns; report back on previous convenings; stimulate fresh thinking; review our new table of commitments; and prioritise key actions on Creating Shared Value, sustainability and compliance issues.
The event was attended by more than 40 representatives of NGOs, government, academia and multilaterals. Our CEO, Paul Bulcke, attended the convening, in response to previous stakeholder requests for more senior management participation, along with Nestlé staff from our Vevey headquarters and the UK. The stakeholder participants made a number of recommendations (see below).