Stakeholder engagement

Engaging with stakeholders on important issues to tackle them together lies at the heart of how we do business. Even when we are making progress, we seek the advice of the best experts and advocates to develop and improve our corporate policies and commitments, strengthen our business and target our societal investments.

Our annual programme of stakeholder convenings and Creating Shared Value events provides an opportunity to intensify that dialogue, building on our understanding of critical societal issues. The interaction develops the capability of our people, facilitating more effective collective action.

Creating Shared Value Global Forum 2016

The 2016 Creating Shared Value Global Forum was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 21 June 2016.

Under the theme of ‘Investing in Sustainable Development in Africa’, the forum brought together leaders from across business, civil society and government to discuss key topics affecting the continent.

Find out more about the 2016 CSV Forum.

Our stakeholder groups

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

Stakeholder group Examples of engagement
Academia
  • We recently conducted a study with the University of California at Davis into the benefits of drinking water on memory and attention among children aged 9–12.
Communities
  • We have worked with community stakeholders in the Mossel Bay region of South Africa since 2009 to mitigate the effects of drought. Through our holistic approach to water management, we supplied dairy farmers with water and began to address the water quality in a local lagoon. Our factory in the region is also set to become a zero water facility in 2017.
Consumers and the general public
  • 200 companies have joined the Alliance for YOUth initiative, launched by Nestlé, helping 62 000 young Europeans find jobs or training opportunities. We are now spreading the initiative to the Americas, and preparing similar action plans for Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Middle East.
Customers
  • We are starting to work with retailers and food service providers to foster environments that promote healthier diets and lifestyles. Long-term collaborations with strategic partners may include messages to encourage healthier choices in store and online, placing healthier options at checkouts, and responsible marketing communications directed at parents and caregivers.
Employees and their representatives
  • Our global employee satisfaction survey, ‘Nestlé and I’, contains six questions to assess how our people feel they are being treated. We have recently incorporated our Culture of Quality Survey, which previously reached around 62 000 employees, into this company-wide employee survey, to help drive quality throughout our business.
Governments
  • Feed the Future is a US government initiative that develops public–private partnerships to address the causes of hunger and poverty. We signed a partnership in 2016 to support its Climate Smart Cocoa project, through which smallholder cocoa farmers in locations such as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are taught agricultural practices that offset the challenges of climate change.
Industry and trade associations
  • Nestlé has been active in the International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDI), which promotes high standards in the production and trade of special dietary foods, since its foundation.
Intergovernmental organisations
  • In March 2016, Nestlé brought together a group of 30 scientists, policymakers, health practitioners and consumers at the European Parliament in Brussels at the ‘Healthier Portions for a Healthier Diet’ convening.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • In recent years, we have supported World Animal Protection by contributing to the stakeholder consultation process on the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), a global measure of animal welfare standards in food companies. Representatives from the NGO also support us in training auditors on animal health and welfare issues, and are helping establish a plan for extending our use of free-range eggs.
Reporting agencies
  • Nestlé has been recognised as a global leader in tackling climate change, earning a place on CDP’s Climate A List after an independent assessment of our climate change report. We also participate in the CDP water programme, receiving a ‘Leadership’ score of A- for our best practices and actions to manage water and mitigate water risks in November 2016.
Shareholders and the financial community
  • To keep shareholders and others in the investor community informed, we publish our Annual Report, Corporate Governance Report and Nestlé in Society – Creating Shared Value and Meeting our Commitments report each year. We also report half-year financial results, with sales-only summaries for three-month and nine-month results, and produce regular press releases and presentations. Our calendar of events includes our Annual General Meetings and annual investor seminars.
Suppliers (including farmers and smallholders)
  • Through the Nescafé Plan, we helped smallholder coffee farmers in the Lampung province of Indonesia boost productivity and the quality of their Robusta coffee. By 2016, 676 farmer field schools had trained around 20 000 farmers on good agricultural practices.

Stakeholder convenings

Our stakeholder convenings aim to promote increased levels of trust and mutual respect. Our businesses engage with stakeholders at a country level, and outcomes are fed back to senior management through the Nestlé in Society Board.

Nestlé stakeholder convenings are hosted and organised by external experts to ensure we receive independent opinions and feedback. These events address issues that are specific to our value chain and where Nestlé can create shared value.

Geneva stakeholder convening: 30–31 March 2016

On 30–31 March 2016, representatives of NGOs, academia, government and international organisations attended our stakeholder convening in Geneva, Switzerland. With 64 stakeholders, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke and 18 other members of Nestlé in attendance, the event invited delegates to share their perspectives of Nestlé’s CSV commitments and performance, and sought to explore Nestlé’s role in stimulating collective action to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Our stakeholder groups

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

  • Academia;
  • Communities;
  • Consumers and the general public;
  • Customers;
  • Employees and their representatives;
  • Governments;
  • Industry and trade associations;
  • Intergovernmental organisations;
  • Non-governmental organisations;
  • Reporting agencies;
  • Shareholders and the financial community;
  • and Suppliers (including farmers and smallholders).

Stakeholder convenings

Nestlé stakeholder convenings are hosted and organised by external experts. They ensure we receive independent opinions and feedback, which is critical. These events address issues that are specific to our value chain and focus areas in which Nestlé can create shared value. In 2015, we held stakeholder convenings in London in March (45 stakeholders) and Washington DC in December (61 stakeholders), which were attended by representatives of NGOs, academia, government and international organisations.

London stakeholder convening, 17–18 March 2015

This stakeholder convening was the fourth to be held in London since their inception in 2007. It was attended by 45 stakeholders as well as Nestlé S.A. Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke, Nestlé senior executives and experts from the global team. There was significant interest in the role that Nestlé could play in leading systems level change on Creating Shared Value issues. Participants called on Nestlé to play a bigger, bolder role and to set a clear, longer-term vision for what the company is aiming to achieve.

Washington stakeholder convening, 7–8 December 2015

This was Nestlé’s second Stakeholder Convening to be held in Washington D.C. The convening provided Nestlé with an opportunity to share progress on its Creating Shared Value programs and commitments. This included Nestlé’s CSV work in the USA and priorities in the Zone Americas. The event was attended by 61 stakeholders and by Laurent Freixe, Executive Vice President Nestlé S.A., Head of Zone Americas, as well as other Nestlé senior executives and experts from the global team.