Partnerships and collective action

As a global company, Nestlé faces a wide range of complex challenges, from rising obesity to child labour and climate change. We need to pursue joint action to achieve sustainable results. By building relationships with partners and like-minded stakeholders at all levels, we enable our people to listen, learn and contribute effectively.

Our approach

We benefit from engaging with diverse stakeholders and, by working together, we maximise what can be achieved. These stakeholders include multilateral agencies, international organisations, governments, academia, NGOs and industry bodies.

Nestlé only considers partnerships that are relevant to our CSV commitments and that have a significant impact. To identify the best matches, we have established specific criteria that guide us in the selection process. This list of partnership criteria helps contacting organisations, and Nestlé, define how a partnership will generate added value to both parties.

Our partnership selection criteria

  • Relevance of partnership focus to Creating Shared Value and our commitments
  • Partnership ability to solve a problem or to add value
  • Impact and scale of proposed partnership, to make a difference
  • Financial value and other resources, aligned with impact and scale
  • Little overlap with existing partnerships
  • Geographical scope: global, regional or local
  • Alignment with the Nestlé Corporate Business Principles

Key partnerships and collective actions

To offer an insight into and transparency around our main relationships, we have outlined them below. We include links to their external websites and to associated information in this report.

  • Key partnerships Achievements and outcomes
    Consumer Goods Forum Through the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), we help shape the global collective agenda through resolutions and commitments on health and wellness, social sustainability, climate change and environmental sustainability.
    United Nations Global Compact LEAD Nestlé is one of more than 50 companies that make up the UNGC’s leadership platform LEAD. As a member of this group and the LEAD Steering Committee, we work towards advancing the integration of sustainability principles into core business operations and aligning corporate goal-setting with global development priorities. We also help to establish work plans and assist with coordination, while taking an active part in a number of LEAD task forces and UNGC-led initiatives.
  • Key partnerships Achievements and outcomes
    EpiGen Global Research Consortium (EpiGen) In one of the largest public–private partnerships of its kind, we’re looking at the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on maternal and infant health as part of the EpiGen Global Research Consortium (EpiGen). Through EpiGen’s NiPPeR study, we are exploring whether micronutrient supplements taken before conception and during pregnancy improve the health of mothers and their babies.
    International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) As a firm proponent of responsible marketing to children, we are a founding member of IFBA and are committed to complying with its Global Policy on Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children (IFBA Global Policy).
    HarvestPlus To drive the complex process behind growing and harvesting biofortified crops, which are naturally rich in micronutrients, several large organisations created HarvestPlus. Through this initiative, we’re working with agricultural research institutes to establish supply chains for biofortified crops in several countries, replacing common varieties of staple crops with nutrient-rich alternatives that will improve access to nutrition.
  • Key partnerships Achievements and outcomes
    Proforest Many workers in Mexico’s sugar cane industry are migrant labourers from poor areas, including children. Working with Proforest, we have been tackling this issue at the La Gloria mill. The number of children employed at the mill has since fallen significantly, and our expectation is that within three years, child labour will have been eliminated at La Gloria.
    Rainforest Alliance The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, developed in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, aims to protect the highest-quality coffees required for Nespresso Grands Crus, preserve the environment and enhance farmer welfare. We are also working together to develop an impact assessment toolbox, which we will begin to roll out in 2017. This will enable us to systematically measure, and demonstrate the impact of the Nescafé Plan on farmer livelihood, rural communities and broader landscapes.
    Solidaridad Our Rural Development Framework, a diagnostic tool to support a consistent approach to rural development and enhancing rural livelihoods, was developed in collaboration with several key partners, including Solidaridad. We have also worked with the NGO since 2013 to improve food security and nutrition in Kenya and Ethiopia. Targeting 120 000 smallholder coffee farmers across 77 co-operatives, the FOSEK public–private partnership aims to increase production, boost farmers’ incomes and improve their awareness of healthy diets.
    TFT Nestlé works with TFT on the Rurality initiative, which aims to connect key stakeholders in palm oil supply chains, and share innovation and knowledge to help farmers overcome the challenges they face. Having assessed farmers’ environments, farming systems and household economics, four projects involving more than 400 farmers began in 2016, in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Malaysia and Indonesia. Initial actions have included training on the use of appropriate tools, safety equipment and fertilisers, organising field visits to share best practice and building awareness of the importance of forest conservation.
    World Animal Protection Representatives from World Animal Protection attend some of our dairy farm assessments, and support us in training auditors on animal health and welfare issues. We are also working with World Animal Protection to extend our US policy for using only cage-free eggs by 2020 to Europe and the rest of the world.
  • Key partnerships Achievements and outcomes
    Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) We are an active member of the BFA, a collaboration between many of the world’s leading brands that aims to increase awareness about the sources of bio-based plastics, and their social and environmental performance. Its meetings are organised and convened by the WWF. As a founding member, Nestlé has actively participated in developing a methodology for assessing feedstock sustainability.
    Champions 12.3 The UN SDGs include a target (12.3) to halve food waste by 2030 and the Consumer Goods Forum (of which we are a member) has resolved that all members should achieve the same target for their own operations by 2025. We joined Champions 12.3, a coalition of government, industry and NGO influencers dedicated to accelerating progress towards this target.
  • Key partnerships Achievements and outcomes
    2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) The 2030 Water Resources Group is a collaboration between public, private and civil groups that seeks to reform water resources in water-stressed developing economies. We currently chair the 2030 WRG, and a number of our senior executives play a leading role in the group, whose governing council meets annually.
    Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) The AWS International Water Stewardship Standard is a universal reference tool for any organisation to use as a framework for evaluating its water stewardship practices against a series of environmental, social and economic criteria.
    California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) In 2016, we joined 19 companies in founding CWAC, a platform for collective action to improve water security in California for people, business, agriculture and nature. Nestlé is directly involved in two initial projects: one to determine how large-scale restoration can improve water supplies, and a collaboration to identify where the private sector can support the measurement, management and stewardship required.
    International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) The IFRC aims to provide equitable, affordable and sustainable solutions to improve the health and quality of life in vulnerable communities. We have partnered with the IFRC in Africa since 2002, increasingly focused on improving access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in rural communities. The IFRC delivers its development projects through its Global Water and Sanitation Initiative (GWSI), which we support indirectly through joint activities in international forums, internal coordination and management meetings and events, and the launch of key publications.
    UNGC CEO Water Mandate The CEO Water Mandate helps companies develop, implement and disclose their water sustainability policies and practices. We publish a Communication on Progress every year, which is submitted to the UNGC for review, and attended the Mandate’s 2016 Working Conference in Stockholm, Sweden.
    World Resources Institute (WRI) Working alongside several organisations including the WRI, we have steered the development of a Food Loss and Waste (FLW) Protocol on behalf of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). And at the CGF’s Sustainability Retail Summit in October 2016, we ran a training workshop with the WRI on how Nestlé has applied the FLW Protocol.
  • Key partnerships Achievements and outcomes
    Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) We work closely with external bodies such as the DIHR and the Fair Labor Association (see below) to ensure our human rights policies are aligned with national and international standards, and correctly implemented. The DIHR was also a key partner in the development of our Rural Development Framework (RDF).
    Fair Labor Association (FLA) In Turkey, our partners the FLA carried out audits in the hazelnut supply chain in 2016. These identified an increase in child labour, possibly due to the increasing number of Syrian refugees moving into Turkey. Remedial activities include taking children out of the supply chain and into education.
    International Dual Career Network (IDCN) Together with other multinationals, we’ve launched a network that helps dual-career spouses with their local job search and professional integration in a new country. The IDCN is an independent non-profit association and is currently chaired by the Head of Diversity at Nestlé. We lead four out of 11 networks, and provide office space and logistics support to the independent Global IDCN Coordinator.
    Verité We continue to work with Verité, an NGO specialising in fair labour, to assess the extent and causes of child labour in our seafood supply chain. Its assessments have highlighted unethical recruitment as a root cause, with child labourers being trafficked from other countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Indonesia.


Organisation Creating Shared Value focus
Global partnerships and alliances
Bioversity Nutrition, health and wellness
Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) Rural development, Human rights and compliance
EpiGen Global Research Consortium (EpiGen) Nutrition, health and wellness
Global Good Rural development
Global Road Safety Partnership Our people
HarvestPlus Nutrition, health and wellness
International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) Rural development
International Dual Career Network (IDCN) Our people
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Nestlé in Society, Water
Proforest Rural development, Human rights and compliance
Project WET Foundation Water
Solidaridad Rural development
Stockholm International Water Institute Water
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Rural development
Swiss Development Corporation Water
TFT Rural development
UNESCO Nutrition, health and wellness
USAID Rural development
Verité Human rights and compliance
World Animal Protection Rural development
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Water, Environmental sustainability
World Health Organization (WHO) Nutrition, health and wellness
World Resources Institute (WRI) Water, Environmental sustainability
WWF Environmental sustainability
Regional partnerships and alliances
California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) Water
Environmental Protection Agency Environmental sustainability
EuropeActive Nutrition, health and wellness
Pan-American Health Organization Nutrition, health and wellness
Partnership for a Healthier America Nutrition, health and wellness
Salt Smart Consortium Nutrition, health and wellness
Memberships in multi-stakeholder platforms and alliances
2030 Water Resources Group Water
The 4C Association Rural development
Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Water
Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Our people
Caring for Climate Environmental sustainability
Climate Disclosure Standards Board Environmental sustainability
Clinton Health Foundation Nutrition, health and wellness
Every Woman Every Child Nutrition, health and wellness
Fair Labor Association (FLA) Nestlé in Society, Rural development, Human rights and compliance
FoodDrink Europe Environmental sustainability
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Nestlé in Society
Sustainable Food Lab Water
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Nestlé in Society, Rural development
UNGC CEO Water Mandate Nestlé in Society, Water
World Economic Forum (WEF) Nutrition, health and wellness, Environmental sustainability
Industry alliances
Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) Environmental sustainability
Compassion in World Farming Rural development
Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Nestlé in Society, Nutrition, health and wellness, Environmental sustainability
Fairtrade International Rural development
Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) Environmental sustainability
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) Environmental sustainability
International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) Nutrition, health and wellness
International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDI) Nutrition, health and wellness
Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF) Environmental sustainability
Natural Capital Coalition Environmental sustainability
Rainforest Alliance Rural development
Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform Water
UTZ Rural development
World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs) Nutrition, health and wellness
World Cocoa Foundation and CocoaAction Rural development
WRAP Environmental sustainability

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Find out more in our Creating Shared Value full report