At Nestlé, we live our company purpose day in and day out, with our values rooted in respect. The Nestlé Corporate Business Principles reflect our commitment to a strong ethical culture as a non-negotiable foundation of how we do business. And together with our partners, we create shared value at a scale that makes a difference. Therefore, it is crucial for our Company to have a robust reporting system that enables us to listen to anyone along our value chain about any non-compliance concern.
We encourage you to 'Speak Up' if you become aware of incidents of harassment or discrimination, abuse of power, mobbing/bullying, fraud, corruption, conflict of interest, or any other behaviors contrary to our Corporate Business Principles, Code of Business Conduct or our values rooted in respect. We will do what is necessary to ensure our Company is managed in line with our ethical commitments and you can help us achieve this goal.
In order to reinforce our Speak Up culture, we launched in April 2021 our single global internal and external reporting channel for non-compliance concerns and questions - Speak Up. Speak Up replaces the internal IRS reporting system and the external Tell Us system and is independently operated by a third party to ensure anonymity when requested. This new system will provide us with more transparency and better data.
In 2021, we received 2,475 messages on non-compliance allegations and compliance-related questions. Out of the cases investigated, 580 messages were substantiated, meaning that after a careful review of the facts, a non-compliance with Nestlé’s principles and values and/or laws or regulations was found. These were related to issues such as abuse of power and/or mobbing/bullying, unfair treatment, violence, discrimination and harassment, labor practices and fraud. All substantiated cases are subject to corresponding actions and decisions as appropriate. In total, 133 employees left the company in 2021. We will continue to promote a strong ethical and Speak Up culture in line with our principles and values.
Hence, 'Speak Up', our non-compliance reporting system, provides all Nestlé employees and all other external stakeholders with a dedicated communication channel for reporting non-compliance concerns.
"Nestlé’s Speak Up reporting system empowers everyone at Nestlé as well as all our external stakeholders to report potential instances of non-compliance with our corporate business principles, the code of business conduct and our values rooted in respect. While the Speak Up culture in Nestlé continues to evolve through direct interactions and open and transparent discussions, we also want to ensure that our reporting channel operates effectively, maintain confidentiality, and enable fair and highly professional treatment. As a reminder, we also have a non-retaliation policy which means that retaliation for reporting possible non-compliances in good faith will not be tolerated and will be subject to sanction. Whether you are directly confronted with a non-compliant situation, or are a witness to it, please do Speak Up. Thank you for your trust."
Leanne Geale, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Governance and Compliance
How to report a compliance concern?
'Speak Up', our non-compliance reporting system, is available any time (24/7, 365 days a year).
1. You can choose to use a web form or call a toll-free phone number and leave a message. For both procedures visit this website
In order to facilitate an actionable and effective review of your non-compliance concern, please include a detailed description of your concern (who, what, when, how) and supporting evidence (e.g. copies of documents, screenshots or names of witnesses) that can corroborate your report. Please note that general assertions cannot be investigated.
2. In both cases, you will receive an individual case number. Please note the number down and keep it safe.
3. This case number is your personal key to the Speak Up System and to the report you have filed. It allows you to track the progress of your case and to provide additional information. You will be asked to enter this number each time you access the system.
4. We take all non-compliance concerns seriously and will take the appropriate action on each report. We will keep you informed on our progress whilst processing your concern.
5. At anytime you can go back into the website, and track the progress of your case using your case number.
6. We are committed to improving our Compliance Reporting System and reserve the right to make changes in the future.
What happens after I have sent my report?
Our Compliance professionals will acknowledge receipt of your message. If your initial report does not include enough information / evidence, we will get in touch to ask you to provide more information / evidence.
You will receive an individual case number after filing your report. This number will allow you to track the progress of your report after logging into the Speak Up system. Please follow up your report.
Each report is reviewed carefully. We will open a case if your report includes minimum actionable information and evidence. The investigation will be led by our Market Compliance Officer in the region/country where the incident is said to have taken place.
Reports that contain non-compliance concern allegations on one of the 11 sensitive categories will be escalated to the Group Chief Compliance Officer and to the relevant Zone Head of Legal and Compliance.
- Abuse of Power and/or Mobbing/Bullying
- Antitrust and Fair Dealing
- Bribery and Corruption
- Discrimination and Violence
- Executive board members/senior managers in Switzerland
- Fraud (misappropriation or misconduct on accounting/financial statement)
- Human Rights (Child labor, forced labor and modern slavery)
- Management Committee Members related
- Non-Compliance against WHO Code (International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes)
- Sexual Harassment
4. Confidential investigation
The investigation will be professionally and confidentially handled– we will only involve people who need to be involved. Our Compliance Officers may conduct confidential interviews with employees, contractors or anybody they feel is relevant to the investigation.
As a general practice, it takes around 90 days for an investigation to be concluded and it is possible that a longer period for complex matters may be needed. In any event, timelines established by applicable laws and regulations will be applied and respected.
5. Decision and reply to you
After reviewing all the findings of our investigation, we will decide if a violation has occurred, and take action as appropriate. You will be informed accordingly.
Non-retaliation commitment: Nestlé prohibits retaliation of any type against an employee, individual or entity and will take action accordingly.
In addition, Nestlé also protects the rights of the implicated persons.