Gender empowerment and ecological housing

Location: Philippines

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012

Gender empowerment and ecological housing
GROWING BUSINESS:A woman plants seedlings at the Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm in Tagum, The Philippines.

When Nestlé built a manufacturing plant in Barangay Bagong, Lipa City, many of the local unemployed women in the neighbourhood wanted to work in the factory as it was near to their homes and families.

Programme description

Those with basic sewing skills were sent to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) by Nestlé for formal training, and given small sewing jobs that helped them obtain a start-up business loan from a local bank. The Cut and Sew project soon started taking on bigger jobs for the factory, such as uniforms, lab coats, hairnets and shoe covers, and this has now grown to around PhP 1.5 million (CHF 33,000) worth of business every year at the factory. The factory also has a Yard and Garden project, where women produce cut flowers and organic vegetables in a plot of land within the premises. Nestlé provided the start-up finance, planting materials and training, and the women sell their produce to the factory canteen, and even rent out the ornamental plants to the factory and individual employees.

Value to Society

Through Gawad Kalinga, an NGO housing programme for the poor that is funded by private donors, Nestlé has also set up an eco-village in Lipa. Here the homeless and unemployed can start a new life in a location designed for ecologically sustainable living. Around 50 families have settled in the village, which has gone beyond merely providing housing structures to create a community where rainwater is recycled and reed bed technology processes sewage without the use of chemicals. The partnership has seen Nestlé employees volunteer by painting houses, sharing wellness tips and teaching.

Value to Nestlé

Next Steps