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Respecting and promoting human rights

Our values are rooted in respect, including respect for the human rights of every single person who works for or with us. Respecting and promoting human rights in our business activities is one of our three priorities in our Communities impact area, and the basis of our ambition to improve 30 million lives.

Human rights abuses have no place in our business activities. Respect for human rights is one of our core corporate values, extending to every single person who works for or with us. Treating people with dignity and respect is not only embedded in how we do business. It also contributes to meeting consumer and stakeholder expectations of us, and making our business activities and supply chains more resilient, stable, secure and sustainable.

We have formally incorporated our human rights commitment into our Corporate Business Principles and into our Management Principles. These are the guiding principles we expect each and every Nestlé employee to live by, every day, wherever they are in the world. And these are not negotiable. Paul Bulcke, Chairman, Nestlé

Human rights are embedded in how we do business

More than 10 years ago, we set out on our human rights journey.

Since then, we have constantly evolved and refined our approach to assessing and managing human rights issues across our value chain.

View our timeline (pdf, 100Kb) for the full journey.

Looking ahead to 2020

We have specific commitments and programs to address issues including child labor, improving workers’ livelihoods, ensuring workers have access to grievance mechanisms and reporting transparently on the numbers of workers benefiting from our interventions.

Our Human Rights Due Diligence strategy

Our human rights strategy is enshrined in our Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) program. Our HRDD program comprises eight components:

1. Policies
2. Stakeholder engagement and partnerships
3. Training and awareness
4. Risk and impact assessments
5. Salient issues
6. Governance
7. Grievance mechanisms
8. Monitoring and reporting

Read more about our Human Rights Due Diligence program.

The HRDD program is aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which set out our corporate responsibility to respect human rights. We report our activities using the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and use other benchmarks including:

Ensuring human rights are respected

Consumers increasingly want to know about human rights in the supply chains of companies they buy from, and what those businesses are doing to address abuses. Such abuses have no place in our business activities. We believe our business benefits from having a strong and resilient worker base throughout our supply chain, making that chain more stable and secure.

In 2018, we launched a revised and enhanced version of our human rights training, developed in collaboration with the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR). The Business and Human Rights Training allows all employees to learn about the significance of human rights – to Nestlé’s work, but also in each individual’s specific area of responsibility.

Human rights should be a priority for all businesses – we do not believe that it should give Nestlé any degree of competitive advantage. For that reason, we have made the course publicly available, enabling other companies keen to address this issue to use and adapt it to their own needs.

Our company has robust systems in place to address human rights issues; many of our 36 commitments support human rights, and eight address them directly.

Our contribution

As a global company, we are proud of our diversity. We have specific commitments to promote gender balance, within our own operations and in the societies and communities we source from. In line with this commitment, we are also pledged to closing the gender pay gap, with equal pay for equal work for our employees. We actively support diversity in all its forms throughout our business and work hard to promote the inclusion of people from different generations and cultures, and those with different abilities and sexual orientation (LGBTI*).

We also use our scale and size to provide jobs, apprenticeships and training for young people, helping them find employment or gain the skills they need to enter the workplace. With our purpose of ‘enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future,’ Nestlé places a real emphasis on workplace well-being. We want to inspire people to lead healthier lives, as we believe a safe, healthy workplace creates a healthier business.

Our work on human rights contributes to SDGs 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 16 and 17.

See how we map our material issues to the UN SDGs (pdf, 600Kb)

* Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.

See our commitments

Find out more

CSV - Linkbox - Global Youth Initiative
CSV - Linkbox - Global Youth Initiative

Global Youth Initiative

We’re supporting youth around the world to get educated and trained.

CSV - Linkbox - Improving livelihoods in communities
CSV - Linkbox - Improving livelihoods in communities

How we're improving livelihoods

Our 2030 ambition is to improve 30 million livelihoods in the communities where we operate.

CSV - Our approach - Putting our values

Putting our values at the heart of what we do

Building our business on clear principles and sound governance maintains trust in the Nestlé brand and reduces risk in the value chain.

Governance and policies

CSV - Our approach - Talking to the right people

Talking to the right people

We always seek the advice of the best experts and advocates to make Creating Shared Value (CSV) as robust as it can be.

Stakeholder engagement

CSV - Our approach - The detail about our approach

Doing business right

Ethical principles are fundamental to how we operate. This means zero tolerance for fraud, bribery and corruption, protection of personal data and open disclosure of tax payments.

Ethical business

Reporting transparently on our progress


Nestlé UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework Index of Answers (pdf, 800Kb)

We’re committed to transparency, and this index provides access to Nestlé human rights-related information.

Nestlé’s 2017 Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Report (pdf, 711Kb)

Modern slavery and human trafficking have no place in the world, and we are determined to work with our partners on addressing this problem in our supply chains.

Download our Creating Shared Value report