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Partnerships and collective action

Societies globally are facing a range of complex challenges, from rising obesity rates to child labor and climate change. Change will take joint action.

We are building relationships with partners and like-minded stakeholders around the world to design and deploy sustainable solutions.

We partner with others to deliver a bigger impact

We benefit from engaging with diverse stakeholders. By working together, we maximize what can be achieved. These stakeholders include multilateral agencies, international organizations, governments, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industry bodies.

Nestlé only considers partnerships that are relevant to our Creating Shared Value (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.

Our partnership selection criteria

  • Relevance of partnership focus to CSV 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

Collaborating for positive impact

We have outlined our primary partnerships in the following table with links to the partners’ websites and to associated information in this report.

Key organizations Achievements and outcomes

Nestlé has partnered with Ashoka, the world’s leading network of systems-changing social entrepreneurs, to co-create a sustainable food system where stakeholders across sectors are empowered to collaborate for better health, a regenerative environment and the well-being of society.

In 2020, we launched a new partnership framework. Through it we have established our strategic direction for co-creating a sustainable food system and key impact areas to address collaboratively.

Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)

Through the CGF, we contribute to shaping the industry through end-to-end value chain manufacturer and retailer collaborative action. This is organized in coalitions of action for efficient supply chains, food safety, collaboration for healthier lives, human rights, ending forced labor, food waste and loss and plastics waste management, among others.

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

We continue to collaborate with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to explore further partnership opportunities. We are currently working with the SDC to ensure our coffee project in Rwanda guarantees positive results in terms of gender equality.

United Nations Global Compact LEAD

Nestlé is one of 41 Global Compact LEAD companies. This recognition is given to companies that are committed to the UN Global Compact and its Ten Principles.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Nestlé is a member of the WBCSD and is playing an active role in the following programs: Food & Nature, People, Climate & Energy and Redefining Value. Our Executive Vice President, Magdi Batato, is on the WBCSD Executive Committee.

World Cocoa Foundation

We are a member of the World Cocoa Foundation, an industry association representing more than 80% of the global cocoa market that works pre-competitively to address challenges affecting the sector.

Key organizations Achievements and outcomes
EpiGen Global Research Consortium (EpiGen)

In one of the largest public-private partnerships of its kind, we are looking at the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on maternal and infant health as part of the EpiGen Global Research Consortium. Through EpiGen’s NiPPeR study, we are exploring whether a specific combination of nutrients and probiotics, taken before conception and during pregnancy, improves the health of mothers and their babies.

International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA)

In 2008, we supported the creation of the IFBA, to help individuals and families around the world achieve balanced diets and lead healthy, active lifestyles. Together with 10 other leading food and non-alcoholic beverage companies, we work to support the following:

  • WHO’s 2004 Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health
  • WHO Global Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, 2013–2020
  • The recommendations of the 2011 UN Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases

Key organizations Achievements and outcomes
Earthworm Foundation (EF)

Earthworm Foundation (EF) is an important partner for our work in addressing environmental and social challenges in our palm oil, pulp and paper, and cocoa supply chains. In 2017, it supported our first human rights impact assessment in our palm oil upstream supply chain in Indonesia. In 2020, we partnered with EF and the Côte d’Ivoire Government to protect and restore the Cavally Forest. Together with Airbus, EF developed Starling, the satellite monitoring system we are using in our palm oil and pulp and paper supply chains.

Fair Labor Association (FLA)

Nestlé is a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The FLA has been helping us to improve working conditions in our supply chain and address child labor issues in our cocoa, hazelnut and vanilla supply chains. In Côte d’Ivoire, the FLA was at the origin of our flagship Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS). While in Turkey, the FLA has led the implementation of Harvest the Future, a multi-stakeholder, multi-commodity project aimed at improving lives of migrant workers. In 2019, the FLA established an agricultural committee, of which we are the chair.

Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW)

The Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW) brings together seven of the largest food production and food service companies worldwide, including Nestlé, as well as animal welfare experts. The coalition collectively addresses systemic barriers to improving animal welfare, accelerates the development of welfare standards and drives progress on key issues. In particular, we are working with GCAW on extending our commitment to source cage-free eggs.

International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)

The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) is the implementing partner of our Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

International Dual Career Network (IDCN)

Together with other multinationals, we 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 nonprofit association and is currently chaired by the Head of Diversity at Nestlé. We lead 4 out of 15 networks, and provide office space and logistics support to the independent Global IDCN Coordinator.

Issara Institute

We are a strategic partner of the Issara Institute, an NGO that tackles human trafficking and forced labor. We work with the NGO to identify and remediate labor rights abuses in our Thai seafood chain. We do so through the provision of an independent grievance mechanism for workers and a responsible recruitment program, developed in collaboration with our suppliers.


Proforest supports our activities toward meeting our responsible sourcing commitment in our soya and sugar supply chains. It helped us define our new Theory of Change for soya and build risk assessment tools for sugar.

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. Both the Nespresso Program and the Nescafé Plan work closely with the Rainforest Alliance to assess and measure the impact of our field programs on farmers, communities and landscapes.

Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI)

We are members of the Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI), a multi-industry, multi-stakeholder initiative focused on ensuring that the rights of workers vulnerable to forced labor in global supply chains are consistently respected and promoted.


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 Solidaridad since 2013 to improve food security and nutrition in Kenya The partnership aims to increase nutrition security through improving coffee production to boost farmer incomes, support them in becoming self-sufficient in food, and improving their awareness of healthy diets.


We work with Verité, an NGO specializing in fair labor, to assess the extent and causes of labor rights abuses in our seafood, coffee and palm oil supply chains. Its investigations in the Thai seafood industry have enabled us to identify several serious challenges and develop an action plan to address them. In 2018 and 2019, Verité conducted a systems review of how we manage labor rights challenges in our palm oil supply chain. This is helping us strengthen our labor rights strategy.

Key organizations Achievements and outcomes
2030 Water Resources Group (WRG)

We currently chair the WRG, a collaboration between public, private and civil groups seeking to reform water resources in water-stressed economies.

Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS)

The AWS International Water Stewardship Standard provides a framework for evaluating our water stewardship practices, using a range of environmental, social and economic criteria. 41 of our factories have now been certified by the AWS Standard. Nestlé Waters has committed to have all its factories AWS-certified by 2025.

Champions 12.3

We are a member of Champions 12.3, a coalition of business executives dedicated to supporting the UN’s efforts to reduce food loss and waste via SDG target 12.3. We have contributed to the the 2019 progress report (pdf, 1Mb) as well as the launch of The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste.

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation is an important partner in our journey to advance the circular economy. We draw on their recognized expertise, participating in several of their multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the New Plastic Economy and the Food Initiative to scale up circular solutions that address sustainability challenges.

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, improving access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for over 465 000 people in rural cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched another WASH project in eight sub-Saharan African countries, benefiting over 262 000 people by the end of 2020.

Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA)

We are members of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), a global public-private partnership that helps drive collective action to reduce the tropical deforestation associated with the sourcing of commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and pulp and paper.

UNGC CEO Water Mandate

We are a founding signatory of the CEO Water Mandate, endorsed by leading companies looking to develop, implement and disclose their water sustainability policies and practices. In 2019, we officially joined the WASH4Work initiative of the CEO Water Mandate.

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Together with the WRI, we are working on practical and open-source methodologies to assess the cost/benefit of water stewardship. One initiative evaluates the cost of water stewardship for all major river basins worldwide, while another offers to quantify the outcomes of water stewardship initiatives implemented (Water Stewardship Benefit Accounting Methodology – WSBAM). We are also working with the WRI to calculate the value, both nutritionally and environmentally, of milk losses in our supply chains in 30 major countries.

An indicative list of key relationships is provided below.

2030 Water Resources Group
AIM Progress
Alliance for Water Stewardship
Alliance for YOUth
Bancos de Alimentos de México (BAMX)
California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC)
Caring for Climate
Climate Disclosure Standards Board
Compassion in World Farming
Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)
Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
Earthworm Foundation
EpiGen Global Research Consortium (EpiGen)
Fair Labor Association (FLA)
Fairtrade International
FoodDrink Europe
Global Coalition for Animal Welfare
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Global Road Safety Partnership
High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) Steering Group
International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)
Institute for Human Rights and Business Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment
International Dual Career Network (IDCN)
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFRC)
International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDI)
Issara Institute
Natural Capital Coalition
The Nature Conservancy 
Neumann Foundation
One Planet Business for Biodiversity
Project STOP
Rainforest Alliance
Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI)
Stockholm International Water Institute
Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
Tropical Forest Alliance
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)
UNGC CEO Water Mandate
We Mean Business
World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs)
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
World Cocoa Foundation and CocoaAction
World Economic Forum (WEF)
World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)
World Health Organization (WHO)
World Resources Institute (WRI)