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Partnerships and collective action

As a global company, Nestlé faces a wide range of complex challenges, from rising obesity to child labor 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.

We partner with others to deliver a bigger impact

We benefit from engaging with diverse stakeholders and, by working together, we maximize what can be achieved. These stakeholders include multilateral agencies, international organizations, governments, academia, nongovernmental organizations (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 organizations, 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 (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 a positive impact

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 organizations Achievements and outcomes
    Ashoka In celebration of 10 years of CSV, Nestlé has partnered with Ashoka, the world’s leading network of systems-changing social entrepreneurs, to search for, support and accelerate solutions tackling the biggest issues in water, nutrition and rural development. This agreement fosters powerful co-creation with social entrepreneurs and deepens the social impact on the communities and beneficiaries they serve.
    Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Through the CGF, we help shape the global collective agenda through resolutions and commitments on health and wellness, social sustainability, climate change and environmental sustainability. On behalf of the CGF, we led the development of the Food Loss and Waste Protocol to help measure food loss and waste more accurately and have since piloted the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW Standard) in our dairy supply chain in Pakistan.
    Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) We signed a memorandum of understanding with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to explore further partnership opportunities beyond our current project in Vietnam, which focuses on irrigation in the coffee supply chain.
    United Nations Global Compact LEAD Nestlé is one of 34 members of the Global Compact LEAD, a group of highly engaged companies from across all regions and sectors that represent the cutting-edge of the UNGC. In 2018, we participated in several UNGC Action Platforms, engaging with like-minded companies to advance responsible business activities.
    World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Nestlé is member of the WBCSD and is involved in areas including water (see WASH case study), human rights, communities (see Rural livelihoods case study), greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy, as well as reporting. Nestlé also plays an active role in the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health program (FReSH), which is designed to accelerate transformational change in global food systems, to reach healthy, enjoyable diets for all, that are produced responsibly within planetary boundaries. This initiative is a joint program between EAT and WBCSD.
  • Key organizations 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 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 helped create the International Food & Beverage Alliance, 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:

    • World Health Organization’s 2004 Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.
    • The 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
    The 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 effectively implemented across our business activities. The DIHR has been a key partner in the development and implementation of our Human Rights Due Diligence Program. Between 2009 and 2016, we carried out 12 Human Rights Impact Assessments together in Nestlé operations in FTSE Countries of Concern. In 2017, we conducted our first HRIA assessment in our upstream supply chain, focusing on labor rights in the palm oil supply chain in Indonesia, and at the end of 2018 we had completed four such assessments.
    Fair Labor Association (FLA) The FLA works with us to improve working conditions in our supply chain and to identify and address child labor in the cocoa and hazelnut sectors. In Côte d’Ivoire, the FLA was at the origin of our flagship Child Labor and Monitoring System. In Turkey, the FLA has led the implementation of a grant from the US Department of Labor to identify and remedy child labor in the hazelnut sector.
    International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) ICI is the implementing partner of our Child Labor and Monitoring System in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
    International Dual Career Network (IDCN) Together with other multinationals, we launched in 2011 a network that helps dual-career spouses with their local job search and professional integration in a new country. The IDCN is a global Non-Profit Association of companies, NGOs and academic institutions in different locations with more than 100 corporate members. We lead three out of 14 networks and are member of the Global Executive Board.
    Proforest Proforest supports our activities toward meeting our commitment to eliminate deforestation from our supply chain. It works with our soya suppliers on continuous improvements, focusing on deforestation and biodiversity. We also work with Proforest to address human rights, including working and living conditions, and sustainability risks in our sugar supply chain. In 2017, its assessments identified challenges in Negros Occidental, the Philippines’ largest sugar-producing region. As a result, we were able to start implementing effective solutions, such as training farming households and facilitating the removal of children from the workforce.
    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 actions on farmers, communities and 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 cooperatives, the FOSEK public–private partnership aims to increase production, boost farmers’ incomes and improve their awareness of healthy diets.

    Nestlé works with TFT on several initiatives. In 2017, it helped carry out our first human rights assessment in an upstream supply chain, with a palm oil supplier in Indonesia. It also carried out supplier assessments in Ghana, Indonesia and Côte d’Ivoire.

    With TFT, we also participated in Starling, a six-month pilot scheme using satellite technology to monitor deforestation.

    The Rurality Initiative is another TFT scheme that we were involved in. It aims to connect key stakeholders in palm oil supply chains, and share innovation and knowledge to help farmers overcome the challenges they face. The project helps hundreds of farmers in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Malaysia, Indonesia and Peru to develop good agricultural practices and gain improved access to tools and equipment.

    Verité We continue to work with Verité, an NGO specializing in fair labor, to assess the extent and causes of labor rights abuses in our seafood supply chain. Its investigations in the Thai seafood industry have enabled us to identify several serious challenges and start developing remedies. In 2017, we began working with Verité to assess labor rights violations in our coffee supply chain in Mexico. Because of our partnership, we are now developing a system to help address such violations.
  • 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. Fourteen of our factories have now been certified by the AWS Standard, and 11 additional sites will be audited this year. Nestlé Waters committed to have all its factories AWS certified by 2025.
    California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) Nestlé Waters North America co-founded the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) to help improve water security across the state. We are involved in two projects to determine how large-scale restoration can improve water supplies and exploring how the private sector can support the measurement, management and stewardship required.
    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 participated in a business case work group, which launched The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste, and contributed to the 2017 Progress Report, Roadmap to Achieving SDG Target 12.3 (pdf, 1Mb).
    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 316 474 people in rural cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
    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. We publish an annual Communication on Progress and sit on the Mandate’s steering committee. In 2018, we supported a business day bringing together companies, governments and institutions, ahead of the World Water Forum in Brasilia, as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the 2030 Water Resources Group, the CEO Water Mandate and the local Global Compact Network in Brazil. We also helped set up a working group of companies in Panama to support the acceleration of the National Water Plan, ‘agua para todos’.
    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 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).

Additional key relationships are listed below, and information provided in our report (pdf, 4.6Mb).

Organizations Report section
2030 Water Resources Group Planet
Alliance for Water Stewardship Planet
Alliance for YOUth Communities
California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) Planet
Caring for Climate Planet
Climate Disclosure Standards Board Planet
Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Nestlé in Society, Individuals and families, Planet
Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) Communities
EpiGen Global Research Consortium (EpiGen) Individuals and families
Fair Labor Association (FLA) Nestlé in Society, Communities
Fairtrade International Communities
FoodDrink Europe Planet
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Nestlé in Society
Global Road Safety Partnership Communities
International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) Communities
International Dual Career Network (IDCN) Communities
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Planet
International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) Individuals and families
International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDI) Individuals and families
Natural Capital Coalition Planet
Proforest Communities
Rainforest Alliance Communities
Solidaridad Communities
Stockholm International Water Institute Planet
Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform Planet
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Communities
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Planet
The Forest Trust (TFT) Communities
UNESCO Individuals and families
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Nestlé in Society, Communities
UNGC CEO Water Mandate Nestlé in Society, Planet
USAID Communities
UTZ Communities
Verité Communities
World Animal Protection Communities
World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs) Individuals and families
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Planet
World Cocoa Foundation and CocoaAction Communities
World Economic Forum (WEF) Individuals and families, Planet
World Health Organization (WHO) Individuals and families
World Resources Institute (WRI) Planet
WRAP Planet
WWF Planet

Download our Creating Shared Value report