When we listen, we improve. That is why we regularly engage with and respond to a wide range of stakeholders to set the priorities for our Creating Shared Value strategy.
Engaging with stakeholders to make a bigger impact
Our global stakeholder network consists of the people our operations impact and those who influence our activities.
Stakeholder meetings, workshops and other events help us deepen dialogue and develop our understanding of important societal issues. The interaction helps our teams build their capabilities, facilitates collective action and promotes trust and mutual respect.
We also conduct a Nestlé Stakeholder Community survey. This is an annual survey with global Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) that aims to understand evolving views on our issues and reputation management.
In 2020, we expanded our stakeholder engagement with the launch of KOL Labs. Through these discussion sessions, we can gather key expert feedback on the purpose and sustainability goals of our brands.
Our stakeholder groups
We identify the following groups as fundamental to our continuing business success:
- Consumers and the general public
- Civil Society Organizations (CSO)
- Employees and their representatives
- Industry and trade associations
- Intergovernmental organizations
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- Reporting agencies
- Shareholders and the financial community
- Suppliers (including farmers and smallholders)
Engagement activities in 2020
Although 2020 presented a challenge for in-person engagement, we maintained stakeholder dialogues throughout the year. In March, we hosted a virtual workshop to explore ways to achieve living incomes for cocoa farmers.
A webinar during EU Green Week in June, held in partnership with Earthworm Foundation, described how we are using satellite technology to secure a deforestation-free palm oil supply chain. Also in June, our CEO, Mark Schneider, was lead speaker at the virtual launch of the Race to Zero campaign. During the event, he described the nature-based solutions Nestlé is developing to combat carbon emissions and biodiversity loss.
During Climate Week in September, our leadership participated in discussions with government, business and civil society leaders on topics related to tackling deforestation and promoting reforestation.
In December, we organized two sessions with stakeholders to discuss the newly launched Nestlé Net Zero Roadmap (pdf, 7Mb).
Throughout the year, we engaged with our stakeholders through a variety of platforms and on a range of topics, including on the eight key topics below:
|Key topic||Engagement efforts and outcomes|
Through a series of reports, commitment announcements, events and organization memberships, we remained transparent about our commitment to climate action.
We delivered impactful communications on our long-term advocacy aims and our progress to date. In particular, we publicly announced our support for a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through a range of collective calls to action.
We participated in several external initiatives, such as the EU Business and Biodiversity Platform, in support of biodiversity protection. We also attended the UN Biodiversity summit and formed an internal working group on biodiversity.
Through our engagement efforts, we highlighted the increased significance Nestlé is placing on nature preservation going forward.
|Water||We continually introduced our Community Relations Process (CRP) tool to more factories to facilitate stakeholder discussions on water initiatives. We also continued to declare our water efforts through the CDP index and supported several external organizations to improve global water stewardship.|
Many of the environmental and social challenges that we face in our agricultural supply chains require long-term interventions and multi-stakeholder collaboration to tackle root causes and have greater impact.
To drive collective action, we participate in a number of industry and multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Consumer Goods Forum’s Forest Positive and Human Rights Coalitions of Action or the Institute for Human Rights and Business’s Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment.
|Nutrition||We believe collective action is key to improving consumer awareness of nutrition and to make healthier products more accessible to all. We developed and participated in several initiatives to advance consumer and farmer nutrition and continue to advocate for industry-wide action.|
|Breast-milk substitutes (BMS)||We are an industry leader in responsible marketing of BMS and report transparently on our compliance with our Policy and Procedures Implementing the WHO Code every year. During 2020, we also publicly answered a Call to Action put forward by WHO, Unicef and civil society organizations for BMS manufacturers to fully implement the WHO Code by 2030.|
|Nestlé needs YOUth||We further developed the brand identity and social media strategy for our Nestlé needs YOUth initiative. We shared our progress with stakeholders through a range of events, including the International Labour Organization’s Global Youth Employment Forum and the Pacific Alliance Youth Summit. We also shared information with leaders from various areas of our business to equip them with the tools and key messages they need to promote youth employment.|
|Sustainability promise and commitments||
We worked diligently to identify our post-2020 sustainability priorities. To support future efforts, we developed our Scaling Social Impact Program to identify innovative solutions to key issues.
We also connected three of our confectionery brands (KitKat, Les Recettes de l’Atelier and Smarties) with KOL Labs to gather valuable feedback on topics such as responsible sourcing, packaging, nutrition and climate change.
Feedback from these discussions have helped inform our sustainability commitments and our new reporting strategy and structure for 2021.