Nestlé announced today that it proposes Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, a Professor and the Director and Chairwoman of the African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, for election to its Board of Directors. The elections will take place at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 15, 2021.
The company has also provided an update on the AGM format and topics.
Ursula Burns, a Nestlé Board member since 2017, has decided not to stand for re-election. Therefore, the Board proposes Prof. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, a citizen of Zimbabwe, for election in her place and will propose the individual re-election of all other current members of the Board and the Chairman.
"I would like to thank Ursula Burns wholeheartedly for her engagement, expert advice and valuable perspectives", said Paul Bulcke, Chairman of the Nestlé Board of Directors. "At the same time, we are delighted to propose Lindiwe as a new Board member. With her hands-on farming experience and her expertise in environmental sustainability, public policy and sustainable food systems, she will provide invaluable guidance along our journey to build regenerative food systems at scale. Her broad experience across the African continent as well as across the globe will enrich the Board’s insights."
In addition to her role at the University of Pretoria, Prof. Sibanda is also the co-Chairwoman of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy. She served as the Vice-President, Country Support, Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa in Kenya. For 13 years, she worked in South Africa as the CEO and Head of Mission of the pan-African Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, operating in 19 African countries. From 2016 to 2018, she served on the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems and as a member of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Policy Advisory Council. She is the Managing Director of Linds Agriculture Services in Harare, Zimbabwe.
With Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, the Nestlé Board will comprise 14 members, of which twelve are independent directors. Nestlé aims to continuously add diverse experience and unique perspectives to its board as well as to enhance its cultural and gender diversity.
2021 Annual General Meeting under COVID-19 rules
The safety of employees and shareholders is Nestlé’s top priority. Therefore, in line with applicable Swiss legislation, the personal participation of shareholders will unfortunately not be possible at this year’s AGM. Shareholders will be able to exercise their voting rights through Nestlé’s independent shareholder representative.
Nestlé to demonstrate its strong commitment to non-financial reporting at the Annual General Meeting
In addition to standard updates on strategy, financial performance and compensation, Nestlé will also give an update on its non-financial performance at the 2021 AGM. Nestlé has always been deeply committed to being transparent about its work on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities and has a strong track record in doing so. The company is aware of growing investor interest in this space and believes that shareholders have a right to know about its progress on topics like reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible sourcing, sustainable packaging and water. Nestlé will continue to engage its shareholders on this journey and welcomes upcoming changes to Swiss legislation, which will set out a framework for shareholder involvement. Nestlé will implement the new legislation in the most sensible way for our shareholders, and in the meantime, the company will continue to advance this important agenda.
To reflect the importance of sustainability in its corporate governance, Nestlé will split the existing Nomination and Sustainability Committee into a separate Nomination Committee and a focused Sustainability Committee. This will allow Board members to dedicate more time, focus and action on each separate topic.
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