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Our approach to identifying and addressing human rights risks

Farmers sitting in village


A just transition to a regenerative food system demands a multifaceted approach that prioritizes and protects people. Our Human Rights Framework provides the foundation.

Due diligence is at the core of our new approach. This begins with creating detailed action plans for every single one of our 10 salient human rights issues.

Our experience has taught us that to be effective, our action plans will need to be built on the enablers such governance, incentives, policies and control systems, engagement and strategic partnerships.

These efforts must cover our own operations and supply chains wherever we work. By sharpening our focus in this way and brokering global and local partnerships for more effective on-the-ground collaboration, we can strategically meet our aim of scaling positive impact across diverse geographies.

Actively identifying potential human rights violations

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Our human rights framework

Our new Human Rights Framework aims to enhance our positive impact on the ground. We have put due diligence at the heart of our new approach. This begins with creating detailed action plans for every single one of our 10 salient human rights issues, supported by five enablers that will further enhance our due diligence and help us scale positive impact and track our progress. These include governance and incentives, policies and control systems, engagement and advocacy, strategic partnerships, and transparency and reporting.

We are committed to respecting and promoting human rights in our operations and supply chain, taking action to protect rights holders and to achieving long-term systemic change. When we talk about human rights at Nestlé, we are talking about supporting a particular set of people.

Nestlé Human Rights ChartDueDiligenceSalient IssueAction PlansEnabler 4 Strategic partnerships


Understanding our salient issues 

Our salient issues are the areas we have identified as those human rights at risk of the most severe negative impact on people through our activities or business relationships.

They are informed by human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) carried out between 2009 and 2017 and the human rights risk assessment (HRRA) methodology that we developed over the course of 2020 and 2021, as well as our strengthened audit, monitoring and Speak Up grievance processes.

10 salient issues are:

  • Child labor and access to education 
  • Forced labor and responsible recruitment 
  • Living income and living wage 
  • Gender equity, non-discrimination and non-harassment 
  • Safety and health at work 
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining 
  • Right to water and sanitation 
  • Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities' land rights 
  • Data protection and privacy 
  • Right to food and access to nutritious, affordable and adequate diets

Five key enablers

Due diligence is essential to respecting and advancing human rights and must be built into the way businesses operate. To enhance our due diligence, we have structured five key drivers that are designed to support action plans that specifically address the most salient human rights issues we face.

1 Governance and Incentives
We have integrated human rights at all levels of our corporate governance structure. This ensures that roles and responsibilities for implementing our human rights framework and monitoring company progress toward its goals are clear and unambiguous. From our internal Human Rights Community to our new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) & Sustainability Council, right up to our Board of Directors and Executive Board, we have created the structures required to drive continuous progress.
2 Policies and Control Systems
To build human rights awareness and considerations into all aspects of our business, we have been working to embed human rights in operational policies, standards and procedures. So far we have integrated human rights into 22 corporate policies and trained 282 532 employees on human rights. We have also built it into our risk management, compliance, audit and communication systems and enhanced our grievance reporting mechanism, Speak Up, to help us respond to serious allegations.
3 Engagement and Advocacy
We believe collective action is the key to effectively protecting and promoting people's human rights around the world. We support legislation that leads companies to greater action, collaboration and transparency of the challenges they face, and actively participate with industry associations and civil stakeholder groups to promote human rights and tackle the root causes of human rights issues in the countries we source raw materials from.
4 Strategic Partnerships
We collaborate with a wide variety of corporate, industry and civil organizations to enhance our understanding of the human rights challenges we face on the ground. From community liaisons to social partners, non-governmental organizations and international organizations, these associations are crucial to our appreciation of the different issues and evolving contexts, and in building common approaches that can have the biggest impact.
5 Transparency and Reporting
We have always been transparent about the human rights issues we identify, the actions we have taken, the progress we have made and the challenges we face. We believe that a transparent approach, and sharing what we've learned on the way, is essential to effectively tackling the root causes of human rights issues.


Salient issue action plans

We are developing action plans for our 10 salient issues. These plans articulate our strategy for assessing, addressing and reporting on each salient issue, defining what we need to do across our supply chain, as well as what collective action can be taken.

We aim to harness the strengths and capacities of each Nestlé department through clearly defined expectations. With collaboration built into each action plan, we hope to spark new engagement and inspire collective action with peers, civil society, NGOs and governments. This way, we can tackle the root causes of our salient issues and create positive impact at scale. We will publish all our salient issue action plans by the end of 2022 and report on progress against key performance indicators by the end of 2025.

Workers giving class to villagers
  • Farmers in our supply chain and their families
  • Workers in our supply chain, including at farm level
  • Communities in and around our operations and supply chains, including women and children
  • Our employees and on-site contractors
  • Consumers

Mainstreaming human rights

Today, all of our employees receive training on human rights as part of their induction program – 282 532 people to date. We have also mainstreamed human rights into 22 policies and procedures across our global business, making human rights a topic all our employees can understand and speak about. This is all the more important for a global company like us, operating in most countries around the world.


Creating Shared Value and Sustainability Report