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Our global approach to advocacy

Mountains and lake

We believe that the private sector has an important role to play in helping build healthy lives and a healthy planet. 

The purpose of our advocacy is to find common ground and act collaboratively with stakeholders. We work with industry, governments, civil society and consumers at a local, regional, national and international level. 

Our objective is to foster an open dialogue and help deliver bold positive outcomes for business and society, including rapid and sustained emissions reductions, the adoption of regenerative food systems, the protection of human rights and the protection, preservation and restoration of biodiversity. All of our advocacy activities are carried out in line with the aims and ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement.

We are also committed to providing constructive and science-based support to different governments’ policy efforts to improve nutrition and health around the world, leveraging our global R&D network and wider scientific knowledge wherever appropriate. 

We favor transparent scientific dialogues with all experts from all parties and respect independent, peer-reviewed science.


Our advocacy themes

We work to bring affordable, safe high-quality and sustainable nutrition to everyone, regardless of income level, leveraging trust and recognition in our brand around the world, incorporating:

  • Food safety processes - carried out to the highest levels
  • Product formulation - reducing public health-sensitive ingredients, such as sugars, sodium and saturated fats, and increasing whole grains, vegetables and micronutrients
  • Clearly communicated nutritional information through on-pack labelling and within digital channels
  • Responsible marketing to children
  • Micronutrient fortification to help address under-nutrition
  • Good nutrition in the first 1 000 days of life - and supporting governments and civil society organizations in the implementation of the WHO Code on breast-milk substitutes and any subsequent relevant resolution into law
  • Healthy hydration: Choose water
  • Promoting in-store and out-of-home healthy food environments

We engage in climate-related advocacy to encourage rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions through government policies and private sector leadership. 

As set out in Nestlé's Net Zero Roadmap (pdf, 8Mb), we advocate for ambitious government policies and private sector leadership to ensure that all sectors move more quickly towards rapid and sustained reductions in carbon emissions. This is in relation to:

  • Fighting deforestation
  • Reducing food loss and waste
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Regenerative agriculture and tree planting
  • Fostering biodiversity
  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Effective water policies and stewardship
  • Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

In addition to advocating for more progressive macro-level approaches to climate policy by governments and companies, the two main focus areas for our advocacy activities are:

Advocating for clear and fair rules on

  • Natural climate solutions (insetting)
  • Environmental claims
  • Carbon pricing & markets and offsetting

Policies to transform industries

  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Logistics and infrastructure
  • Packaging

  • Respecting and promoting human rights
  • Enhancing rural development and livelihoods
  • Promoting decent employment and diversity (including gender balance, women’s empowerment)
  • Promoting youth employment globally

Good nutrition in the first 1 000 days is an important advocacy area for Nestlé. 

Alongside civil society organizations, we support the effective implementation of the WHO Code for Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions into national laws.

As part of this, we have made clear that we will only lobby in favor of regulation that meets at least a minimum threshold of Code alignment on breast-milk substitutes aimed at infants between birth and 12 months of age. 

We implement this commitment by taking an active role in specific industry associations in order to contribute to industry-wide improvements. Read more in Nestlé's 2022 Advocacy disclosure on infant and young child nutrition, including about our membership of infant and young child associations (pdf, 1Mb).

Our vision is that none of our packaging ends up in landfill or as litter. This depends not only on packaging design, but also on infrastructure for collection, sorting, reuse and recycling.

We advocate for the following on both national and global levels:

  • Extended Producer Responsibility
  • Deposit Return Systems
  • UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution
  • Alternative Delivery Systems (Reuse and Refill)
  • Recycled Content Mandates

To achieve a waste-free future, we have joined twelve Plastics Pacts and are also working with the Consumer Goods Forum, World Economic Forum Global Plastic Action Partnership, Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty, and Ellen MacArthur Foundation to innovate, research, pilot, and partner around the world.

Read more about Nestlé's Packaging & Circularity Advocacy Positions (pdf, 1Mb)

Leading where it matters

The World Economic Forum’s 2030 Water Resources Group
The Consumer Goods Forum’s Forest Positive Coalition
One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B)
Farmer planting trees


Shaping our priorities  

The journey to regenerative food systems and reaching net zero by 2050 requires coordinated action across sectors, industries and countries. This means supporting the development of food systems that aim to protect, renew and restore the environment, improving the livelihoods of farmers and enhancing the resilience and well-being of farming communities. 

This is an ambitious journey that we cannot take alone, so we work with others and use our business and scientific knowledge and resources to move us forward. This includes participating in coalitions, trade associations and participating in key global dialogues. Multiple considerations shape our advocacy priorities, including:

  • Our long-term business and societal strategy
  • Internal cross-functional alignment on themes at global, regional and local levels, depending on the business context 
  • Internal policies and guidelines 
  • External consultations with/listening to key stakeholders

To advance our advocacy priorities, we rely on an extensive network of Nestlé employees from across our business and markets.


Memberships and advocacy initiatives

Given our size and geographical presence, we are involved in multiple industry organizations and thinktanks at local, regional and global level. We believe in the power of collective action, especially on challenging topics that cannot be tackled alone, including many environmental and social issues.

We hold board seats in multiple industry organizations. This gives us the opportunity to constructively influence wide-ranging agendas with the aim of advancing the health of people and our planet, driving societal progress, and supporting the transition to a sustainable and healthy food system.

Nestlé advocates for positive change through various industry and other types of coalitions to act on climate change and scale our impact. This includes our membership of:

  • Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures – we are an active member of the taskforce’s working group, which is aimed at advancing the collective understanding of how to report risks and dependencies on the natural environment
  • The Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty – we supported the launch of this group, which is seeking a legally binding United Nations Treaty on Plastic Pollution, in 2022
  • The World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders – Nestlé’s CEO supports the actions of this group which seeks to catalyze action and initiatives from companies across industry sectors
  • One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B) – Nestlé is a founding member and leads work boosting biodiversity and stopping deforestation through changes to the way ingredients used in our products are sourced.
  • CGF Forest Positive Coalition – Nestlé is founding member of the Coalition, launched in 2020. It is focused on removing deforestation, forest conversion and degradation from key ingredient supply chains and supporting businesses that have a regenerative effect on critical forest ecosystems
  • Natural Climate Solutions Alliance – Nestlé supports the ambition of the Alliance in helping create the right conditions for a functioning market where companies can invest in high-quality projects that deliver rapid drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere.
  • International Chamber of Commerce Environment and Energy Commission – Nestlé actively participates in the Commission’s efforts to develop policy recommendations and tools that address environmental challenges like climate change
  • The World Business Council for Sustainable Development Working Groups – Nestlé participates in a number of groups, including SOS 1.5, aimed at limiting global temperature rises to 1.5-degrees Celsius, and the Climate Policy Working Group, as well as participating in discussions around nature and plastics
  • Exponential Roadmap Initiative – in December 2020, Nestlé joined the Initiative as a Supply Chain Leader, working with suppliers to move towards the 1.5-degrees Celsius, net-zero pathway. Nestlé also supports the SME Climate Hub, where smaller companies can find advice and support to transform their own business models
  • CEO Water Mandate – we are members of this United Nations Compact initiative, uniting business leaders around Sustainable Development Goals around water and sanitation
  • WASH4WORK – Nestlé is a member of this initiative, which asks businesses to take action to address access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in their own operations and supply chains
  • Alliance for Water Stewardship – Nestlé is a member of the Technical Committee and Agricultural Working Group, as well as contributing to the work of the AWS board

Global discussions are key to developing frameworks that coordinate steps to tackle common challenges such as climate change or food systems transformation.

Nestlé participates in select global discussions such as those related to:

  • United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution
  • UN Convention on Biological Diversity
  • UN Food Systems Summit

We aim to contribute positively to the development of private-sector relevant legislative guidelines and policies by sharing technical expertise, insights and best practices. Across all discussions, Nestlé supports harmonized frameworks that promote high-level playing fields, that are well resourced and well implemented with appropriate accountability measures.

Nestlé is active in climate-change advocacy on a regional and local basis.

In the United States, for example, Nestlé supports pro-climate policy development through its membership of the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance and the We Are Still In campaign.
In Europe, activities include:

Organization Nestlé's representative on the Board of Directors / Leadership Councils
World Economic Forum (WEF) CEO of Nestlé
Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) CEO of Nestlé
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) EVP - Global Operations
International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDI) Head of Corporate Affairs - Nutrition Business
International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) Head of Global Public Affairs

Organization Nestlé's representative on the Board of Directors / Leadership Councils
FoodDrink Europe (FDE) CEO of Nestlé EMENA
European Manufacturers Brand Association (AIM) CEO of Nestlé EMENA
Food Industry Asia Head of Communications, Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa
Consumer Goods Forum Latin America CEO of Nestlé Americas

Organization Nestlé's representative on the Board of Directors / Leadership Councils
Sustainable Food Policy Alliance - USA CEO of Nestlé USA
Food and Consumer Products of Canada CEO of Nestlé Canada
Conselho Empresarial Brasileiro para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável - CEBDS CEO of Nestlé Brazil
The Mexican Council of the Consumer Products Industry, A.C. - ConMexico CEO of Nestlé Mexico
Food and Beverage Trade Association - ABChile CEO of Nestlé Chile
Food and Beverage Trade Association - COPAL CEO of Nestlé Argentina
National Industry Association of Colombia - ANDI CEO of Nestlé Colombia
Camara Nacional de industriales de la leche – CANILEC Head of Corporate and Public Affairs, Nestlé Mexico

Organization  Nestlé’s representative on the Board of Directors / Leadership councils
Sustainable Food Policy Alliance CEO of Nestlé USA
Infant Nutrition Council of America CEO of Nestlé USA
Healthcare Nutrition Council CEO of Nestlé USA
International Dairy Foods Association CEO of Nestlé USA
Food and Consumer Products of Canada CEO of Nestlé Canada


Organization Nestlé's representative on the Board of Directors / Leadership Councils
Food Federation Germany (Lebensmittelverband Deutschland) CEO of Nestlé Germany
Asociación multisectorial de fabricantes y distribuidores (AECOC) CEO of Nestlé Spain
Institut de liaisons des entreprises de consommation (ILEC) - France CEO of Nestlé France
Food and Drink Federation (FDF) - UK CEO of Nestlé UK&I
Unione Italiana Food - Italy Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications of Nestlé Italiana
Federation of the Food and Drink Industries - Czech Republic CEO of Nestlé in Czech Republic
Association of Branded Goods Manufacturers "RusBrand" CEO of Nestlé Russia

Organization  Nestlé’s representative on the Board of Directors / Leadership councils
China Beverage Industry Association (CBIA) - CEO of Nestlé China CEO of Nestlé China
Consumer Goods Forum in China - CEO of Nestlé China CEO of Nestlé China
China Nutrition and Health Food Association (CNHFA) - CEO of Nestlé China CEO of Nestlé China


Organization Nestlé's representative on the Board of Directors / Leadership Councils
Australian Food and Grocery Council CEO of Nestlé Australia
China Beverage Industry Association (CBIA) CEO of Nestlé China
Consumer Goods Forum in China CEO of Nestlé China
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications of Nestlé India
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications of Nestlé India
Chamber of Food Manufacturers Inc. - Philippines CEO of Nestlé Philippines
Consumer Goods Council of South Africa CEO of Nestlé South Africa


Considerations for collective action

Dealing with consensus and conflicts

As strong believers in collective action, we work towards achieving consensus with all the organizations we collaborate with. Where conflict arises, we advocate for the highest common denominator to try to ensure solutions bring the maximum benefit possible.

In circumstances when we do not agree with an agenda or a position of an industry association industry alliance or other member companies, we communicate transparently our position, and reserve our right to act as an individual company and engage independently with public authorities or other stakeholders.

Assessing our involvement in industry and trade organizations

We regularly review our involvement in industry and trade organizations to assess the relevance of our participation to our strategy and the achievements delivered.

The decision to resign from an industry organization is informed by several considerations, including when:

  • We are regularly in opposition with the positions and/or agendas of the organization (this includes inappropriate lobbying practices)
  • The organization has not delivered the outcomes expected over many years
  • Weak governance is putting Nestlé’s reputation at risk
  • The evolution of the membership of the organization is not in alignment with our agenda, values and principles.
Employees holding cups in factory


What is the difference between advocacy and lobbying?

(source: Legal Dictionary)

The process or act of supporting a cause or proposal. 

Our advocacy aims to directly and/or indirectly support decision-makers, stakeholders and relevant audiences in the pursuit of a broader positive societal agenda and outcome that are aligned with our business goals, framed by our corporate purpose and values and built on science-based evidence.

(source: OECD's Lobbyists, Governments and Public Trust - 2014)

The term generally refers to oral or written communication with a public official to influence legislation, policy or administrative decisions and includes any activity where an attempt is made to influence public decision-making processes. Lobbying can be direct or indirect (through industry associations or any other third-party entity).

(source: Transparency International’s Corporate Political Engagement Index, 2018)

In our internal work, we also refer to the following definition.

Any direct or indirect communication with public officials, political decision-makers or representatives for the purposes of influencing public decision-making and carried out by or on behalf of an organized group. Lobbying can also include direct or indirect attempts to influence public opinion, outside of normal advertising and marketing activity, with a view to impacting public decision making.

Generally, Nestlé does not carry a specific global budget for lobbying activities. Our major lobbying activity is done locally through industry associations, to ensure we comply with local legislations and contexts. The spending is covered by annual membership fees paid to these organizations.

Our spending on lobbying (including third parties) is publicly available where it is required by law. For example:

  • In the United States, we file quarterly reports with the government that outline the issues on which we have lobbied, in addition to how much money we spent on these activities. We disclose details such as the percentage of salaries for lobbyists, office space expenses and trade association dues. In 2022, Nestlé USA reported expenses of USD 763 000. 
  • In the European Union, we report on our estimated budget for lobbying activities to the EU Transparency Registry. The amounts we report on relate to an estimation of annual gross salaries of the team that deals with advocacy based in Brussels. For 2022, a budget of between EUR 400 000 and EUR 499 000 was reported.
  • In France, we transparently report the lobbying expenses to the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (EUR 400,000 -  500,000 FY 2020)

We are conscious that our advocacy and lobbying activities are legitimate but remain a privilege. However, it is in our interest to achieve collective positive outcomes and to share them. 

That is why we respect and safeguard the opportunity for other interest groups to lobby and do so by not spending disproportionately in lobbying. We also seek to pursue cooperation with stakeholders to promote and support governmental efforts to improve transparency and accountability in relation to lobbying.

We look for continuous improvement in all that we do. It is in this spirit that we engage with Carnstone on their Responsible Lobbying Framework (pdf, 10Mb). Our policies, management systems and disclosure are also assessed by the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI), against the Responsible Lobbying Framework.

In 2022, we ranked first among 25 food and beverage companies benchmarked by ATNI. We received the highest score for policy commitments and management systems, and second for disclosures.

We welcome this assessment as it helped us further understand our stakeholders’ expectations and identify opportunities for strengthening our approach. We encourage other members of the industry and stakeholders (including civil society organizations) to implement the principles of the Responsible Lobbying Framework.

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