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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 labour 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.

Our approach

We benefit from engaging with diverse stakeholders and, by working together, we maximise what can be achieved. These stakeholders include multilateral agencies, international organisations, governments, academia, non-governmental organisations (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 organisations, 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 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; and
  • Alignment with the Nestlé Corporate Business Principles.

Key partnerships and collective actions

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 partnerships Achievements and outcomes
    Ashoka In celebration of 10 years of Creating Shared Value, 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 more than 50 companies that make up the UNGC’s leadership platform LEAD supporting the integration of sustainability principles into core business operations and aligning corporate goal-setting with global development priorities. In 2017, we participated in several UNGC Action Platforms, engaging with like-minded companies to advance responsible business activities in the areas of business leadership, reporting and innovation.
    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 programme between EAT and WBCSD.
  • Key partnerships 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 and Beverage Alliance (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 Non communicable Diseases, 2013–2020; and
    • The recommendations of the 2011 UN Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Diseases.
  • Key partnerships 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 Programme. Since 2009, we have carried out 13 Human Rights Impact Assessments together. The most recent assessment, performed in August 2017, focused on labour rights in the palm oil supply chain in Indonesia.
    Fair Labor Association (FLA) The FLA works with us to improve working conditions in our supply chain and, in particular, to identify and address child labour in the cocoa and hazelnut sectors. In Côte d’Ivoire, the FLA was at the origin of our flagship Child Labour 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 labour in the hazelnut sector.
    International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) ICI is the implementing partner of our Child Labour and Monitoring System in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
    International Dual Career Network (IDCN) Together with other multinationals, we launched a network that helps dual-career spouses with their local job search and professional integration in a new country. The IDCN is an independent non-profit association and is currently chaired by the Head of Diversity at Nestlé. We lead four out of 15 networks, and provide office space and logistics support to the independent Global IDCN Coordinator.
    Proforest Proforest supports our activities towards meeting our commitment to eliminate deforestation from our supply chain. They work with our soya suppliers on continues 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, their 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 co-operatives, the FOSEK public–private partnership aims to increase production, boost farmers’ incomes and improve their awareness of healthy diets.

    Nestlé works with TFT on a number of initiatives. In 2017, they helped carry out our first human rights assessment in an upstream supply chain, with a palm oil supplier in Indonesia. They 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.

    We also work with TFT on the Rurality initiative, which 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. With TFT, we also participated in Starling, a six-month pilot scheme using satellite imaging technology to monitor deforestation.

    Verité We continue to work with Verité, an NGO specialising in fair labour, to assess the extent and causes of labour rights abuses in our seafood supply chain. Its investigations in the Thai seafood industry have enabled us to identify a number of serious challenges and start developing remedies. In 2017, we began working with Verité to assess labour rights violations in our coffee supply chain in Mexico. As a result of our partnership, we are now developing a system to help address such violations.
  • Key partnerships 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. Four of our factories – one in Pakistan and three in California – have now been certified by the AWS Standard, and three further sites have been audited this year. Twenty Nestlé Waters factories will be certified against the AWS Standard by 2020.
    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, 0.8Mb).
    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 316 274 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, sit on the Mandate’s steering committee and attended its 2017 conference in Stockholm, Sweden.
    World Resources Institute (WRI) We are currently helping the WRI develop a methodology for determining the sustainable cost of water by measuring the real impacts of water stewardship activities. Our methodology was disclosed and discussed at the second International Water Stewardship Forum in October 2017. The WRI also published a case study on our use of the Food Loss and Waste Standard in our dairy supply chain in Pakistan.

For a full summary of our key relationships, please see the GRI Index.

Impact area Report section
Global collaborations
Alliance for YOUth Communities
Biodiversity Individuals and families
Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) Communities
EpiGen Global Research Consortium (EpiGen) Individuals and families
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) Nestlé in Society, Planet
Proforest Communities
Project WET Foundation Planet
Solidaridad Communities
Stockholm International Water Institute Planet
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Communities
Swiss Development Corporation Planet
TFT Communities
UNESCO Individuals and families
USAID Communities
Verité Communities
World Animal Protection Communities
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Planet
World Health Organization (WHO) Individuals and families
World Resources Institute (WRI) Planet
WWF Planet
Regional collaborations
California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) Planet
Environmental Protection Agency Planet
EuropeActive Individuals and families
Pan-American Health Organization Individuals and families
Partnership for a Healthier America Individuals and families
Salt Smart Consortium Individuals and families
Memberships in multi-stakeholder platforms and trade associations
2030 Water Resources Group Planet
The 4C Association Communities
Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Planet
Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Communities
Caring for Climate Planet
Climate Disclosure Standards Board Planet
Clinton Health Foundation Individuals and families
Every Woman Every Child Individuals and families
Fair Labor Association (FLA) Nestlé in Society, Communities
FoodDrink Europe Planet
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Nestlé in Society
Sustainable Food Lab Planet
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Nestlé in Society, Communities
UNGC CEO Water Mandate Nestlé in Society, Planet
World Economic Forum (WEF) Individuals and families, Planet
Industry collaborations
Compassion in World Farming Communities
Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Nestlé in Society, Individuals and families, Planet
Fairtrade International Communities
Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) Planet
International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) Individuals and families
International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDI) Individuals and families
Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF) Planet
Natural Capital Coalition Planet
Rainforest Alliance Communities
Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform Planet
UTZ Communities
World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs) Individuals and families
World Cocoa Foundation and CocoaAction Communities
WRAP Planet