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Case study: How Nestlé strives to operate with a fundamental respect for the rights of the people it employs, does business with or otherwise interacts with

Recognizing that prospering over the long term means doing business in compliance with national and international laws, regulations and standards, as well as its own principles and values, Nestlé has made respect for the rights of the people it employs, does business with or otherwise interacts with a key priority.

This case study is based on the 2015 “Nestlé in society” report by Nestlé published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing. 

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Abstract

Realizing that ethical business practices are essential to long-term business success  Tweet This!, Nestlé strives to ensure that its business activities are based on a robust set of guiding values and principles, developed during the last 150 years. In order to operate with a fundamental respect for the rights of the people it employs, does business with or otherwise interacts with Nestlé took action to:

  • assess and address human rights impacts in Nestlé’s operations and supply chain
  • ensure every employee or stakeholder can easily report compliance violations
  • prevent and eliminate child labour in Nestlé’s supply chain
  • fight bribery and corruption

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2015 “Nestlé in society” report Nestlé identified a range of material issues, such as climate change, water stewardship, over- and under-nutrition, food safety. Among these, operating with a fundamental respect for the rights of the people it employs, does business with or otherwise interacts with stands out as a key material issue for Nestlé.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Nestlé engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Academia
Communities
Consumers and the general public
Customers
Employees and their representatives
Governments
Industry and trade associations
Intergovernmental organisations
Non-governmental organisations
Reporting agencies
Shareholders and the financial community
Suppliers (including farmers and smallholders)

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

In 2014, an extended materiality analysis was implemented by Nestlé to assess and prioritize material issues, involving consultations with a broader sample of stakeholders, compared to previous years.

What actions were taken by Nestlé to operate with a fundamental respect for the rights of the people it employs, does business with or otherwise interacts with?

In its 2015 “Nestlé in society” report Nestlé reports that it took the following actions for operating with a fundamental respect for the rights of the people it employs, does business with or otherwise interacts with:

  • Assessing and addressing human rights impacts in Nestlé’s operations and supply chain
  • To ensure that respect for human rights remains a central priority, Nestlé:
    • constantly assesses, monitors and addresses human rights risks in its operations
    • implements a Human Rights Due Diligence Programme across the company’s value chain in a range of countries
    • has adopted the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework
    • in 2015 trained 8130 employees on human rights and conducted Human Rights Impact Assessments in two countries
  • Ensuring every employee or stakeholder can easily report compliance violations
  • Nestlé’s employees, suppliers, and stakeholders are encouraged to report illegal or inappropriate practices through Nestlé’s Code of Business Conduct and Supplier Code, for these allegations to be assessed and investigated.
  • Preventing and eliminating child labour in Nestlé’s supply chain
  • Nestlé is a member of the International Labour Organization’s Child Labour Platform and, also, identifies child labour in its cocoa supply chain through the company’s Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS).
  • Fighting bribery and corruption
  • To ensure that it operates according to the highest business conduct standards, Nestlé:
    • monitors anti-corruption procedures through its CARE audit programme
    • encourages employees to report possible misconduct through its Integrity Reporting System
    • in 2015 trained 22 729 employees in anti-corruption

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:

1) G4-56: Describe the organization’s values, principles, standards and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 102-16 Values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior

2) G4-57: Report the internal and external mechanisms for seeking advice on ethical and lawful behavior, and matters related to organizational integrity, such as helplines or advice lines – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 102-17 Mechanisms for advice and concerns about ethics

3) G4-58: Report the internal and external mechanisms for reporting concerns about unethical or unlawful behavior, and matters related to organizational integrity, such as escalation through line management, whistleblowing mechanisms or hotlines– the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 102-17 Mechanisms for advice and concerns about ethics

4) G4-HR1: Total number and percentage of significant investment agreements and contracts that include human rights clauses or that underwent human rights screening the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 412-3 Significant investment agreements and contracts that include human rights clauses or that underwent human rights screening

5) G4-HR2: Total hours of employee training on human rights policies or procedures concerning aspects of human rights that are relevant to operations, including the percentage of employees trained– the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 412-2 Employee training on human rights policies or procedures

6) G4-HR5: Operations and suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labor, and measures taken to contribute to the effective abolition of child labor – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 408-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor

7) G4-HR9: Total number and percentage of operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 412-1 Operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments

8) G4-SO4: Communication and training on anti-corruption policies and procedures – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 205-2 Communication and training about anti-corruption policies and procedures

 

References:

1) This case study was compiled using published information by Nestlé which is located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses but made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following link:

http://static.globalreporting.org/report-pdfs/2016/5d1500ac1a80519fa220531285caa0e8.pdf (April 2016)

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

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