Nestlé and Human Rights: Our Commitment

Friday, December 1, 2017

Nestlé is committed to enabling healthier and happier lives for our employees, our communities, and our society. Read about our long-standing support of human rights.

Nestle employee on the production line

Human rights is one of the central pillars of our approach to Creating Shared Value for all Nestlé stakeholders and for society as a whole. This concern for society focuses on enabling healthier and happier lives for individuals and families, on helping the development of thriving and resilient communities, and finally, on stewarding the planet’s natural resources for future generations, with particular care for water.

Our Commitment: Assess and Address Human Rights Impacts in Our Operations and Supply Chain

Fundamental respect for the rights of the people Nestlé employs, does business with, and otherwise interacts with is at the core of our Corporate Business Principles (PDF).  We are firmly opposed to all forms of human rights violations or poor labor conditions across our value chain.

By upholding international human rights standards, Nestlé can make a positive impact on all our stakeholders.

Nestlé fully supports the United Nations Global Compact’s (UNGC) guiding principles on human rights and labor, and aims to provide an example of good human rights and labor practices throughout our business activities. Nestlé was one of the first companies to adopt the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) Reporting Framework, with which our human rights standards are aligned.

Helping Develop Thriving, Resilient Communities

According to the UN, 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty. More than 75% of them live in rural areas and depend on agriculture, including family small holdings, for their livelihoods. We aim to improve livelihoods and develop thriving communities. Driven by our company purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future, we have defined an overarching ambition which will guide our work toward achieving our 2020 commitments. Our 2030 ambition is to improve 30 million livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business activities.

FYI: We are framing our Creating Shared Value (CSV) agenda closely with the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What We’ve Achieved

We take our responsibility very seriously to respect human rights across our business activities and to perform to the highest ethical standards; our commitments require real action to address issues, from forced labor and gender inequality to corruption.

NAME OF POLICY OR PROCEDURE

APPROVAL DATERIGHTS HOLDERS

HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE ADDRESSED

Nestlé Employee Relations Policy

2010Nestlé employees

Freedom of association and collective bargaining

The Nestlé Policy on Transparent Interaction with Authorities and Organizations2010Public officials; citizens

Corruption and bribery
Lobbying

Flexible Work Environment at Nestlé2010Nestlé employees

Working time (work-life balance)

Privacy Policy2010Nestlé employees
Consumers
Other stakeholders (e.g. suppliers, service providers)

Data privacy

Nestlé Consumer Communications Principles2011Consumers (including children)

Right to information
Health

Nestlé Group Security: Objectives, Operational, and Organizational Requirements2011Nestlé employees
Local communities

Security staff’s training on use of force

Policy on Conditions of Work and Employment2011Nestlé employees
On-site contractors

Working time
Competitive and fair wages
Health and safety

Nestlé Commitment on Rural Development2012Farmers
Farm workers
Local communities (rural)

Living wage
Working conditions
Health and safety
Health, water, education, gender, food
Land tenure

The Nestlé Human Resources Policy2012Nestlé employees

Working conditions
Freedom of association and collective bargaining

The Nestlé Commitment on Child Labor in Agricultural Supply Chains2013Children (living in rural communities)

Child labor

Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Guideline2013Farmers
Farm workers
Local
communities (rural)

Child labor
Fair wages
Working time
Housing
Access to water and sanitation
Privacy
Health
Freedom of association and collective bargaining
Occupational health and safety
Non-discrimination
Land use rights

The Nestlé Supplier Code2013Suppliers’ and co-manufacturers’ workers

Freedom of association and collective bargaining
Forced labor
Employment practices (including use of agencies)
Child labor
Non-discrimination
Harassment
Privacy
Working time (including rest days)
Wages and benefits
Health and safety
Housing

The Nestlé Commitment on Land & Land Rights in Agricultural Supply Chains2014Farmers
Farm workers
Local communities (rural)
Indigenous peoples

Land tenure, including customary rights
Free, prior, and informed consent

Nestlé Commitment on Water Stewardship2014Nestlé employees
Local communities

Access to water and sanitation

Nestlé Marketing Communication to Children Policy2015Children

Marketing to children

Nestlé Commitment on Labor Rights in Agricultural Supply Chains2015Suppliers’ workers
Farm workers

Freedom of association and collective bargaining
Forced and bonded labor
Child labor
Health and safety
Accommodation and basic needs
Working time
Living wage

Maternity Protection Policy2015Nestlé employees

Right to social security, including social insurance

 


In 2015, Nestlé identified 11 human rights that are at risk of the most severe impact on a global basis, and which the company has committed to addressing:

  1. Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  2. Working time
  3. Workers’ accommodation and access to basic services
  4. Safety and health
  5. Living wage
  6. Child labor
  7. Forced labor
  8. Land acquisition
  9. Access to water and sanitation
  10. Access to grievance mechanisms
  11. Data protection and privacy

These salient issues affect various groups: our own employees; on-site contractors; suppliers (and, in particular, their employees); farmers and farm workers; local communities; and consumers, who are increasingly concerned with such issues. In 2016, new Action Plans were developed for nine of the 11 issues.

For example, in Thailand we embarked on a project (PDF) to eliminate human rights violations and encourage sustainable fishing. One year into the program, more than 99% of the seafood ingredients that Nestlé sources from its seafood supply chain in Thailand are traceable back to farms and catch vessels. Additionally, Nestlé, its seafood supplier, and Verité, an NGO (non-governmental organization) whose mission is to enhance human rights on a global basis, continue to work closely with the Royal Thai Government, Thailand’s Department of Fisheries, and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center to develop a practical training program to educate vessel owners, boat captains, and crew members on living and working conditions (PDF) aboard a fishing vessel and on workers’ rights in Thailand.

Other activities of note:

  • Completed the rollout of the Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System to all Nestlé Cocoa Plan co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire, and expanded into Ghana
  • Trained 36,524 employees in anti-corruption
  • Released the Nestlé Commitment on Labour Rights in Agricultural Supply Chains as an appendix to the Nestlé Supplier Code
  • Continued to roll out our human rights training to countries at high risk for various types of human rights and other violations, training a further 9,573 employees in eight such countries in 2016. We have now trained 83,747 employees in 69 countries, including 10,967 employees in high-risk countries, since launching our online Human Rights Training Tool in 2011

Looking Ahead: Addressing Human Rights Impacts

Our public commitments are a result of our respect for individuals and families, communities, and the planet. These commitments align directly with our material issues. They drive continuous improvement and allow stakeholders to hold us to account for delivering on our promises.

In 2016 Nestlé introduced several new objectives for 2020 to help us achieve our commitments:

  • Assess and address human rights impacts across our business activities
  • Improve workers’ livelihoods and protect children in our agricultural supply chain
  • Enhance a culture of integrity across the organization
  • Provide effective grievance mechanisms to employees and stakeholders

Our specific goals for addressing human rights impacts stem from the Action Plans developed in 2016:

By 2017—Strengthen human rights mainstreaming into existing standards, audit protocols, and due diligence procedures, in particular for: our own facilities, including green- and brown-field projects; local communities; our business partners, including local distributors, co-manufacturers, joint ventures, etc; and mergers and acquisitions.

By 2018—Carry out six additional Human Rights Impact Assessments in countries where we have significant business operations.

By 2019—Have a functioning governance structure in place in all markets that looks after human rights risks
and opportunities.

By 2020—Train all Nestlé employees on human rights.

At Nestlé, human rights are closely aligned with thriving, healthy communities—enhancing rural livelihoods, respecting and promoting human rights, and promoting decent employment and diversity. We work hard to ensure that employees and our supply chains benefit from fair and decent working conditions, which improve livelihoods and make a positive impact on society.

Source: Nestlé in Society: Creating Shared Value 2016 (PDF)