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Nestlé: Shared Value

Case Overview

FSG was engaged to research and identify how Nestlé creates value for society through its business and social engagement initiatives.

The Challenge

Nestlé has quite a history of substantial social contributions across the globe. While the company had only recently begun to communicate widely its social engagement activities in a more deliberate manner, many CSR indexes positioned Nestlé among the best companies on sustainability in recognition of its pro-active stance on environmental issues, highly cautious marketing practices on products that have historically been a source of controversy, zero tolerance for corruption and child labor, and similar responsible business practices. Nestlé’s leadership saw opportunities for further reinforcing the integration between social engagement activities and Nestlé’s longer-term business development, and for more widely sharing such common practices within and beyond the company, and engaged FSG to collaborate on these objectives.

Approach & Solutions

FSG began by conducting a review of Nestlé’s social engagement portfolio. To understand Nestlé’s current social investment activities, their context within the corporation and the social and business impact achieved or expected, FSG conducted interviews with a cross-section of Nestlé’s executives and senior regional managers, reviewed summary program and project documents, and mapped the linkages between business activities and social impact. On the basis of this mapping, FSG developed a new guiding framework for social engagement that could also serve as a foundation for a new sustainability report and for later work on quantifying Nestlé’s social benefits.

On the basis of this research and the conclusions drawn on Nestle’s creation of social impact, FSG developed a new framework for Nestlé’s social engagement activities. The Nestlé Concept of Corporate Social Responsibility as Implemented in Latin America was the company’s first release of this framework for Creating Shared Value and included an overview of Nestlé’s impact in the region. The report served as a reporting instrument to Nestlé’s key audiences, but was also a signaling tool to the Corporate Responsibility community regarding the company’s vision on corporate social benefit. It also contributed a valuable educational tool to future business managers while disseminating Nestlé’s considerable achievements in the field of corporate social engagement.

This engagement defined the social benefit created by Nestlé and potentially changed the thinking of the world’s corporate leaders. Working together, Nestlé and FSG created opportunities to substantially redefine the way multinationals approach their interactions with society, to influence the corporate responsibility curriculum at leading business schools around the world, and to establish a lasting legacy for Nestlé as the global thought leader in the field of Creating Shared Value.

About Nestlé

Nestlé, headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, was founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé and is today the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company. Sales for 2009 were CHF 108 bn. Nestlé employs 280,000 people and has factories or operations in almost every country in the world.

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