Nestlé’s legacy in the Middle East Region goes back to 1934. Throughout the years, it has gained people’s trust and has thus earned its reputation as the leading Nutrition Health and Wellness Company. Nestlé has the capacity and more importantly the determination to play a positive role in contributing to societal problems by embedding right actions and solutions. That’s why shared value strategy at Nestlé Middle East is reinforced with the unveiling of the first regional “Nestlé in Society-Creating Shared Value” report. Nestlé has now announced twenty new commitments, which it aims to fulfill by 2017 or earlier, in the areas of Nutrition, Responsible Sourcing, Water, Environmental Sustainability, People and Compliance.
The report announces a 71% reduction in absolute waste for disposal, achieved between 2009 and 2014, a period during which production increased by 62%, as well as a 42% reduction in water withdrawal and a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of product manufactured. “The report underlines Nestlé’s fundamental belief that, for a company to be successful over the long term, it must also create value for society, and the commitments show our determination to achieve this,” said Nestlé Middle East Chairman and CEO Yves Manghardt.
In the Middle East, where under-nutrition and obesity exist side by side, the regional report’s commitments focus on leading the industry in nutrition and health research, and providing nutritionally sound products designed for children to nurture healthier generations.
Specific commitments promote healthy diets and lifestyles, mainly through the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme – Ajyal Salima - developed by the American University of Beirut. It now operates in three countries in the region where it has reached over 16,000 children to date. Its aims include:
• Continuing to provide nutritionally sound products designed for children, with three new products set to be launched by the end of 2015.
• Reducing the risk of under-nutrition through micronutrient fortification, by providing 8.6 billion fortified food servings in the Middle East by the end of 2015, compared to 8 billion in 2014.
• Ensuring responsible marketing communication to children.
• Marketing breast-milk substitutes responsibly.
Ongoing investments in scientific nutritional research, globally and in the region, and through external collaborations with entities including the American University of Beirut, Jordan’s Royal Health Awareness Society, the Dubai Health Authority, and Saudi Arabia’s Tatweer Education Holding, aim to help Nestlé achieve these targets and contribute positively to society’s nutrition, health and wellness needs.
Additional commitments entail managing the use of resources at Nestlé Middle East’s eighteen factories. Specifically the Company aims to achieve greater efficiency in water usage across its operations; promote environmental sustainability such as improving the environmental performance of packaging; and compliance with international, local and stringent internal regulations.
Other commitments focus on people – with actions to support youth employment in the Middle East including, for example, the Nestlé Center of Excellence, a training academy founded in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and now also present in Oman. This training academy trains university graduates in the areas of business, nutrition, and sales, with specific focus on women to enhance gender balance in the workplace.
“In a world facing long-term economic, social and nutrition challenges that cannot be solved by governments alone, we believe that corporations have a role to play in contributing to solutions, and we made a conscious decision to publish commitments so we can play our role in tackling these problems,” concluded Manghardt.
“It takes concerted collective efforts to truly impact society positively, and we know that our actions in creating shared value would not be the success they are without the support and trust of the various institutions, governments, and other entities we work with in the region.. We are looking forward to hearing their feedback in order to help us further improve in the future.”
Source: Responsible Business Magazine