Nestlé satisfies its audience's appetite for data
Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) report is not for the faint-hearted. It has 284 pages, each packed with (tiny) text, in monochrome, except for a few sprinklings of graphs and low-res images.
As sustainability practitioners, we love a dense but well-conceived and readable report. It provides an invaluable insight into company programmes, inspires ideas and validates our assumptions on what works, and what doesn’t.
Most companies try to engage multiple audiences in their report – and end up appealing to none. Nestlé has a clear idea of its audience: raters of indices like DJSI, looking for detail; NGOs such as Oxfam, looking for transparency; and practitioners like us, looking for a clear discussion of strategy and performance. Nestlé’s report is a methodical reflection of its audiences’ needs, and this is where it succeeds.
The company organises its sustainability strategy around six pillars: nutrition, rural development, water, environment sustainability, human rights compliance, and people. The first 40 pages are a lengthy discussion of Nestlé’s business and CSV agenda. A layperson may question the level of detail – are the bios of the company’s 24 advisory experts and a list of all their partnerships and memberships really necessary here?
This misses the point. This level...