The FINANCIAL — Nestlé will encourage global leaders from the private sector, academia, government and non-governmental organisations to discuss the changing role of business at the Creating Shared Value Forum in Washington D.C. in the United States this week.
The third annual Forum event – which takes place on Thursday, May 19 – will be led by Nestlé in partnership with the Atlantic Council, an independent network that promotes constructive U.S. leadership and engagement in international affairs.
Peter Brabeck-Lemathe, Nestlé Chairman, and Paul Bulcke, Nestlé Chief Executive Officer, will join high profile guests at the event including Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico and Director of the Center for Globalization at Yale University; and Julio Frenk, former Minister of Health for Mexico and Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health.
Other participants will also include Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School; Ann Veneman, former Executive Director of UNICEF and former US Secretary of Agriculture; and Senator Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Atlantic Council.
Throughout the day, speakers will participate in a series of interactive panel discussions to examine why international development models are not keeping up with the rapid pace of global economic change, and how business could be a crucial force for advancement.
Janet Voûte, Nestlé’s Vice President of Public Affairs, explained the purpose of the Forum.
She said: “Since the first event in 2009, Nestlé’s annual Creating Shared Value Forums have provided an important platform for global thought leaders to offer fresh ideas on how business can work together with governments, and NGOs to play a much more engaged and productive role in international development.
“From doubling food production by 2050 to feed the estimated future world population of nine billion; to heading off a looming global water crisis; to stemming unacceptable levels of malnutrition and obesity; these are some of the challenges that we all face and need strategies to address.”
With an emphasis on Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, the Forum will focus on ways in which people’s access to improved nutrition, better water technologies and more effective rural development may be enhanced with increased involvement from the private sector.
The Forum begins at 09.00 Eastern Daylight Time and will be webcast live to a global Internet audience, who will be invited to engage in constructive dialogue concerning the issues on the agenda.
The Creating Shared Value concept
The latest Forum event in Washington D.C. is organised to encourage discussion around Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value approach to business and to communicate the concept to a wider audience.
Creating Shared Value involves Nestlé focusing on three specific aspects of its core activities – nutrition, water,and rural development – to identify those areas where it can best create value for its shareholders while also helping to address important societal challenges.
For example, in 2010 Nestlé provided more than USD 45 million (over CHF 48 million) in financial assistance – without conditions or obligation – to more than 32,000 farmers, while it has supported almost 145,000 farmers through capacity-building, technical assistance and knowledge transfer programmes.
At the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke outlined how the Company has enhanced its competitiveness by building this approach into its basic way of doing business.
Nestlé’s approach was featured as best practice in the featured cover story in the January/February issue of the Harvard Business Review, which suggested that this long-term view is a more effective model of business in society than traditional examples of Corporate Social Responsibility.