Empowering Communities


Nestlé believes in enhancing quality of life for the communities living in the areas where it operates.

Nestlé is a Switzerland-based transnational company with 413 factories operating in 85 countries. One of the largest food companies in the world, Nestlé employs around 3,23,000 people around the globe. It has been a partner in India's growth for over 106 years and has a very special relationship of trust with the people of the country. Nestlé’s foray into the Indian market has resulted in massive employment generation across the country. Apart from direct employment opportunities, the company has also extended its hand to the communities through its varied yet targeted CSR and CSV activities. Driven by its purpose of ‘Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future’, Nestlé focuses its efforts in society on the three overarching ambitions of enabling healthier and happier lives for individuals and families, on helping develop thriving and resilient communities, and on stewarding the planet’s natural resources for future generations, with particular care for water.

Clean drinking water is helping children get better education

The broad focus areas are narrowed through its 41 public commitments that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Essentially, the focus is on key interventions that make an impact in the areas of nutrition, health, water, sanitation, livelihood and rural development. Over the last few years, the company has been successful in scaling up CSR and CSV engagements in India that impact the local communities.

Clean drinking water is helping children get better education

Access to sanitation and clean drinking water

Nestlé India works closely in the communities around its factory and branch locations. The schools in rural areas are still lacking basic amenities, for instance, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. The lack of such facilities has an adverse impact on the attendance of the students, especially girls. These issues in rural areas, where there are many obstacles to development, have resulted in turning what are supposed to be basic necessities into luxuries.

Sanitation is a major concern for the girl child and proper facilities are encouraging girls to attend schools.

Clean water supplies are vital to any thriving community, reducing exposure to water-borne diseases and easing the burden of ill health. Therefore, as a part of its commitment to provide access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene in communities where it operates, Nestlé India has constructed drinking water facilities in the schools by setting up water filtration systems relying on ultra violet rays and reverse osmosis. In Samalkha, Haryana, there are 19 such schools around the factory which have been provided with clean drinking water, transforming the lives of students of these schools. The company has partnered with Enable Health Society to monitor and maintain the RO filtration systems and water tanks. A thorough check-up and cleaning of the water tanks is conducted every alternate month.

Moreover, the school students are made aware of the importance of water conservation and protection, thereby ingraining the importance of responsible utilisation of water in them. The water awareness programme aimed at ensuring hygienic and sustainable water use has reached out to over 1,12,700 students across the country. The company has also partnered with the Department of Medicine and Health in Rajasthan to offer access to clean drinking water at 12 Public Health Centres (PHCs). Since 1999, the company has supported 260 clean drinking water facilities in schools near its factories, benefitting over 1,36,800 students are a boon as once the community's need is identified, the implementation of such facilities happens at a much rapid pace. Here, ready access unlocks opportunities for girl students. Nestlé has constructed modern, easily maintainable modular toilets made with durable materials – instead of cement and ceramic – to ensure that sanitation is not compromised upon. These sanitation blocks come with their own water supply and storage tank. The toilets are also constructed inside a cemented wall to ensure privacy for the students. The idea is to make sure that no student skips school due to lack of proper toilets as this is a major reason for lack of attendance in many schools. Five hundred and fifty sanitation facilities have been built to date, giving more than 1,82,000 girls access to clean toilets and the opportunity to lead healthier lives, as well as pursue their academic dreams. Nestlé India has also provided sanitation blocks in 59 schools in and around Samalkha. Safe toilets isn’t just a matter of convenience - they can make the difference between enabling a girl in accessing education and being forced to stay at home. A common problem, in some of the schools in the rural areas, is the lack of separate toilets for boys and girls, which is also seen as one of the major problems for the increased number of girls dropping out of these schools. Even in the few schools that have a dedicated toilet for the girl students, it is usually constructed in an open area that most of the students are reluctant to use for safety reasons. Many times, the school authorities have to fulfil procedural formalities for constructing rather basic sanitation facilities. In such instances, CSR projects like that of Nestlé's are a boon as once the community's need is identified, the implementation of such facilities happens at a much rapid pace.

Improving well being of pregnant and lactating mothers

Inspiring communities to lead healthier lives

Nestlé is supporting project Jagriti in association with Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child (MAMTA). The project works with four groups consisting adolescents, pregnant women, lactating mothers and young married couples. The programme focuses on creating peer mentor support groups for counselling on healthy nutrition for pregnant and lactating women, encouraging early initiation of exclusive breastfeeding, improving breastfeeding practices and encouraging the uptake of public health services. Creating an enabling environment for the women, the project also targets at sensitisation to institutional deliveries, post-natal visits to the hospital and awareness on family planning.

Pregnant and lactating women are encouraged to form groups in which a peer leader is selected. The leader is provided training regarding the healthy practices that should be followed during pre and post pregnancy period. The peer leader then utilizes the various modules prepared by project Jagriti team on healthy practices and uses them to impart knowledge to the rest of the group. The programme also consists of dedicated outreach workers who conduct door-to-door visits to provide counselling to the selected beneficiaries. The outreach workers primarily act as facilitators for the groups, guiding and encourage peer-topeer learning. Currently, 12 outreach workers in Nangloi, West Delhi cover groups of pregnant women and lactating mothers. “We conduct door to door visits, provide counselling sessions if need be and regularly follow up with the help of ASHA workers,” says Neerja, one of the outreach workers in Nangloi, Delhi.
Peer mentorship is an effective method as it promotes a smoother transfer of knowledge since the group members are educated by a person who is from the community. The programme understands the effect of a malnourished childhood on the health of an individual over the course of their lives. Pregnancy and early years are, in fact, the most important stages for the brain development of a child. Recognising this, the programme intervenes at the crucial stages of life and aims to remove the barriers that inhibit healthy development of the mother and the child. Adolescents are included by conducting sessions and discussions that cover topics of hygiene, health, menstrual hygiene, in addition to other important topics related to adolescent health.
Young couples are positively affected when they are provided access to family planning services, made aware of gender equity norms, and are counselled on preconception care, marital communication, issues of health pertaining to young men, preventive mental, sexual and reproductive health. Mothers are informed about importance of exclusive breastfeeding and the right breastfeeding practices, and are encouraged to exclusive breastfeed for the first six months after the child is born.

Improving well being of pregnant and lactating mothers

Understanding the need to create a safe space for adolescents and young children, the project supports the construction of Youth Information Centers (YIC), which act as a safe space to discuss their crucial issues. At the YICs, learning on sensitive issues is made enjoyable as well as comfortable. The adolescent-friendly and gender-sensitive inclusive approach is useful in such populations as those that are deficient in knowledge and are unaware of their health needs and rights.
The programme started with a pilot in Delhi, reaching out to over 1,00,000 people living in poor conditions to educate and encourage community support for good nutrition and breastfeeding practices.

Since the pilot, the programme has been expanded to impact people in key life stages, including adolescents, young couples and pregnant and feeding mothers. From 2016-18, the programme ran across 15 districts of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi impacting the lives of 1.5 million beneficiaries with a goal to accelerate the uptake of health services by improving continuum of care on health, nutrition and hygiene practices. The programme reached out to another 3.1 million beneficiaries indirectly.

Educating children and adolescents on nutrition and health

Nestlé India is conducting the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme that has been developed with a focus to raise nutrition, health and wellness awareness of adolescents. The programme is based on a multi-partnership approach in collaboration with six regional universities that conduct the operations. The company has also collaborated with the NGO Magic Bus India Foundation, to extend its commitment to promote healthier lifestyles among adolescents.Focusing on raising awareness on nutrition, health and wellness of adolescents through sports and games, the programme targets both adolescents from marginalised communities and government schools.

In these marginalised communities, congested streets and overpopulated surroundings means that creating a clean environment becomes all the more challenging. Adolescents attending sessions on Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme often come from some of the most disadvantaged communities. They are vulnerable to malnutrition and its numerous consequences.
The programme employs the ‘sports for development’ approach for knowledge transfer. To implement the programme, community youth leaders and youth mentors are selected through a standardised process that helps identify one champion adolescent, per group, who is capable of handling the sessions. This is done in the first few sessions from a group consisting of around 25 adolescents. For example, small groups are created all over the Motilal Nehru camp area consisting of 500 students who are divided into groups consisting of 20-25 members in the respective localities. Once the group leader is identified, he/ she then receives training through modules created by Nestlé. Each module is used to relay information about good practices in health, hygiene, cooking, physical fitness, etc. The selected leader, who is called the Community Youth Leader, imparts this knowledge to the rest of the group through games and activity-based sessions.

Happy children and a happy mother; the programme has visible impact in the communities

“I was given training on how to conduct the classes and share about good practices through stories and games. I usually manage even when the youth mentor is not there to supervise; this much I can do without anyone’s help,” says confident Nisha, who is a Community Youth Leader (CYL) in Munirka, Delhi, on being asked about how she manages to run the sessions.

Sports and games are given due importance during the peer-to-peer sessions as this encourages healthy physical practices while simultaneously imparting knowledge in a fun way. A youth mentor, who is from the same community, supervises the Community Youth Leader (CYL). Regular interactive sessions are organised in an effort to strengthen knowledge that adolescents acquire from each session. This platform is also used to encourage healthy practices in the family. Through these students, healthy practices of sanitation, nutrition and waste management are reinforced amongst the community members. Certain sessions have specific targets, for instance, the hand wash tutorial programme focuses on the importance of cleaning hands properly before eating. A particularly successful session that was conducted through the programme was the session that focused on the creative use of waste materials as house decorations.

An interesting example to share comes from a home in Munirka that has four children who are a part of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme. They have impressively turned waste bottles in their house as pots for various plants. These children have been so passionate in their efforts that their house is famously known in the locality as ‘the plant house’. Such inspiring stories of positivity give more credence to the efforts put in by the organisation and its employees.

Over 2,80,000 adolescents across 22 states have been encouraged to live healthier lives, by arming them with the knowledge that impacts them in a meaningful and permanent way. The change most visible is their “self-awareness’, their genuine willingness and their inclination towards better hygiene and nutrition.

Improving livelihood of coffee farmers

Sustainable agricultural practices

To ensure sustainability of the coffee farming in Karnataka and Kerala, Nestlé India implemented Nescafé Plan in 2012, which helps coffee farmers to preserve the traditional farming techniques while supplementing them with modern scientific techniques. The Nescafe plan has three platforms: respecting farmers, respecting communities and respecting our planet with an objective of positively contributing towards the future of the great quality coffee. The company provides training to the coffee farmers, introducing them to best practices of farming that are backed by modern scientific advances and intensive research done on the development of healthy coffee plantlets.

The training is done in consultancy with a network of agronomists and support workers in the coffee growing regions of the country. The aim is to direct the farmers to adopt more sustainable forms of agriculture practices that can accommodate commercial production while ensuring sustainability. The farmers who have attended the training, and have been able to incorporate these methods into their farmlands are verified against 4C (common code for coffee community) sustainable guidelines. The 4C certification, as a part of Nescafé plan, ensures sustainability in coffee farming and compliance. Premium pay off is ensured for the farmers supplying 4C verified green coffee to sustain the healthy practices taught through the training provided by Nestlé. The remuneration acts as motivation for the farmers to continue with the sustainable methods of farming rather than revert back to the methods they are used to.
The company has so far impacted the livelihoods of 2,500 coffee farmers in 99 villages, their families and farm workers through trainings, technical assistance, medical camps, soil test activities. It has trained these coffee farmers to develop good agricultural practices in terms of quality, productivity and sustainability.