Nestle India Limited spent more than the prescribed 2% in corporate social responsibility programs in the financial year 2017-18. While the prescribed CSR expenditure as per Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 was 26.88 crore rupees, actual expenditure incurred during the year amounted to INR 26.91 crores.
With its CSR Policy focus areas firmly embedded in its Purpose, in 2017, the Company focused its activities on creating nutrition, health and breastfeeding awareness, providing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, supporting development of agricultural communities while helping them reduce water use, enhancing the livelihood of street food vendors and encouraging the cause of girl child education.
During the year 2017, the CSR Committee was re-constituted and Rama Bijapurkar, Independent Non-Executive Director was appointed as Member of the Committee in place of Ravinder Narain, who retired as Director. The Committee comprises Dr Swati A. Piramal, Independent Non-Executive Director, as the Chairperson of the Committee and Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director.
An overview of Nestlé’s CSR programmes:
Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme
The programme has been developed with a focus to raise nutrition, health and wellness awareness of school age children. The unbranded programme has been conducted since 2009, in village schools around the Company’s manufacturing facilities with the objective of raising awareness regarding good nutritional and cooking practices, good hygiene and promoting physical fitness.
Six leading regional Universities through the Department of Home Science and Food Science conduct this programme wherein information on the nutrition status of the region and local food habits is collected through their extension activities and the programme content is developed jointly with Nestlé India nutritionists.
The Company joined hands with the NGO Magic Bus India Foundation, one of India’s largest behaviour change organisations, to extend its commitment to promote healthier lifestyles through the ‘sports for development’ model. Children are engaged in interactive sessions in which they receive nutrition and health knowledge and are encouraged to play regularly. The year-long programme, designed with over 30 sessions for each child, ran across 18 states in 2017.
These efforts increase children’s basic knowledge of the importance of nutrition and physical activity, and have reached over 200,000 adolescents across 21 states encouraging them to live healthier lives.
The Company rolled out Project Jagriti in partnership with the Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child as part of its commitment to provide education programmes for good nutrition and feeding practices, improving nutrition and health at key life stages – adolescence to caregivers. Jagriti creates an enabling environment for the best health outcomes, involving the health care system and stakeholders from the community.
The programme started with a pilot in Delhi, reaching out to over 100,000 people living in slum conditions to educate and encourage community support for good nutrition and breastfeeding practices. It focused on creating peer mentor support groups for counselling on good nutrition for pregnant and lactating women, encouraging the early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, improving breastfeeding practices and encouraging the uptake of public health services. During 2017, the programme ran across 15 districts of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi.
Clean Drinking Water Projects and Water Awareness Programme
The Company constructs clean drinking water facilities in schools directly and through NGO partner Enable Health Society. Till 2017, the Company has constructed over 257 water tanks across 7 states benefitting more than 140,000 students.
The water tanks source water from deep below ground level and the sourced water is stored in hygienic tanks enclosed in specially designed facilities to preserve the quality of the water. The Company also conducts periodic water quality checks to ensure safe drinking water, while involving the school and surrounding community through joint ownership of the water tanks, which helps to establish better upkeep and maintenance of the tanks.
For locations where groundwater does not meet quality standards, the Company has partnered with the NGO Enable Health Society, to provide drinking water treatment plants. The Company conducts Water Awareness Programmes aimed at ensuring hygienic and sustainable water use, reaching out to over 104,000 students.
The Company partnered with the Department of Medical and Health, Government of Rajasthan to offer access to clean drinking water at 2 Public Health Centres where the Company provides clean drinking water through its NGO partner, Enable Health Society as a part of the Adarsh Public Health Center Yojna established by the Government.
The Company has been constructing sanitation facilities for girl students in village schools to reduce the dropout rate caused by lack of proper sanitation facilities. These facilities are provided for girl students in village schools across all its factory locations. This has had a direct impact on the attendance of girls in village schools.
Through this initiative, the Company endeavours to eliminate what is considered the major cause of dropouts among girl students in village schools. During 2017, the Company has set up sanitation facilities in government schools across 11 states and so far the Company has set up over 430 facilities benefitting more than 150,000 girl students.
Water Conservation in Agriculture
The Company launched a water stewardship initiative with AgSRI at the Kabini river Basin in Karnataka. Over the years, the water demand in the catchment has been increasing, leading to inadequate supply. The Company commissioned a study to understand the current water management and implement applicable water interventions. The study found that river water discharges would continue to deplete while the competing requirements for drinking water and irrigation increase.
As agriculture is the largest user of water from the catchment, the Company is working with AgSRI to implement pilot projects promoting the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and the Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI). The project aims to set up demonstration farms and train farmers on ecologically sustainable practices to reduce the agricultural water withdrawal from the catchment area, while improving agricultural productivity.
Project Serve Safe Food
The Company joined hands with NIDAN and national and local food authorities, including the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) in Delhi, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Medical and Health Services in Rajasthan, Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration in Goa and the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Kerala to launch Project ‘Serve Safe Food’ for training street food vendors.
While street food vending is an important source of informal employment for a large number of population, a variety of constraints including lack of knowledge and skills in business, limited training opportunities, and restricted mobility prevent street vendors from improving their capacities. The programme aims to help them improve their income, sustain their livelihoods and enter into strategic employment opportunities in new market conditions.
During 2017, the programme was implemented across Goa, Rajasthan, U.P., Kerala and Delhi, reaching out to about 4,800 street food vendors who were also awarded a certificate and presented a hygiene kit at the end of the training.
Educate The Girl Child: Power of Print
The Company partnered with Project Nanhi Kali. A country wide awareness campaign was launched that supported the education of girls through Nanhi Kali.
As a continuation of the highly acclaimed #EducateTheGirlChild campaign the Company partnered with Times of India and launched an innovative communication campaign called ‘Power of Print’.
The campaign invited all top communication agencies to come up with an inspirational content for a print campaign to create awareness about the importance of sending more girls to school. The campaign resulted in 823 entries with J. Walter Thompson India emerging as the winner with their “Classroom” concept.
Driven by the purpose ‘Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future’, the Company 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.