2011 World Environment Center Gold Medal Goes to Nestlé S.A.

The jury found that Nestlé’s environmental practices have been guided over the long-term by its “Creating Shared Value” approach to business.

The World Environment Center’s (WEC) 27th Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development will be awarded to Nestlé S.A. for its commitment to environmental sustainability across its value chain and throughout multiple levels of company management.

Paul Bulcke, Nestlé chief executive officer, will accept the award on behalf of the company on May 19 in Washington, D.C.

Nestlé S.A. was selected by the independent Gold Medal Jury, chaired by Joel Abrams, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh. The jury found that Nestlé’s environmental practices have been guided over the long-term by its “Creating Shared Value” approach to business. This contributes to the health and well-being of consumers while improving the economic and social conditions in communities located across the company's value chain.

The “Creating Shared Value” approach to business served as the basis for the company’s Gold Medal application and provided a compelling representation of the Company’s on-going commitments to environmental sustainability. Nestlé stakeholders from humanitarian organizations, business, and academia, comprise its Creating Shared Value Advisory Board under the leadership of its chairman and chief executive officer.

“Nestlé is delighted to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes the efforts of many people working tirelessly over decades, with the long-term mindset to deliver best in class environmental management performance,” said Bulcke.

“In committing to long-term sustainable practices which are integral to our business, for example, we have built approximately 290 water treatment plants to date – significantly in developing countries where national and municipal wastewater treatment infrastructure does not exist, or does not yet meet the international environmental standards that Nestlé supports. In more recent years, we have also pioneered co-generation technology in our factories,” he said.
Abrams said: “The Creating Shared Value program will establish long-term benefits for society and shareholders by increasing natural, social, human and financial capital. As with past recipients, the Gold Medal provides a positive incentive for Nestlé to extend its commitments to improve people’s living standards and quality of life.”

The gold medal was established in 1985 to recognize significant industry initiatives in global environmental excellence and sustainable development. Recent recipients are:

  • Wal-Mart Stores (2010),
  • The Coca-Cola Company (2009),
  • Marks & Spencer (2008),
  • Alcan Inc (2007),
  • ABN AMRO Bank (2006),
  • Starbucks (2005),
  • Johnson Controls Inc (2004),
  • Ricoh Group Ltd. (2003) and
  • CEMEX (2002).

Nestlé, headquartered in Switzerland, employs more than 280,000 people and has 449 factories situated in 83 countries. Its products, including soluble coffee, infant nutrition, bottled water, ice cream, chocolate and malt drinks, are sold in almost every country in the world.

The World Environment Center, headquartered in Washington, D.C., creates sustainable business solutions through individual projects in emerging markets; convenes leadership roundtables to shape strategic thinking across a range of sustainability topics; and honors industry excellence through the Gold Medal Award. An independent non-profit organization, WEC conducts no advocacy activities.

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