Design has always been a crucial part of Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value reporting – and will continue to play an essential role in the future.
The concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV) was introduced for the first time by Nestlé in its reporting over ten years ago. Developed with Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, CSV is based on the belief that for a company to be successful over the long term and create value for shareholders, it must create value for society – a principle that has been with Nestlé throughout the 150 years of its existence.
From the outset it was clear that design would be an important instrument to help demonstrate the newly developed concept. Working closely with the Public Affairs department, in charge of content, Nestlé’s Corporate Identity & Design team has been responsible for the design and production of all of the company’s CSV reports.
Over the years we have used many of the design tools at our disposal to support the report’s content and to guide its readers. Next to infographics, to help our audiences visualise the concept, photography has always been an important tool to demonstrate the enormous impact of CSV. To cover the company’s wide-ranging activities – from micro-nutrient fortification to farmer assistance programmes, from reducing the use of water in our factories to helping to address the double burden of malnutrition – we built up a network of talented local photographers. Their photo case studies, taken from their view of the world and coloured by their local insights have helped us to amass a rich portfolio of authentic and memorable documentary photography of Nestlé’s CSV activities around the world.
This essential first step of showing the doing was then complemented by verified and rigorous reporting on Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value activities published as summary and full reports for our readership, which includes shareholders, employees and external stakeholders, ranging from academics to international organisations to general consumers.
The four most recent reports have been based on a framework of forward-looking commitments, depending less on photography but instead requiring a more systematic yet flexible typographic solution.
Going forward, design will continue to play an integral role – with stakeholders asking for more concise, shorter reports and access to information online and on social media channels, requiring again new communication concepts and formats.
The 2006 report followed a three-part value chain framework of agricultural raw materials, manufacturing and management, products and consumers. To introduce the recently developed CSV concept we chose the editorial format of an interview between Harvard Business School’s Mark Kramer and Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Nestlé’s Chairman and CEO. Further, the report was illustrated with a large number of photographic case studies, giving plenty of concrete examples of Nestlé’s way of doing business.
The 2009 report used for the first time the three CSV focus areas of Nutrition, Water and Rural Development as the framework. We developed a photographic concept showing double portraits of members from society and employees from Nestlé, demonstrating “value for society” and “value for Nestlé”, i.e. “shared value”. In that same year, Nestlé publicly launched the Creating Shared Value concept and framework at the first Creating Shared Value Forum, held at the United Nations in New York.
The 2010 report focused on Rural Development, one of the three CSV focus areas. To explain the full breadth of the impact of Nestlé’s factories and farmer programmes on rural development, we commissioned a series of simple yet clever editorial illustrations showing the various steps during which Nestlé’s activities add value to local economies. Also, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting framework was adopted in the full online report.
The 2015 report was the third to be centered around a set of public commitments, all related directly to Nestlé’s material issues and the CSV focus areas. We designed a transparent, systematic yet flexible layout to present the commitments, objectives and progress. At the same time the layout had to be adaptable enough to incorporate three other language versions (next to the original English version the CSV report is also published in French, German and Spanish).