- The best performer in this Category is Nestlé with a score of 7.1 out of 10, while the average score is low, at only 2.5.
- Mars rose from 17th to second place thanks to adoption of strong recent policies. Other companies that made substantial progress in Category E are FrieslandCampina, General Mills and Kellogg’s.
- Only three companies score above five; these are the only ones to demonstrate a global approach to the promotion of healthier lifestyles among employees and consumers. The remainder implement only limited activities or only support core markets.
- While some companies seem to have implemented interesting initiatives, the industry as a whole needs to devote much greater resources to developing and implementing appropriate programs to support their employees, and to support consumers through independently designed and implemented programs in pursuing active lifestyles and healthy diets.
- Category E is among the lowest-scoring category in the 2016 Global Index. This is primarily because the methodology was strengthened and changed slightly, but also because a new criteria was introduced (E2) assessing companies’ support for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.
- The leading companies changed positions, except for Unilever, which keeps its position in the top three in both editions of the Index. This is mostly due to the new criteria (E2), where the current leading companies (Nestlé, Mars and Unilever) scored well above the average, while PepsiCo and Coca-Cola (the leaders in 2013) scored 0 and 0.4, respectively, indicating limited support for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.
- Three companies (compared to six in 2013) did not disclose any relevant information and scored zero.
- Companies generally had higher scores on the assessment of their employee-oriented programs than on supporting independent, third-party programs targeting consumers.
- Similar to the findings in 2013, most companies provide staff health and wellness programs with some nutrition and activity-related elements. However, only ten companies offer these programs globally, while the others appear to limit their scope to home or major markets. Few companies set employee participation targets or identify expected health and business outcomes, and only four companies independently evaluate the health impact of the nutrition, diet and activity elements of their programs.
Support for breastfeeding mothers
- Disclosure related to the newly introduced criteria (E2) is limited; most of the companies provided the information only under a non-disclosure agreement. Only six identified companies have a formalized commitment to providing breastfeeding mothers with appropriate working conditions and facilities at work.
Consumer-oriented healthy diets and active lifestyle programs
- The methodology on this topic was strengthened significantly and companies scored well only if they demonstrated support for independently designed and implemented programs, as well as non-branded consumer-oriented programs.
- Fewer than half of the companies have a commitment formalized in a policy to guide their funding, or support independently designed and implemented programs oriented toward active lifestyles, as well as nutrition education and healthy diets.
- Overall, companies’ approaches to supporting undernourished consumers in developing countries is poor, and only six companies scored in this area. This suggests very limited corporate support for programs that consider the nutritional needs of the most vulnerable people.
- Demonstrate a strong commitment to support healthier lifestyles among employees: The nine companies that have not yet done so should put in place a robust health and wellness program that incorporates nutrition, physical activity and healthy behaviors, and make it available to all employees and their family members worldwide. Companies should design these programs to deliver clear intended health and business outcomes such as mitigating sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets, while achieving improved efficiency and productivity.
- Commission independent evaluations of staff health and wellness programs: To increase their credibility and ensure that resources are being deployed wisely, companies should commission independent evaluations of these programs and make changes according to their recommendations, following the lead of Danone, FrieslandCampina, Mars and PepsiCo.
- Report more on programs to support healthier diets and lifestyles: Most companies could improve their disclosure regarding these programs and the evaluations commissioned.
- Adopt best practice policies to support breastfeeding mothers and disclose more information about them: Many agencies and governments are placing more emphasis on promoting breastfeeding in order to boost the practice where levels are low or to counter falling rates around the world (which is likely to undermine a population’s health over the long term). To demonstrate their support for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace, all companies should adopt best-practice global maternity leave policies (if it is not already a statutory requirement), in order to facilitate exclusive breastfeeding in the child’s first six months, which supports healthy growth and development. These policies should also enshrine a commitment to provide appropriate facilities and flexible working arrangements in all workplaces when mothers return to work. Companies should also disclose more about these efforts.
- Demonstrate a commitment to supporting independently designed and implemented consumer-oriented programs:Delivering effective programs at scale requires multi-stakeholder collaboration around comprehensive, integrated programs designed and implemented by independent organizations with relevant expertise. Companies should seek to support these kinds of programs exclusively, rather than design programs that have commercial goals (such as raising brand profile and marketing products). Companies should be more transparent about their role in any consumer-oriented programs they support and should make a commitment to not use brandlevel sponsorship for these programs in order to clearly differentiate their marketing efforts from those to genuinely improve consumers’ diets and levels of activity.
Commission independent evaluations of consumer-oriented programs and publicly disclose the results: Companies should follow the lead of Mondelez and embed independent evaluations into the design of all programs they support. Moreover, companies should publish the results of all evaluations undertaken, including both the successes and challenges they have faced. Sharing lessons learned should lead to better approaches being adopted across the industry, more effective use of corporate resources, and the abandonment of ineffective approaches.
- Boost efforts to tackle undernutrition: The companies assessed in this Index could play a more significant role than they currently do in alleviating poor nutrition and hunger in many parts of the world. They should dedicate much more attention and resources to developing or supporting programs to educate undernourished consumers about the value of consuming fortified food, micronutrient supplementation, appropriate complementary feeding and a diverse diet.
- Support undernutrition programs: Companies should sign up to undernutrition programs such as the Zero Hunger Challenge, Scaling Up Nutrition and the World Food Program to fight undernutrition.