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Standards

Nestlé Targets Worldwide Registration of All Plants to ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001

More than 460 plants will be registered by end of 2010.

Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 15:14

N

estlé is the world’s leading recognized nutrition, health, and wellness company. With more than 280,000 employees and more than 450 factories globally, their products, which include everything from bottled water to frozen food, are sold in nearly every country in the world.

Nestlé has always believed that for a business to be successful in the long term, it has to create value not only for its shareholders and consumers, but also for society.

The challenge

Nestlé headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland

In May 2006, Nestlé’s executive board decided to adapt the existing Nestlé management systems to full conformity with the international standards ISO 14001 (environmental management systems) and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety management systems), and to certify all Nestlé factories against these standards by 2010.

For Nestlé, certification to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 provides external recognition that their factories are complying with internal requirements in the areas of environmental sustainability and occupational health and safety, and that they meet a minimum, internationally recognized level of management systems implementation. The trust of external stakeholders is another important factor for Nestlé, as they seek to become the world’s leading recognized nutrition, health, and wellness company; certification helps build this trust.

“For Nestlé, certification is the ‘birth certificate’ and not the ‘retirement letter’—it is the start of an ongoing journey of continuous excellence on performance,” says Brett Carroll, global environment, safety, and health manager for Nestlé.

Given the global scope of this project and to complete it in less than three years, Nestlé faced a number of challenges:

Motivate a large number of factories worldwide to follow a tight schedule
Monitor progress to make sure deadlines are kept
Find partners that can provide local auditors with an understanding of specific requirements and the local culture, but in parallel to this, have global consistency in service

 

The solution

Because it is very important for Nestlé to create value, it was a challenge to find a partner that could provide for all of these services combined; but Intertek worked closely with Nestlé’s headquarters in Switzerland to define a customized program to make sure they reach their ambitious goals. Intertek supports Nestlé on a global level with auditing and certification services to meet all of these challenges, as well as for ISO 22000, quality, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

As a result of this work, Nestlé has received:

Audits for all services and follow-up initiatives coordinated by one global Intertek team, helping to reduce the number of site visits, saving valuable time and money
Global consistency of service—all auditors are trained in Nestlé’s specific requirements
Quarterly reports from Intertek, giving Nestlé’s headquarters a clear picture of how many sites have completed certification
Flexible audit approach to make sure specific market needs are fulfilled, given the global spread of this project
Clear resource commitment from Intertek, to develop resources in needed markets

The result

As of October 2009, Nestlé sites had completed 639 certification audits, with another 200 audits expected across the world before year-end. Nestlé had 807 certificates in hand by the end of 2009, achieving an astonishing 352 certifications in one year. Nestlé’s external target that all factories will be certified by 2010 is well within reach.

“Nestlé has been very pleased with the performance we receive from Intertek, both at the local level and in terms of global account management,” says Carroll. “Locally, Intertek’s auditors are well equipped in terms of knowledge, both of the management system’s requirements as well as relevant local legislation. Additionally, Intertek’s flexibility and openness to new and different approaches helps to add value through the audit process.

“At the global level, the provision of a global key account manager simplifies the overall management of our audit program by providing single point of contact with an oversight of all audits globally, who can then deal with issues, questions, analysis, and improvement opportunities in a coordinated manner.”

A few of Nestlé’s food, nutrition, and pet care products

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Intertek

Intertek goes beyond testing, inspecting, and certifying products. Intertek provides a systemic approach to supporting its customers’ quality assurance efforts in each of the areas of their operations including R&D, raw materials sourcing, components suppliers, manufacturing, transportation, distribution and retail channels, and consumer management. Intetek’s network of more than 40,000 employees in 1,000 laboratories and offices in 100 countries provides quality and safety solutions to a wide range of industries.