The transformation of value chains towards greater social and environmental responsibility is often considered an issue of compliance.
How can we implement standards and systems that will compel suppliers to do the right thing? Yet our 20 years’ experience has shown that what underpins long-lasting transformation is the “human value chain”: networks of committed people all along the supply chain, acting from their values and a shared understanding of the issues on the ground. We know that it is when buyers and suppliers, NGOs and companies, connect person to person in the field that trust and eventually innovation emerge.
The Person to Person Programme takes individuals and teams on multi-day journeys (2 to 5 days) where their values are confronted with the reality on-the-ground.
The programme takes participants into the heart of supply chains, in forests, plantations and factories. As the days unfold and they meet face to face with key supply chain actors, such as managers, workers and communities, participants discover how they might approach relationships differently to bring about change. From our experience with numerous teams over the years, we know that the impact of this experience on participants and their organisations is significant and long lasting.
Back in 2017, we accompanied the Nestlé Responsible Sourcing team on a 5-day journey in Thailand. Each day took us to a different part of a country and exposed the team to a new challenge within Nestlé’s supply chain: migrant labour in the fishing industry on the border with Myanmar, the impact of large-scale sugar plantations, smallholder engagement in the palm oil sector and more. As we met with the people on the frontline, we help the Nestlé’s team reflect on the gap between the company’s stated values, their own personal values and the messy reality they were experiencing. As a result, each participant was able to better understand how they might influence the social and environmental reality on the ground. The experience also helped create a powerful bond between team members and help them understand how together they might influence change within Nestlé.
“A disturbing moment, which from now on nurtures day after day my focus on what matters for people, for the planet and for me.”
Benjamin Ware, Global Head, Responsible Sourcing, Nestlé
“Mixing deep thinking, field experience and extensive sharing, this experience helped me shape my view on what I can bring to society”
Alain Nguyen, Responsible Sourcing, Nestlé
“The Person to Person program is an absolutely inspiring experience. It makes you dig deep to remember and recognize your passion, purpose, what brought you here, and to realize where you want to go. Now, almost a year later, I can still clearly envision some of our days and sessions, and it snaps me right back to remembering the big picture of what we are really trying to accomplish.”
Taylor Miller, Responsible Sourcing, Nestlé
“In a world driven by speed and continuous activity, this ethical introspection exercise helped me step back, focus and prioritize the values and purpose that should guide my daily work and life decisions. One year later, I still think back on this experience during moments of doubts and say to myself: “Just follow your gut and keep going, a drop in the ocean will have some impact one day.”
Yann Vuillerod, Responsible Sourcing, Nestlé
As a member-based organisation, we know that collaboration is key to success and that everyone has a role to play in creating balance between people and nature. We are always open to hearing from potential new members or clients, interested investors or partners and those who just want to learn more. Please get in touch!
To create real, lasting change we know we need to maximise the impact of our solutions. If you want to be a part of this journey, reach out to us and together we can make change happen.