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Category E: Lifestyles

2.5% of the score

Category E assesses the extent to which companies support efforts to encourage healthy lifestyles through three criteria:
  • E1 Supporting staff health and wellness
  • E2 Supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace
  • E3 Supporting consumer-oriented healthy diet and active lifestyle programs

To perform well in this category, companies should:

  • Offer comprehensive nutrition and healthy lifestyle programs within their overall staff health and wellness programs, for all employees and their families globally.
  • Offer supportive maternity leave policies including paid maternity leave of ideally six months or more, flexible working arrangements and appropriate workplace facilities for breastfeeding mothers when they return to work.
  • Commit to support integrated, comprehensive, consumer-oriented healthy diet and active lifestyle programs and campaigns globally, developed and implemented by independent organizations with relevant expertise.

Category E Nutrition ranking, based on equally-weighted Criteria E1, E3 and E3 scores

Did not provide information to ATNI
What are the main changes in Category E compared to 2016?

The average score increased to 3.4 from 2.5 in 2016 (as shown in Figure 2), and Nestlé currently leads the ranking with a score of 8.0 points.

  • PepsiCo showed the largest improvement by increasing its score by more than three points, which is mostly related to clearer articulation of expected health and business outcomes in relation to the nutrition, diet and activity elements of its health and wellness program. Further, PepsiCo has a new commitment in place to support and set up facilities for breastfeeding mothers at work and has a more explicit commitment in place to exclusively supporting educational programs developed and implemented by independent groups with relevant expertize.
  • Since the previous Index, companies’ support for healthy diets and active lifestyles overall has increased. The companies provided more evidence of commitments and programs to encourage their staff to adopt healthy diets and active lifestyles, as well as those to support new mothers to continue to breastfeed in the workplace. On the other hand, progress on developing well-designed and effective nutrition education and activity programs remains limited.
Do more companies commit to offering employee health and wellness through a program focused on nutrition, diet and activity?

Since 2016, corporate commitments to support employee health and wellness have increased. In the previous Index, 13 companies had such a commitment in place; in 2018, all companies, with the exception of Lactalis and Kraft Heinz, report some commitment to support employee health and well-being. This is a considerable improvement since 2016. Of these 20 companies, 12 make a global commitment.

Mars leads the ranking on Criterion E1, followed by Unilever and Nestlé. All three companies offer robust employee health and wellness (H&W) programs, with employee participation targets, and clearly set out the health and business outcomes they aim to achieve.

In Criterion E1, PepsiCo has improved the most since 2016 among its peers. The company has a strategy that includes a comprehensive H&W program entitled ‘Healthy Living’, which aims to help employees and families improve their physical, financial and emotional health. It also includes independent monitoring and articulates a focus on health and business outcomes.

More companies improved their score on E1 since 2016. Of these, Arla and Tingyi scored zero in 2016 and have improved since then. In 2016, Arla and Tingyi reported no commitment or activities in this area. In this Index, both companies have articulated a commitment and provide evidence of programs offered at their headquarters. Additionally, Arla has extended the types of H&W programs available to its employees and is in the process of conducting a review of these activities.

Most of the companies have some type of workplace H&W programs at their headquarters. However, the scope of these programs varies considerably, as only eight companies offer their H&W programs to all employees worldwide.

Do companies increasingly conduct independent evaluations of the health impact of their H&W programs?

Twelve companies report that they conduct some form of evaluation of their wellness programs. However, only five of these companies – Danone, FrieslandCampina, Mars, Nestlé and PepsiCo – have adopted the best practice of commissioning independent evaluations by a third-party. No companies publish an independent evaluation of their wellness programs in full. Only Grupo Bimbo and Unilever publish summary evaluations; however, these are conducted by the companies themselves. Considering the importance of H&W for employee well-being, companies should do a lot more to assess whether their programs are delivering real health outcomes.

Recommendations for improvement

  • Make H&W programs available to all employees and their families globally
  • Define health and business outcomes for programs focused on nutrition, diet and activity
  • Commission more external evaluations
  • Increase transparency
Do more companies support breastfeeding mothers at work by providing them with appropriate working conditions and facilities?

In 2016, corporate performance on this criterion was relatively poor, and most companies provided information only upon request. In this Index, the average score increased from 2.4 to 3.3 (out of 10), mainly due to better disclosure and slightly improved commitments to support breastfeeding mothers at work.

Nestlé leads the E2 ranking. The company has a global policy with comprehensive standards that support the key principles set out by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Maternity Protection Convention. For more details about Nestlé’s approach to supporting breastfeeding mothers at work.

Unilever and Mars rank second and third, respectively, on Criterion E2. Unilever has a new global policy that is disclosed publicly, and Mars now offers breastfeeding facilities globally.

More companies (15 compared to nine in 2016) now commit to supporting breastfeeding mothers. Companies with a new commitment include Ajinomoto, Campbell’s, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, PepsiCo and Tingyi. For more details about Campbell’s and Coca-Cola’s policy. Seven companies did not provide any evidence in this area.

Of the 15 companies that have a commitment to support breastfeeding mothers at work, six have a policy that defines appropriate working conditions and facilities at work for breastfeeding mothers. Of these six companies, only Danone, Nestlé and Unilever have a global policy that goes beyond local legislation and offers paid maternity leave between three and six months and standard facilities in all markets. The global application of the policy is considered an industry-leading practice. Companies that do not have a global policy that is equally applied in all markets often commit only to follow local regulation or only to provide breastfeeding facilities in their home market. Consequently, the scope of support for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace continues to differ across countries.

The most progress has been made by Ajinomoto and PepsiCo. In its internal documents, Ajinomoto articulates support for breastfeeding mothers and offers up to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave and voluntary childcare leave of one year. In addition, the company now offers breastfeeding rooms at its headquarters.

PepsiCo has developed a strategy in which the company commits to provide breastfeeding mothers with appropriate working conditions and facilities. Currently, in a number of its locations worldwide, the company offers either mother’s rooms, wellness rooms, or alternate space available for nursing mothers. In addition, the company is expanding the number of PepsiCo locations with facilities for nursing mothers.

Did companies improve their public reporting on supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace?

Seven companies publish commentary about how they support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. However, of these, only Danone and Nestlé share their maternity policy in full in the public domain. Compared with 2016, companies disclose more information in this area, though disclosure remains weak overall.

E2 Recommendations for improvement

  • Extend paid maternity leave to six months
  • Develop a global policy that applies equally in all markets
  • Increase transparency
  • BMS companies should step up their support of breastfeeding mothers at work
Which companies lead the ranking on supporting consumer-oriented healthy diets and active lifestyle programs?

Mondelez, Nestlé and PepsiCo lead the ranking on Criterion E3. These companies show leading practices in different areas, for example, by making sure that their programs are designed primarily to deliver good nutrition education or to promote physical activity (rather than being an extension of their marketing activities) and by commissioning independent evaluations to assess the impact of their programs.

Even though one-on-one comparison between 2018 and 2016 scores is not possible due to some changes in the methodology, for indicators that allow direct comparison, little progress has been made. Since 2016, there are no examples of a company making a new commitment to exclude brand-level sponsorship of healthy diets and/or active lifestyle programs, and only one more company now commits to support nutrition education programs developed by third-party organizations.

Do more companies have policies to guide their funding of nutrition education and physical activity programs?

In terms of formalizing their commitments to fund consumer education programs on nutrition, as in 2016, Nestlé is the only company that commits to aligning its healthy diet programs to national dietary guidelines and has a clear policy that excludes brand-level sponsorship (as opposed to corporate branding, which is not necessarily discouraged by ATNF). Five other companies commit to aligning their healthy diet educational programs to national dietary guidelines. Mars is the only other company with a policy to exclude brand-level sponsorship, covering both educational and lifestyle programs.

Have companies made strides in committing only to funding programs developed and run by independent expert organizations?

Mondelez and PepsiCo are leaders in this area, as they only fund healthy eating and healthy lifestyle programs set up and run by third-parties. Furthermore, these companies only support and fund programs for which content is written by an independent third-party and over which the companies have no editorial control. This approach to supporting consumer education programs is an industry-leading practice.

Mondelez (through the Mondelez International Foundation) remains the only company that commissions independent evaluations of all the programs it funds. Eight other companies commission some type of independent evaluations of some of their programs’ health impacts.

Do companies disclose more information about their support of consumer-oriented educational programs?

Disclosure of commitments, policies and independent evaluations remains poor. Of the 22 assessed companies, six do not disclose any information about the consumer education programs they offer or support and six other companies publish only limited information.

E3 Recommendations for improvement

  • Develop a policy that excludes brand-level sponsorship of consumer orientated programs
  • Support programs exclusively developed by independent third-parties with relevant expertise
  • Commission independent evaluations and publicly disclose the results
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