Why Peter Brabeck Cares About Water
Peter Brabeck assumed the top spot at Nestlé in 2008, after overseeing its strategic transformation into the world's foremost nutrition company. Since joining Nestlé in 1968, he has been in leadership positions in multiple countries, including Chile, Ecuador, and Switzerland. Since 1987, he has been based at Nestle's headquarters in Vevey. Mr. Brabeck is the Chairman of the board of directors of Nestle (since 2005). From 1997 to 2008, he was also the CEO of Nestle. Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe is a member of the boards of directors of L'Oreal SA, Paris (since 1997), and Roche Holding SA, Basel (since 2000). He is also a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists.
Question: With CEOs scrutinized over their every move these days, how should they approach the manner in which they publicize personal desires for policy change?
Peter Brabeck: What I would say where a company has an opportunity to do something substantial. I think we have a moral obligation to work on those subjects. If Nestle and myself have become very vocal in the area of water, it was not because of any philanthropic idea, it was very simple. By analyzing what is the single most important factor for the sustainability of Nestle, water came is number one subject. And out of this became the interest to analyze the situation of water and why it is not sustainable. And once we found out the truth about this over exploitation of water, we started to create, first awareness, and then secondly started to create a group of people who would have the same interests, brought them in. They have different NGO's, we brought in the big institutions and today we have I would say, a whole group of institutions, companies which are working activity on the problems and hopefully as I mentioned before, have brought forward solutions, practical solutions in order to overcome such an important issue.
I think this is part of a company's responsibilities. Now, if I was in a different industry, I would have a different subject, certainly that I would be focusing on. But that's the area where at Nestle, we can do most, and that's why we have chosen that at Nestle.
Question: Should industries have a role in finding solutions to environmental issues that affect their business?
Peter Brabeck: Yes, it is in the interest of our shareholders. If I want to convince my shareholders that this industry is a long-term sustainable industry, I have to assure that all aspects that are vital for this company are sustainable. And when I see, like in our case that one of the aspects, which is water, which is being needed in order to produce the raw materials for our company, if this is not sustainable, then my enterprise is not sustainable. So, therefore, I have to do something about it. So, shareholder interest and societal interest are common.
Recorded on February 26, 2010
After analyzing the most important factors for the sustainability of Nestle, water became a priority for the company.
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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