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为应对气候变化,雀巢连股东利益都不顾了?

为应对气候变化,雀巢连股东利益都不顾了?

Mark Schneider 2021年02月21日
雀巢首席执行官马克·施奈德认为,只有为此类项目创造投资空间,雀巢才有可能实现自己在环保方面的抱负。

为Taygete I发电基地的太阳能电池板,按容量计算,这是迄今为止雀巢在可再生能源项目上最大的直接投资。图片来源:COURTESY OF NESTLE

我们必须正视气候变化给全球带来的严峻挑战,解决这一问题已经刻不容缓。像雀巢(Nestlé)这样拥有全球足迹和庞大供应链的企业要实现长期繁荣,必须严肃对待气候变化对人类文明构成的威胁。

雀巢一直致力于应对气候挑战,引领行业实现可持续发展,不过我还是希望借此机会躬身自省,介绍一些实际状况。

虽然雀巢在气候工作上投入了大量资源,但这种投入不能被视为一种赠予或企业慈善行为,归根到底,雀巢还是一家企业,在开展工作时必须考虑社会效益,也就是说,既要保护环境,又要维护股东的利益。像雀巢这样的企业必须在当下与未来之间寻求一种微妙的平衡。

我们清楚,这种做法可能既无法完全获得环保主义者的认可,也无法让投资者完全满意,但要想在短期期望与长期期望之间获得平衡,只有务实的计划才有可能取得成功。为此,我们将制定延伸目标,创造投资空间,在跨越转型成本高峰的同时获取竞争优势。

对雀巢这类拥有庞大规模和影响力的企业而言,首先就是要大胆、透明地发挥行业领导者的作用。雀巢的业务几乎遍布世界各国,其一举一动都会对食品行业产生影响。我们也从未对自己的责任等闲视之,无论政治风向如何转变,雀巢始终坚定不移地支持《巴黎协定》(Paris Agreement),承诺到2030年将温室气体排放量减半,到2050年实现净零碳排放,并公开了相关细则。

虽然很想只讲我们在环保上的投入,但事实是,我们在投身环保的同时,也兼顾了业务增长,让我们在与同行的竞争中占据了优势。当今社会,消费者对环境管理和透明度越发重视已经是不争的事实。企业如果无视消费者的需求,消费者就会无视企业的产品。从积极的方面来看,在环保领域采取大胆且有意义的行动也可以转化为竞争优势,推动企业市场份额和业绩的增长。在低通胀、零利率的世界中,保持强劲的有机增长正是雀巢这样的企业所看重的终极价值驱动。

只有为此类项目创造投资空间,雀巢才有可能实现自己在环保方面的抱负。相较于使用现行解决方案的老产品,使用全新升级版气候友好型解决方案的新产品价格确实更高,雀巢也因此需要承担巨大的过渡成本,(但雀巢依然选择在启用新解决方案上扮演先行者的角色,)因为如果只是等待价格下降,那么我们将在环保工作上毫无建树,进而导致恶性循环,阻碍新技术的推广应用。这是各行各业所面临的现实,如果我们不解决这个问题,我们也将无法解决气候变化问题。

为实现温室气体零排放投入的前期成本与包括研发成本在内的其它前瞻性支出并无本质差异,没有这些投入,企业就会逐渐走向衰败,但这也并不意味着企业在投资上可以随心所欲。投资规模必须经过认真核算。企业在降低内部成本时必须要有针对性,这样才能够在将资源转移到气候工作的过程中不至于损害短期收益。支出规模也需要提前沟通。此外,企业绝对不可以将此种支出当作营收损失的借口,否则可能会动摇投资者对企业的信任和信心。这种平衡颇为微妙,做起来也殊为不易,不过好在数字化让全球几乎所有企业都显著提升了工作效率,也让我们有了推动相关工作的新方式。

无论是研发项目、广告活动,还是改善公司环境足迹的环保项目,在面向未来的项目上保持较高的平均成功率一直是公司管理成功的标志。投资者将此类挑战称之为“实施风险”,有些公司更善于应对此类挑战。当然,万事开头难,最初几年我们可能会付出巨大却收获甚少,但这样的阶段终将过去,我们也终将能够引进、推广相关技术,为应对气候变化提供支持。

雀巢近期宣布在南非开工建设旗下第一个碳中和奶场。图片来源:Courtesy of Nestle

投身环保除了可以赢得消费者的青睐、实现业绩增长,还能够带来许多其它好处。环保意识薄弱的企业或将面临越来越高的税负和监管,沿用传统模式开展经营活动的企业,其成本也会越来越高,因此我们在投资环保项目时也需要将上述因素纳入考量。另外一个需要考虑的因素则是资本成本:对所有上市公司来说,将环境标准纳入主流投资基金决策的步伐正在加快。“绿色投资”曾经是一个细分市场,但正在迅速成为趋势。可以肯定的是,随着时间的推移,所有行业的落后者都将付出代价。

推动环保对员工士气和敬业程度的积极作用也不得不提。作为一名企业管理者,我发现没有什么能够比“造福未来”更可以激发员工的工作积极性。用心做好对世界有益之事将让我们在争取全球顶尖人才的竞争中占据优势。

迈克尔·詹森是我在哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)最喜欢的教授,他是一位受人尊敬的经济学家,只是有时有些特立独行。他一直主张,我们不应该将人群划分为“股东”对“利益相关者”这种“对立关系”,而应该团结起来,携手实现“开明的价值最大化”,包括达成通过适当方式量化的相关社会目标。在2000年出版的一本书中,詹森教授写道:“很明显,如果我们忽视或损害了任何重要人群的利益,那么我们就无法实现组织长期市场价值的最大化。”

对于像我们这样全力应对气候变化的跨国企业,这是商业活动的关键所在,更是企业应该履行的道德责任。对雀巢而言,善待地球就是为消费者、供应商、世界各地的社区以及地球本身提供服务。

做好这些事,我们也将为股东创造价值。(财富中文网)

马克·施奈德是雀巢集团首席执行官。

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

为Taygete I发电基地的太阳能电池板,按容量计算,这是迄今为止雀巢在可再生能源项目上最大的直接投资。图片来源:COURTESY OF NESTLE

我们必须正视气候变化给全球带来的严峻挑战,解决这一问题已经刻不容缓。像雀巢(Nestlé)这样拥有全球足迹和庞大供应链的企业要实现长期繁荣,必须严肃对待气候变化对人类文明构成的威胁。

雀巢一直致力于应对气候挑战,引领行业实现可持续发展,不过我还是希望借此机会躬身自省,介绍一些实际状况。

虽然雀巢在气候工作上投入了大量资源,但这种投入不能被视为一种赠予或企业慈善行为,归根到底,雀巢还是一家企业,在开展工作时必须考虑社会效益,也就是说,既要保护环境,又要维护股东的利益。像雀巢这样的企业必须在当下与未来之间寻求一种微妙的平衡。

我们清楚,这种做法可能既无法完全获得环保主义者的认可,也无法让投资者完全满意,但要想在短期期望与长期期望之间获得平衡,只有务实的计划才有可能取得成功。为此,我们将制定延伸目标,创造投资空间,在跨越转型成本高峰的同时获取竞争优势。

对雀巢这类拥有庞大规模和影响力的企业而言,首先就是要大胆、透明地发挥行业领导者的作用。雀巢的业务几乎遍布世界各国,其一举一动都会对食品行业产生影响。我们也从未对自己的责任等闲视之,无论政治风向如何转变,雀巢始终坚定不移地支持《巴黎协定》(Paris Agreement),承诺到2030年将温室气体排放量减半,到2050年实现净零碳排放,并公开了相关细则。

虽然很想只讲我们在环保上的投入,但事实是,我们在投身环保的同时,也兼顾了业务增长,让我们在与同行的竞争中占据了优势。当今社会,消费者对环境管理和透明度越发重视已经是不争的事实。企业如果无视消费者的需求,消费者就会无视企业的产品。从积极的方面来看,在环保领域采取大胆且有意义的行动也可以转化为竞争优势,推动企业市场份额和业绩的增长。在低通胀、零利率的世界中,保持强劲的有机增长正是雀巢这样的企业所看重的终极价值驱动。

只有为此类项目创造投资空间,雀巢才有可能实现自己在环保方面的抱负。相较于使用现行解决方案的老产品,使用全新升级版气候友好型解决方案的新产品价格确实更高,雀巢也因此需要承担巨大的过渡成本,(但雀巢依然选择在启用新解决方案上扮演先行者的角色,)因为如果只是等待价格下降,那么我们将在环保工作上毫无建树,进而导致恶性循环,阻碍新技术的推广应用。这是各行各业所面临的现实,如果我们不解决这个问题,我们也将无法解决气候变化问题。

为实现温室气体零排放投入的前期成本与包括研发成本在内的其它前瞻性支出并无本质差异,没有这些投入,企业就会逐渐走向衰败,但这也并不意味着企业在投资上可以随心所欲。投资规模必须经过认真核算。企业在降低内部成本时必须要有针对性,这样才能够在将资源转移到气候工作的过程中不至于损害短期收益。支出规模也需要提前沟通。此外,企业绝对不可以将此种支出当作营收损失的借口,否则可能会动摇投资者对企业的信任和信心。这种平衡颇为微妙,做起来也殊为不易,不过好在数字化让全球几乎所有企业都显著提升了工作效率,也让我们有了推动相关工作的新方式。

无论是研发项目、广告活动,还是改善公司环境足迹的环保项目,在面向未来的项目上保持较高的平均成功率一直是公司管理成功的标志。投资者将此类挑战称之为“实施风险”,有些公司更善于应对此类挑战。当然,万事开头难,最初几年我们可能会付出巨大却收获甚少,但这样的阶段终将过去,我们也终将能够引进、推广相关技术,为应对气候变化提供支持。

投身环保除了可以赢得消费者的青睐、实现业绩增长,还能够带来许多其它好处。环保意识薄弱的企业或将面临越来越高的税负和监管,沿用传统模式开展经营活动的企业,其成本也会越来越高,因此我们在投资环保项目时也需要将上述因素纳入考量。另外一个需要考虑的因素则是资本成本:对所有上市公司来说,将环境标准纳入主流投资基金决策的步伐正在加快。“绿色投资”曾经是一个细分市场,但正在迅速成为趋势。可以肯定的是,随着时间的推移,所有行业的落后者都将付出代价。

推动环保对员工士气和敬业程度的积极作用也不得不提。作为一名企业管理者,我发现没有什么能够比“造福未来”更可以激发员工的工作积极性。用心做好对世界有益之事将让我们在争取全球顶尖人才的竞争中占据优势。

迈克尔·詹森是我在哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)最喜欢的教授,他是一位受人尊敬的经济学家,只是有时有些特立独行。他一直主张,我们不应该将人群划分为“股东”对“利益相关者”这种“对立关系”,而应该团结起来,携手实现“开明的价值最大化”,包括达成通过适当方式量化的相关社会目标。在2000年出版的一本书中,詹森教授写道:“很明显,如果我们忽视或损害了任何重要人群的利益,那么我们就无法实现组织长期市场价值的最大化。”

对于像我们这样全力应对气候变化的跨国企业,这是商业活动的关键所在,更是企业应该履行的道德责任。对雀巢而言,善待地球就是为消费者、供应商、世界各地的社区以及地球本身提供服务。

做好这些事,我们也将为股东创造价值。(财富中文网)

马克·施奈德是雀巢集团首席执行官。

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

The global challenge of climate change is no longer the can that can be kicked down the road. Businesses like Nestlé, with a global footprint and vast supply chains, need to take the threat climate change poses to our civilization seriously to prosper in the long term.

Nestlé is committed to stepping up to the challenge and leading our industry toward a sustainable future, but it’s time for some soul-searching—and some truth-telling.

While our climate work is costly, it cannot be viewed as a giveaway or as corporate philanthropy. We are, after all, a business. We must deliver within the parameters of our society, and that means delivering for our environment and for our shareholders. The tension that businesses like ours must navigate is between today and tomorrow.

We know that managing this tension may not fully satisfy environmentalists or investors at any given moment. A viable plan requires pragmatism, as we balance near-term and long-term expectations. We plan to do this by leading with stretch targets, creating oxygen to invest, getting over the hump of transition costs, and gaining a competitive advantage.

The first step for a company of our size and reach is to lead boldly and transparently. Nestlé operates in nearly every country in the world, and the decisions we make can drive change in the food industry. We do not take that responsibility lightly. We have never wavered in our support for the Paris Agreement—no matter how the political winds have shifted—and we have publicly detailed our commitment to halve our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Though it’s tempting to end this thought right there, the truth is we’re doing all of this in a way that will allow us to grow our businesses and edge ahead of our competitors. For consumer-facing businesses like ours, it’s clear that consumers are putting more and more emphasis on environmental stewardship and transparency. Ignore their needs and they will ignore our products. On the positive side, bold and meaningful action in this space can become a competitive advantage, contributing to improved market share and growth. And sustaining strong organic growth in a low-inflation, zero interest rate world is the ultimate value driver for a business like ours.

Nestlé can only deliver on our environmental ambitions if we create the space to invest in these efforts. There will be significant transition costs, as the first unit of new and improved climate-friendly solutions are more expensive than the last unit of what is currently in place. Waiting until costs come down will result in no action, a vicious cycle that will prevent new technologies from scaling up. This is the reality facing businesses in every industry, and we will fail to address climate change if we do not solve for this.

The upfront costs of seeking greenhouse-gas neutrality are no different than other types of forward-looking expenditures, such as R&D spending. Without them, a business will wither. This does not mean businesses can invest heedlessly. The size of the spend must be carefully calibrated. Internal savings will need to be targeted so resources can be shifted toward climate work without hurting near-term profits. Spending levels need to be communicated upfront. Never use this type of spend to justify an earnings miss, unless you aim to destroy investor trust and confidence. This is a tricky balancing act, but there is good news—digitalization offers significant efficiency improvements to almost every business on the planet, which means new ways to power progress.

Keeping your batting average high on future-focused projects has always been the hallmark of successful company management—it does not matter whether we are talking about R&D projects, advertising campaigns, or improving the environmental footprint of the company. Investors call this challenge “implementation risk,” and some companies will be better at handling it than others. After a few years, the initial hump—lots of effort but no results yet to show—will be overcome, and we will be able to usher in and scale technologies that will help to address climate change.

In addition to consumer favor and growth, there is more upside to this path. Climate laggards risk being increasingly taxed and regulated by governments. The cost of doing business as usual is going up and needs to be properly reflected when pondering climate-friendly investments. And let’s not forget the cost of capital: For all public companies, the inclusion of environmental criteria into mainstream investment fund decisions is gathering pace. “Green investing” used to be a niche but is fast becoming the standard. It is safe to assume that laggards in all industries will pay a price over time.

Did I mention employee morale and engagement? Over my years in corporate leadership, I’ve seen that little else gets people as energized as helping to future-proof life on our planet. Doing good and doing well gives us an edge in the global race for top talent.

My favorite professor at Harvard Business School was Michael Jensen, the esteemed, if sometimes maverick, economist. He has been arguing for a generation that, instead of “shareholder versus stakeholder,” we should aim for “enlightened value maximization,” which includes properly quantified and relevant societal goals. “It is obvious that we cannot maximize the long-term market value of an organization if we ignore or mistreat any important constituency,” Jensen wrote in 2000.

This is the crux of the business case—never mind the moral imperative—for a global company like ours going all in on climate change. Doing right by the planet will ultimately mean that Nestlé will be serving our consumers, suppliers, communities around the world, and the Earth itself.

And by doing things right, we will be serving our shareholders, too.

Mark Schneider is the chief executive officer at Nestlé.

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