Neli Angelova: You develop a team as if it is your own child
Adriana Popova, Elka Vlahovska 01 January 2021
Is there a museum of Henri Nestle? His life is quite interesting.
The Alimentarium Museum in Vevey, Switzerland, is a Nestlé museum and shows food in a different light. Otherwise, the very life of Henri Nestle is interesting from the point of view of an innovator, but also a socially sensitive person. And yes, laying the foundations of the largest food and beverage company in the world makes you a person with an interesting life.
Do you have life choices that you would change?
I know what I want and what I don’t, this is my hallmark. It's very strange for me how some people can't choose from the restaurant menu. I have never regretted my decisions. I'm just that kind of person that don’t waste time with regrets.
Which socially responsible mission do you stand by?
Nestlé's social responsibility programs - Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia - are part of my work. Our corporate social responsibility has three main directions: to individuals and families - promotion and education of active lifestyles and balanced nutrition; to society - youth employment; and to nature - a responsible attitude towards it and its resources and zero negative footprint of operational activities. As a person, I recognize myself in each of these directions. Take, for example, the very strong and popular in Bulgaria initiative "Live Actively!". It began as a symbolic hike of 2,000 people to South Park and other outdoor activities to show how the big problem of obesity can be easily fought with exercise, sports and more time outside. 15 years later, this year, 22 Bulgarian municipalities joined the pedestrian challenge.
What are Nestlé's steps to reduce its environmental footprint?
Our chocolate factory in Sofia has not deposited a kilogram of waste in landfills for more than 6 years. It is achieved through an optimal production process that minimizes the production defects of the finished product and packaging material. We work with suppliers who provide recyclable packaging, disposal of the defective finished product in landfills for biodegradability.
How you as a mother educate your son how important is to protect the nature?
My son is extremely sensitive to the nature. Ne has a focus on collecting paper, sheets, old notebooks, etc., which he throws in the certain containers. He is very strict when it come to that and he provokes everyone in the family to do so. When it comes to me, I try not to waste water from the tap or shower. A very sensitive topic for me is wasting food. It is so wrong to throw it away, taking into consideration that people around the world are starving. We need to think about how much resources are needed to produce this food, electricity, transport fuel, etc., and how much it costs to the nature and its resources.
How does the movement for gender equality, races, affect your corporate culture?
"Respect" is a word that is deeply rooted in our corporate values and culture - to ourselves and others, to the different and to the future. This is the reality we work in. Contractors have told me that in our offices the respect in various aspects is visible. Our ads are based on the same respect and do not aim to attract with scandals and provocation.
How far ahead do you plan? Do you get angry when something or someone disrupts your plans?
I am a person who loves to plan a long way ahead – about a year, for example, talking about both my professional and personal calendar. I am precise in organizing or hosting meetings - my participation should really make sense and contribution. I used to get angry when a meeting fell apart and a "hole" opened up in my calendar. Now I accept it calmly and use the time to catch up with the mountain of tasks that are always waiting. Or I go out for a short walk, for a breath of fresh air - I already appreciate how much it helps in the busy program of virtual meetings.
Do you sometimes do a digital detox?
I have never felt the need of a digital detox. I am blessed to have an internal "relay" that turns on before I burn out mentally or physically.
Do you love animals? They can be a great detox.
From a big cat fan in March I became the owner of a Pomeranian named Luke. Now I wonder how we lived without him. He is extremely fluffy, loving and fills us with his kindness. Luke also helps me in my attempts to show the meaning of the responsibility to my son. To me Luke helps me to move more, with his two or three 30-40-minute walks a day.