In my second in a series on Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, I describe how the company executed its plan to change consumer behavior via its brands. The challenge was tough, but two years into this initiative, Unilever is making an impressive difference. Brands such as Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s, Lifebuoy, and even Hellmann’s Mayonnaise are behind efforts to boost fair trade, animal welfare and public health. What I admire about Unilever is its transparency, as I argue on Sustainable Brands’ web site:

No matter how ambitious, responsible or empowering Unilever’s goals may be, the company’s progress must be quantified in order to show its stakeholders – with total clarity and transparency – metrics. With reporting focused on what had been done instead of what will be done, Unilever’s shares its progress across its entire value chain with updated reports on over 50 targets.

This is not just about “doing good,” but in fact, it is more about smart business. Markets in developed economies are tapped out--future growth is in markets such as the usual suspects--India and China--as well as Latin America and Africa. For companies like Unilever to find success in emerging markets, they have got to be an engage stakeholder. And on this front, Unilever is showing how corporate social responsibility is wicked smart strategy.

Read the full article here.

Image credit of Unilever R&D Center in Bangalore, India: Wikipedia

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.