How Unilever Engages Brands to Change the World
It is not easy for a $60 billion company that conducts business in just about every country, AND sells a wide array of food and consumer products, to change the world. But Unilever, through its Sustainable Living Plan, is accomplishing massive environmental and social change on several fronts.
Today the first installment of a series devoted to Unilever was posted today on Sustainable Brands. I cover the early days of Unilever’s shift back in 2006. Rather than simply building a corporate social responsibility or CSR department, Unilever’s executives decided that the brands themselves would be the locus of change. The program launched in 2010 with plenty of support–and skepticism. But two years into the program, the results are trickling in–well, more of a gush. From water and sanitation crises in the developing world to tackling food waste, Unilever’s push to revamp its supply chain and internal operations are beginning to pay dividends. Fair trade ingredients, hand washing and even toilet academies are amongst Unilever’s initiatives to groom its business while cutting its environmental impact in half–and make the lives of 1 billion poor people better. And most assuring is the fact that the company is updating stakeholders on its progress with complete transparency.
Photo of Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Unilever’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, courtesy of Unilever.