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.

Read the full article here.

Photo of Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Unilever’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, courtesy of Unilever.

About Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of and its advisory division, GGP Media. Contact him to discuss how he can work with your organization or event. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). He writes for San Francisco-based Triple Pundit, Inhabitat and now The Guardian, for which he writes about waste, water, and green building. He has also written for AIA's Architect Magazine. Leon lives in Los Angeles, and when he has free time, he enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, weightlifting, and planning his next trip to one of the 50+ countries he has visited. He has an MBA from USC's Marshall School of Business and is also a proud graduate of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) and Cal State-Fresno.