Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan

A ten-year plan to improve in absolute the environmental and social footprint while doubling the size of business


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US United States
Web http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/


About the project Edit

Unilever is an Anglo–Dutch multinational consumer goods company. Its products include foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. It is the world's third-largest consumer goods company measured by 2011 revenues.

They decided that business as usual was not longer the way to go. They thus had to reinvent their company. The compensation system was changed. They moved away from quarterly profit reporting – a major contributor to the financial crisis – and invested in the long-term drivers for growth. Things like R&D, quality and brands, new factories and training and development of employees.

The USLP was launched in 2010 with three overarching goals:
- To help a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.
- To halve the environmental impact of products.
- And to source 100% of agricultural raw materials sustainably, protecting the livelihoods of
more than 500,000 smallholder farmers in the process.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

With the USLP, Unilever is taking responsibility not just for their own direct operations but for their suppliers, distributors and - crucially - for how their consumers use their brands. Underpinning the Plan are over 50 targets. These targets are implemented within the chain value itself.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Unilever is opening its potential for impact through every step of its value chain. It's undertakings are also contributing to the success of the company:
- lowering costs by cutting the use of resources;
- lowering risks by internalising challenges like climate change;
- creating stable supply by working directly with small hold farmers;
- motivating employees; and.
- leveraging their brands as a force for good.

Some of Unilever's succesfull projects so far include:
- Dove, driving female self esteem through its Campaign for Real Beauty;
- Domestos, improving health and sanitation through its Toilet Academies and commitment to build 500,000 toilets.
- Pure-it providing clean drinking water to millions around the world;
- Knorr driving sustainable agriculture through its Sustainability Partnerships.

Because the challenges ahead are so big, Unilever wishes to involve other actors in their venture, helping it scale up. This is why they are now key members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition. It brings together the CEOs of 8 Dutch multinationals that are pioneering sustainable growth business models: AkzoNobel, FrieslandCampina, Heineken, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, DSM, Philips, Shell and Unilever. The Coalition has three goals to (a) shape (b) share and (c) stimulate.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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