A clear direction
We work to create a better future every day, with brands and services that help people feel good, look good, and get more out of life.
In 2009, we launched what we call The Compass – Unilever’s strategy for sustainable growth. It sets out a clear and compelling vision of our future, in which our brands and services reach and inspire people across the world, helping us double the size of our business while reducing our environmental footprint and increasing our positive social impact.
It’s a goal we’re seeking to achieve by developing new ways of doing business through which we can minimise our direct impact and improve hygiene, nutrition, opportunities and health for communities.
We’re working with our suppliers, consumers and the retailers who sell our brands to improve their sustainability credentials too.
By combining our multinational expertise with our deep roots in diverse local cultures, we’re continuing to provide a range of products to suit a wealth of consumers. We’re also strengthening our strong relationships in the emerging markets we believe will be significant for our future growth.
And by leveraging our global reach and inspiring people to take small, everyday actions, we believe we can help make a big difference to the world.
"Achieving significant growth objectives while decoupling growth from environmental impact and increasing our positive social impact is a bold but challenging vision,” says Unilever CEO Paul Polman.
“Not many companies have yet taken it on. But I believe it’s the only viable vision. One that builds on Unilever’s long-term heritage and achievement, while supporting a responsible future.”
Our priorities & principles
Unilever is committed to supporting sustainability and providing our consumers around the world with the products they need to look good, feel good and get more out of life.
Five key priorities provide the foundation for our brand’s campaigns. Read some examples of how different brands are upholding these principles.
A better future for children
Our oral care brands Signal and Close-Up encourage children to brush their teeth day and night for optimal dental health. We also partner the FDI World Dental Federation, supporting oral health programmes around the world
Brands such as Omo and Persil have helped parents believe the unconventional philosophy that Dirt is Good. Children learn through play, and mud spatters and grass stains can easily be removed with effective laundry products
Unilever also partners the World Food Programme and launched the Together for Child Vitality initiative to bring our expertise in nutrition to children in some of the world’s poorest countries.
A healthier future
Our Flora/Becel margarine brands have been scientifically proven to help reduce cholesterol levels
Vaseline has launched the Vaseline Skin Care Foundation, providing research into skin conditions and support for people affected by them
Lifebuoy soap has long had a presence in developing markets around the world, and its campaign to promote handwashing with soap has reached more than 70 million people in rural India.
A more confident future
Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty uses real women instead of models in its advertising campaigns. The brand has also launched the Dove Self Esteem Fund which educates and inspires millions of young women
Our Sunsilk hair care brand has partnered some of the world’s leading hair specialists to co-create formulas tailored to treat conditions such as hair-fall, frizz, limp locks and uncontrollable curls
Close-Up toothpaste provides an affordable oral care solution for consumers in developing markets, allowing them to take care of their dental health and closer with confidence.
A better future for the planet
We’re aiming to grow our business while reducing our environmental footprint and working across the supply chain for every brand to do so
Our Laundry brands, including Surf, Omo, Persil and Comfort, have launched the Cleaner Planet Plan together, encouraging consumers to change their laundry habits to reduce water and energy consumption
Our Lipton tea brand backs sustainable forest management projects in Africa
A better future for farming & farmers
Many of our brands contain ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients that are independently certified
Among these are Lipton tea, which is accredited by the Rainforest Alliance, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which includes Fairtrade vanilla and almonds in various flavours
Around half our raw materials come from agriculture and forestry, so we’re working towards making our key crops 100% sustainable.