Brazil: Unilever & Walmart demonstrate sustainable living

Unilever's sustainable house shows Wal-Mart customers how to live in an environmentally friendly way.

Casa do BemA house with a message

Small changes in our living habits and shopping choices can have a huge impact on the environment and improve our lives. Unilever and Wal-Mart have launched an environmental awareness campaign in Brazil called 'Casa do Bem' (Sustainable House) to get this message across to consumers.

As part of the campaign, sustainable show houses have been installed in the supermarket's Brazilian stores. Each sustainable house has four sections – a garden, kitchen, laundry room and bathroom. Customers who step inside hear messages and tips on how to lead a more environmentally-friendly life. Visitors can also play interactive games to learn about recycling, natural resources and environmental conservation.

The houses are built from recycled and environmentally-friendly materials. The wood is certified by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA). The furniture and floors are made from recycled tubes of toothpaste and the flowers from recycled mayonnaise containers. Water-based inks are used for painting and most of the fabrics – including the guides’ uniforms – are made from bamboo viscose.

"The main objective is to show how much simple attitudes can contribute to the health of the planet and the quality of life of the consumer’s family," explains Adriana Muratore, Trade Category Management & Shopper Understanding Director Unilever Brazil.

Casa-do-Bem-125x110Working in partnership

Wal-Mart is working to improve its sustainability credentials worldwide. It has selected Unilever as its lead partner in these efforts, citing our strong track record in sustainability as the main reason for this decision. The Casa do Bem campaign, which builds on the success of a similar initiative undertaken in Argentina in 2006, is one example of this partnership. It is the first part of a wider campaign designed to encourage sustainable living.

As Juliana Nunes, Unilever Brazil's Corporate Affairs Director, explains: "This partnership between Unilever and Wal-Mart consolidates the concern both companies have for educating, engaging and sensitising their stakeholders to environmental issues".

The campaign was launched to commemorate World Environment Day in June 2007 with a two-week event at three Wal-Mart hypermarkets in São Paulo. The sustainable houses will roll out to eleven other stores throughout the country. Anyone who is unable to visit the selected stores can visit a virtual house online. Unilever plans to distribute more than 25 000 environmental education booklets and 50 000 leaflets with sustainability tips during the first phase of the campaign.