We have strong values and clear policies and standards to ensure our employees not only do things right but also do the right thing.
We expect everyone at Unilever to be an ambassador for our high ethical standards – what we call ‘business integrity’. We want to create an environment where employees not only live our values in their own work – integrity, respect, responsibility and pioneering– but are vigilant in identifying potential concerns, and confident about speaking up in such situations.
Our ambitions do not stop there. We aim to have a positive influence across our value chain, working with suppliers, distributors and all third parties to raise the bar on issues such as human rights and anti-bribery and corruption.
Unilever’s Business Integrity programme brings our values to life for all employees, and helps them apply our ethical standards day-to-day. In addition to our Code of Business Principles, it includes clear policies, guidelines and related learning materials, as well as robust procedures and controls to help us prevent, detect and respond to any inappropriate behaviour.
Our focus on business integrity makes Unilever stronger. It helps us to attract, retain and engage the best employees, and better able to select the right suppliers and business partners. It protects our people, our assets, our reputation and our relationships with stakeholders. It supports the conditions to work collaboratively, both internally and with our partners. And ultimately it helps us grow sustainably and deliver on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP).
Setting out our standards of behaviour
Our Business Integrity framework ensures that how we do business is fully aligned with our values and applicable laws and regulations in countries where we operate. It has three pillars:
- Prevention – we seek to embed a culture of integrity at all levels, in all geographies
- Detection – we encourage employees to speak up and give voice to their values
- Response – We have the tools to investigate and if necessary sanction confirmed breaches, and use what we learn to continually improve.
Our Code of Business Principles (launched in 1995) and 24 related Code Policies (updated and also published externally in 2016 and subsequently updated in 2020) are at the heart of our Business Integrity framework. They help us put our values of integrity, respect, responsibility and pioneering into practice. They play a key role in setting out how we seek to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, protect our brands and reputation, and prevent harm to people or the environment.
The Code and Code Policies provide a framework of simple ‘Musts’ and ‘Must Nots’ designed to be readily applied by employees in their day-to-day work. They are mandatory for all employees and others working for Unilever, including our Board of Directors, and apply to all Unilever companies, subsidiaries and organisations over which Unilever has management control.
Business integrity & the USLP: values & value
Doing business ethically – and with integrity – is central to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. Further disclosures on how we implement and report on the outcomes of Code of Business Principles and Code Policies, which directly relate to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, can be found below and throughout our Sustainable Living Report.
Code of Business Principles
Our Code of Business Principles (PDF | 9MB) is a simple ethical statement of how we should operate. We publish this externally and expect all others who work with us to set themselves equally high principles. Find out more about these Principles below.
Our Code Policies (PDF | 9MB) define the ethical behaviours that we all need to demonstrate when working for Unilever. They are mandatory. While these are for internal use, we also publish them externally in support of transparency. Find out more about these Policies below.