Unilever is a unique company, with a proud history and a bright future. We have ambitious plans for sustainable growth and an intense sense of social purpose.
A clear direction
Our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. 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 The Compass – our strategy for sustainable growth. It sets out our clear and compelling vision to double the size of the business, while reducing our environmental footprint and increasing our positive social impact and gives life to our determination to build a sustainable business for the long term. This is captured in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.
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.
"We cannot close our eyes to the challenges that the world faces. Business must make an explicit and positive contribution to addressing them. I’m convinced we can create a more equitable and sustainable world for all of us by doing so,” says Unilever CEO Paul Polman.
“But this means that business has to change. The Unilever Sustainable Plan is a blueprint for sustainable growth.”
Our priorities and 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 was celebrated by 200 million people across 53 countries in 2013.
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 and 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.