Unilever recognised for sustainability leadership

Unilever ranked first in global online sustainability survey and awarded Ethical Corporation’s top Responsible Business Award.

"Unilever’s efforts will shape whole industries for years to come"

Following Unilever’s number one ranking in think-tank SustainAbility’s survey of 559 global sustainability experts in April 2011, Ethical Corporation has awarded the company the Responsible Business Award in the ‘High Performance’ category at its annual awards.

Ethical Corporation judges and SustainAbility survey respondents commended Unilever for the scale and vision of its Sustainable Living Plan and the strong alignment and deep integration of sustainability into its operations.

2011 Survey on Sustainability Leadership

The online SustainAbility survey was carried out by research company GlobeScan and published by Greenbiz.com.

More experts – 15% of respondents – rated Unilever as the sustainability leader than any other company, ahead of General Electric, Interface, Walmart and Marks & Spencer. In last year’s survey, only 5% singled out Unilever – and the dramatic improvement was due to the release of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan in November 2010.

Respondents, representing a cross-section of experts from business, academia, consultancy and the public sector, reacted to the escalation of Unilever’s sustainability focus compared with more incremental steps taken by other businesses.

"The result of this survey is a huge vote of confidence in Unilever’s sustainability efforts," says Karen Hamilton, VP Sustainability."

"Our 2020 targets – to halve the environmental footprint of our products, to help more than 1 billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, and to source 100% of agricultural raw materials sustainably – have impressed this highly credible panel of experts, and rightly so. And as we work to deliver on these targets, our leadership position will go from strength to strength in the eyes of the world."

Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Award

The award in the 'High performance' category comes from leading publisher Ethical Corporation.

In their commendation, judges cited the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan’s three major 2020 targets and praised the company’s holistic approach to sustainability: for instance, the way its plan covers the entirety of the lifecycle, from sourcing raw materials through to the energy and water needed by people to cook, clean and wash with Unilever’s products.

"We can be very proud of winning this award," says Karen Hamilton, VP Sustainability.

"The judges told us they felt Unilever had demonstrated strong business leadership over the years on sustainability, and that this earlier work provided the platform for a genuinely innovative set of commitments in the Plan. They also said that Unilever’s efforts will shape not just the business but whole industries for years to come."

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