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Engaging people in fighting poverty and tackling climate change

June 2015: Later this year, the United Nations will ratify the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – an ambitious framework for sustainable development that includes global targets to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change, empower women, reduce hunger and protect forests by 2030. If the Goals are met, they will ensure the health, safety and future of the planet. And their best chance of being met is if everyone, everywhere is aware of them.

Sharing the Goals with everyone

That is why Unilever is supporting Project Everyone’s Global Goals campaign. This aims to share the SDGs with all 7 billion people on the planet in the seven days after their launch in September – by getting a short explanation of them out through every possible channel from websites, TV stations and cinemas, to newspapers, noticeboards and mobile phones. The idea is that the more famous these Goals are and the more widely they are understood, the more politicians will take them seriously, finance them properly and make them work.

Connecting citizens to take action

But achieving the Goals is not just a job for politicians and governments – everyone needs to play their part. So, Unilever and Project Everyone are also working with Global Citizen – a citizen engagement movement – to help people take the actions in their everyday lives which will contribute to the success of the Goals.

Why the Goals matter to Unilever

The challenges that the Goals aim to transform have a huge impact on our business. Take climate change, for example – water shortages place pressure on business while severe flooding affects distribution networks. Or take gender equality – women make up over 70% of our consumers and they reinvest 90% of their earnings into their families, yet they earn only 10% of the world’s income. By supporting women’s empowerment we are also ensuring our growth.

CEO Paul Polman explains: “Business cannot survive in an environment that doesn’t function. So it’s important that business moves from being a bystander in a system to become an active contributor to improve the system.”

We believe that working to achieve the Global Goals will unlock huge opportunities for business.

Creating a bright future

The Global Goals campaign and Global Citizen are examples of how powerful partnerships are seeking to engage with people at scale, change attitudes and behaviours, transform systems and create movements for sustainable living.

As Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed says: “We’re committed to making the publication of the new Sustainable Development Goals a success. Unilever’s business and brands are already taking action on the issues that the Goals connect with and we hope to be a source of inspiration for people everywhere to make the Goals a reality over the next 15 years. There has never been a better time to create a bright future.”

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