Earlier this year, we announced a set of ambitious commitments and actions to help build a more equitable and inclusive society. These include ensuring that everyone who directly provides goods and services to us earns at least a living wage or income by 2030, and spending €2 billion annually with suppliers owned and managed by people from under-represented groups by 2025.
This week, we took an important next step towards those goals at a mid-year Unilever Partner with Purpose Connect event, attended by 1,000 of our key partners and stakeholders, from some 450 companies.
The event follows on from the launch of our Unilever Partner with Purpose (UPWP) programme in December last year, which set out to take purpose-led partnerships to a whole new level to fuel market-leading innovations, protect and regenerate nature, and make sustainable living commonplace.
During Tuesday’s event, we asked our partners to join us in our journey towards meeting our social commitments by making a ‘Partner Promise’ on two commitments on Living Wage & Living Income, and Supplier Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.
Along with our partners, including IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative, we are aiming to break the cycle of poverty and strengthen the foundations of the global economy. Through our Living Wage & Living Income Promise, we are inviting them to demonstrate their shared values to scale up solutions for workers in global value chains, for example through initiatives such as the IDH Call to Action, with the ultimate goal of improving lives and livelihoods.
We have asked our supplier partners to address any living wage gaps in their own organisations as well as in their value chains, and to transparently report on progress.
We also asked them to commit to our Supplier Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Promise and commit to addressing social inequality in their businesses, by setting goals to achieve diversity and gender equity, and increasing diverse spend through inclusive policies and practices.
As Dave Ingram, our Chief Procurement Officer, says: “If all our partners commit to increase their spend with diverse suppliers, it will exponentially scale up and accelerate the transformation of our value chain. My big ambition is that our partners will consider the value of supplier diversity and engage and commit to it across their full network.
“We will be asking partners in the coming month to make a public commitment on these agendas, pledging their support to working alongside us to achieve our social goals.”