Skip to content

12 ways we made a difference in 2016


From challenging stereotypes in our advertising to generating renewable energy, here’s how we used our Sustainable Living Plan to make a difference this year.

Global Goals 13, Climate action

These are our top picks of the stories showing how we have supported the Sustainable Development Goals in 2016.

1. We challenged gender stereotypes through our #unstereotype advertising campaign

“We don't want to show women as just supporting our product or supporting someone else,” Aline Santos explained. “That isn’t what women are, and it isn’t how women see themselves.”

Supporting Global Goal 5, Gender Equality

How #UNSTEREOTYPE aims to change the way we see gender

A young man and woman in the backseats of a car

2. Our employees made progress in their water-saving work

Some 2.8 billion people live in water-stressed regions. By 2025 that number could increase to 4 billion. That’s around half the world’s population. Read on to find out what our employees are doing to tackle this issue.

Supporting Global Goal 6, Clean water and sanitation

Meet the employees behind our water-saving work

Hand reaching out to water drops

3. Dove encouraged Indian women to break traditional beauty rules

Through its latest campaign – ‘Let’s Break the Rules of Beauty’ Dove invited women to make their own features as celebrated as existing stereotypes

Supporting Global Goal 3, Good health and wellbeing

Why Dove is encouraging India to break the rules of beauty

A group of women posing for the picture

4. The Young Entrepreneurs Awards

From providing digital doctors to constructing recycled homes, we teamed up with seven brilliant young entrepreneurs to find out about their life-changing innovations

Supporting the Global Goals

The Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards

A group of people posing for the picture holding a board with UN's SDGs

5. Our business and brands are delivering a brighter future

From eliminating waste to tackling youth unemployment, our brands launched projects around the world showing how our Sustainable Living Plan works in action

Supporting the Global Goals

How our business and brands are delivering a brighter future

Two ice cream stalls by the beach

6. Taking action on climate change at COP22

“Climate change is a global problem, a bigger challenge than any one company or country can solve alone. But it’s not ‘just’ an environmental challenge,” said Thomas Lingard, Global Climate Advocacy & Sustainability Strategy Director

Supporting Global Goal 13, Climate action

Faster and further: climate action demands business action and policy change

Solar panels

7. Our journey towards becoming carbon positive

Our Foods & Refreshment factory in Pernawan is currently generating around 85% of its energy from renewable sources. We prove it’s possible to generate renewable energy, reducing our carbon footprint

Supporting Global Goal 7, Affordable and clean energy

Towards ‘Carbon Positive’: how we are generating renewable energy

Windmill farm

8. Hellmann's invites kids to learn about their food

Eating greens gets way more interesting when you find out where they come from. Here’s how Hellmann’s engaged young kids and got the healthy message across with its invitation to children to get to know where their food really comes from.

Supporting Global Goal 3, Good health and wellbeing

Hellmann’s invites kids to find out what goes into their food

Kids sitting in a tractor

9. Game changers taking action to reach the Global Goals

Architects, activists and academics were among those who helped us share the #collectiveaction message to drive forward the Global Goals. Find out what people like film-maker Richard Curtis said here

Supporting the Global Goals

How are you taking action on the Global Goals?

A collage of leaders

10. A transgender band helped Brooke Bond celebrate brand values

Brooke Bond helped break down the stigma around transgender people through using its brand purpose

Supporting Global Goal 5, Gender equality

A transgender band helped Brooke Bond live its brand purpose

Two women having a joyful chat whilst walking

11. Recruitment goes digital: finding the best talent through gaming

"From the CV, to the candidate search, to the interview, we’re using technology to create a truly interactive experience allowing us to get a more meaningful connection with applicants,” said Chief HR Officer Leena Nair

Supporting the Global Goals

Game on! Our graduate recruitment drive’s gone digital

A man playing on a console in a subway station

12. The launch of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission

Our CEO Paul Polman co-founded the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, which works to make a powerful business case for driving a sustainable, inclusive economy

Supporting the Global Goals

New global commission puts business at heart of sustainable development

Former Unilever CEO, Paul Polman
Back to top