Unilever Hero: Robert Bellezza
Making a difference
Many of us have moments when we feel we should be making more of a difference, that there should be a wider purpose to our work lives. Robert Bellezza didn’t just think it; he did something about it. He set up an initiative that has enabled hundreds of Unilever employees to make an impact in their local communities.
Robert noticed that his colleagues in supply chain were giving their time to various social projects, but that there was no co-ordination. In 2016, he established Purpose Driven Communities to recognise these pockets of excellence, with the company giving people the time and resources to get involved.
Bringing purpose into the workplace has led to a cultural shift across our North America supply chain. There are already over 600 ‘Change Makers and Do-Gooders’ across more than 20 sites, who are helping others through community service and grass-roots initiatives. They connect via a Facebook page, showing through their stories how small actions do make a big difference.
Purpose Driven Communities has translated into social initiatives in the form of community gardens, local hero recognition, site-to-site mentorship and much more. For example, Dove Baby baskets have been donated to new mothers, $40,000 has been channelled through grants for community projects, and an annual Community Challenge has been founded – where four projects have helped thousands.
The cultural shift has also had an impact on business results. Since Purpose Driven Communities launched, safety-related incidents have fallen by 50%, quality incidents are down 63%, our customer service score has risen from 94% to 97%, and carbon, energy and water usage are all down.
“People want to be part of organisations that stand for something bigger than just the products they make,” says Robert. “They want a larger purpose in their work environment and are motivated by the leaders and companies that provide this.”