Leading the way in sustainability

The Dow Jones Sustainability Index evaluates how companies perform against a range of sustainability-led criteria – and Unilever has ranked top in the Food Producers sector.

Full marks for health, nutrition & packaging

Unilever once again leads the Food Producers sector with an overall score of 81%, substantially ahead of the average sector score of 45%. Unilever received full marks for its record in Health & Nutrition and Packaging.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) track the financial performance of the leading companies worldwide. Unilever has participated in the annual assessment since its inception in 1999 and has achieved Foods Producers sector leadership every year since.

However, in 2011 Unilever lost its position as leader of the combined Food and Beverages ‘super sector’, which the company had held for 12 years.

“We’re very proud of having retained our position as leader of the Food Producers sector for the 13th consecutive year,” says Gavin Neath, SVP, Sustainability at Unilever. “And especially pleased that we maintained a 100% score in Health & Nutrition and Packaging and improved our scores in a number of other measurement criteria.

“But we are disappointed that having led the Food & Beverage ‘super-sector’ for 12 consecutive years, we’ve been knocked off the top spot. We congratulate PepsiCo and will use this disappointment as a spur to do even better next year.”

About the DJSI

The sustainability scores are based on an analysis of economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as climate strategy, supply-chain standards and labour practices, with a strong focus on long-term shareholder value.

While the Indexes provide a way for companies to measure their progress in sustainability, they also have an important financial dimension. Investors perceive sustainability as a catalyst for enlightened and disciplined management and thus a crucial business success factor. They have become a tool for those seeking to support companies that are committed to creating and adopting sustainable business practices.

As a result of its performance, Unilever is a member of both the DJSI World and DJSI Europe Indexes.

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Safe harbour statement

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘intends’, ‘believes’ or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among others, competitive pricing and activities, economic slowdown, industry consolidation, access to credit markets, recruitment levels, reputational risks, commodity prices, continued availability of raw materials, prioritisation of projects, consumption levels, costs, the ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain sources, consumer demands, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions and complete planned divestitures, the ability to complete planned restructuring activities, physical risks, environmental risks, the ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments, political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the Group operates and new or changed priorities of the Boards. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group’s filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2010. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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