We have set out to make a difference to those big issues that matter most to our business and to the world.
Our goal: transformational change at system level
Our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is a bold ambition to achieve change within our company - through our brands, innovation, sourcing and operations. But the stark truth is that we are just one company among many and the problems our society faces – climate change, inequality, hunger - are urgent, large and complex. Change in our own business is not enough. Incremental improvements beyond our business are not enough.
We need fundamental change to whole systems if we are to make a genuine difference on the issues that matter for our business and the world. We call this transformational change. It combines our own actions with partnerships and external advocacy on public policy to create change on a systemic scale, which contributes to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Increasingly, we’re finding new ways to help bring about these systemic changes. This is a responsibility but also an opportunity, because resilient societies and economies are ones in which businesses such as Unilever can flourish. We are working on four main areas where we believe we can make the biggest difference:
- Taking action on climate change and forests
- Improving livelihoods and creating more opportunities for women
- Improving health & well-being – particularly in water, sanitation and hygiene
- Championing sustainable agriculture, focused land use and food security
At the heart of our transformational change agenda are the twin goals of combating climate change and promoting human development. Across all of the four main areas that we’re working on, the role of women is crucial, both as partners and beneficiaries. Women are also critical to eradicating poverty and accelerating global development, so we’re creating more opportunities for women across our value chain.
Transformational change means using our scale and influence to alter the systems we’re part of so positive change becomes possible. It is about making our voice heard through advocacy on policy and regulation; collaborating with others to extend our reach and impact and; convening progressive businesses with specific expertise to tackle multi-faceted issues.
We are stepping up our engagement with governments, NGOs and others in our industry. We are developing a range of partnerships that will catalyse new solutions to complex problems. And we’re continuing to test new solutions in our business to demonstrate that change at scale is achievable.