Tackling climate & development together

Today, we can be the first generation to bring an end to poverty. We are also the last which has the responsibility for preventing run-away climate change.

During 2015 three international United Nations summits could secure agreement among all the governments of the world to a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that run to 2030, to binding commitments for long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and to mechanisms for financing the process of change.

Taken together the UN summits on Financing for Development in July, the adoption of the SDGs in September, and a climate deal in December present a unique opportunity to set the world firmly on the path to a more inclusive, fair and sustainable economy.

Improving human development and combating climate change must go hand in hand. On both objectives we believe the cost of inaction will prove greater than the cost of acting now. Already, the consequences of climate change are increasing our operating costs significantly. At the same time, rising prosperity from improvements in human development promises growth opportunities for our business.

Business as a whole has a vital role to play in achieving the proposed new goals, just as it has been involved in climate change. Unilever has coordinated the development of a Post-2015 Business Manifesto supported by a growing number of companies. We believe the economic and business case for engagement in the SDGs is as strong as that already made for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It is only by embracing a transformation in the way we tackle climate change, end poverty and accelerate economic development that we can all make the most of the opportunities which lie ahead.

Our advocacy objectives & principal partnerships

Unilever works with a number of organisations and platforms to help achieve these goals. We work with four main strategic partners.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organisation of nearly 200 forward-thinking companies. It represents the leading voice of sustainable business and helps companies scale up business solutions with impact. Our CEO Paul Polman serves as the chairman of WBCSD.

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF), an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation.

Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), which brings together consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in pursuit of business practices for efficiency and positive change across our industry, so benefiting shoppers, consumers and the world without impeding competition.

United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

In addition to working with our partners above, we are contributing to the efforts of the following organisations and initiatives, to accelerate the changes we seek.

Global Commission on the Economy and Climate

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, which is a major new international initiative to analyse and communicate the economic benefits and costs of acting on climate change. Chaired by former President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, the New Climate Economy is the Commission’s flagship project. It provides independent and authoritative evidence on the relationship between actions which can strengthen economic performance and those which reduce the risk of dangerous climate change.

The B Team

The B Team is led by a founding group of global business leaders. Its aim is to catalyse a better way of doing business for the well-being of people and the planet by adopting a Plan B for business.

Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change

The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change is a group of European business leaders working together under the leadership of His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, with the support and advice of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. It advocates climate change solutions with policymakers and businesses, within the EU and globally.

Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy

Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy, a project led by Ceres, is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policymakers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation that will enable a rapid transition to a low-carbon 21st century economy, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth along the way.

Post-2015 Business Manifesto Group

The Post-2015 Business Manifesto group is endorsed by a growing number of businesses. The Business Manifesto articulates business support for the global development agenda and private sector commitment to help deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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