Unilever pushes for sustainable living


‘Influencing other companies, changing the world’

BY MA. CRISTINA C. ARAYATA

Unilever believes that it can double business without sacrificing the environment, and that it can follow through a commitment and make an impact to a large proportion of people.

In a press conference, Unilever reiterates that it continues its Sustainable Living Plan, a plan which started in 2010 and has three big goals, which it targets to achieve by 2020:

  1. Help more than 1 billion people improve their health and well-being
  2. Halve environmental footprint of its products
  3. Source 100 percent of agricultural raw products sustainability

“We are confident we can influence other companies. We believe we can make a change in the world,” said Rohit Jawa, Unilever Philippines chairman and CEO. He added that the company aims to eliminate deforestation and help address climate change.

Jawa also noted that they are deepening their program on sustainable development. “We saw we can make a big difference than the first time we started.”

For instance in 2013, 48 percent of the agricultural goal was recorded, while 31 percent of Unilever’s goal met the highest nutritional standards in the same year. Furthermore, from 2008-2013, 75 percents of Unilever sites have zero-waste landfill. By 2013, a total of 303 million people were reached.

Unilever is also helping women create business opportunities by teaching them how to put up a sari-sari store. The company targets to empower a total of 5 million women by 2020.

With regard to improving health and hygiene, Unilever has partnered with UNICEF for the Global Watch Program. It has also partnered with Kabisig ng Kalahi and the World Food Programme.

On nutrition

Globally, Unilever’s nutrition program has been running for more than a decade now, according to Jawa. He also mentioned that in the Philippines, Unilever brands (e.g. Knorr) has nutrition label on its front pack.

As the company notes the importance of proper hygiene, it conducts activities every year during the observance of the World Handwashing Day. Unilever realized that many people don’t have their own toilets and access to one. During the forum, it was noted that millions of children die from cholera, and this can be prevented simply by washing hands.

In an interview with Vital Signs, Jawa cited that the company gives importance to taking care of the children, reason why they’re conducting activities during World Handwashing Day.

VitalSigns Issue 65 Vol. 3, July 1-31, 2014

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