Unilever targets parents as ‘unlockers’ of behaviour change

Unilever is following up its Sustainable Living Plan with the launch of Project Sunlight, an initiative to motivate millions of people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles.

The initiative is designed to have universal appeal, but is targeting parents in particular given their influential role in raising future generations.

The first phase of Project sunlight invites people to take three simple actions – to see, act, and join – in order to build better communities that can help drive sustainability at a grassroots level.

Unilever is first inviting people to watch a film online which aims to both inspire and motivate them to then act by doing a number of small things which, added together, will contribute to a better society and environment. Ultimately, the aim is to get the public to join a movement and become part of a growing community of like-minded people and organisations.

Project Sunlight will initially live in an online hub which brings together the social mission stories of Unilever’s brands across the world, and invites consumers to get involved in doing small things which help their own families, others around the world and the planet.

The initiative has been informed by the company’s own wealth of consumer insight, including a new international piece of research that shows children are key to motivating adults to want to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and a powerful influence on parents changing their behaviour.

Findings revealed that for 9 out of 10 parents, their children’s natural optimism and enthusiasm inspires them to make the world a better place, while 7 out of 10 parents say their main motivation for wanting to live in a greener way is their children’s future.

The research also shows that there are key child-related moments, particularly around the birth of a first child, when people are more open to changes in their own behaviours and lifestyles.

According to Unilever chief marketing & communications officer, Keith Weed, the project aims to galvanise and build momentum behind a movement that is already happening.

“We know people want to adopt more sustainable behaviours, but need these to be easy and to fit with the way they live their lives,” he maintained.

“As a global consumer goods company, we have the means to help people realise this ambition. We have extensive experience and research into what drives – and what limits – mass behaviour change.”

Maxine Perella

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