Unilever throws weight behind mass sustainability movements

Consumer goods giant Unilever has yet again reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability, this time going beyond its own business practice by partnering with two global sustainability campaigns.

Unilever has partnered with both the Global Citizen and Live Earth: Road to Paris mass movements to achieve its Sustainable Living Plan ambition of growing business while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact.

Commenting on Unilever’s first partnerships on this scale, Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman said: “2015 is a critical moment in time, an opportunity to agree on a universal agenda that tackles poverty and inequality and to all take action to protect the one planet we have.

“As a business we can deploy our resources, expertise and scale to help our consumers to take action. Today, we are adding our support for the growing movement of citizens and businesses demanding change.”

Unilever has already made significant progress with addressing sustainability issues within its own practise, leading to it being named the food products industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2014.


Live Earth: Road to Paris is a campaign designed to draw attention to the issue of climate change ahead of the critical United Nations Climate Change Convention in Paris in December, when leaders will meet to sign an emissions reduction agreement.

The aim of the campaign is to secure a billion voices to urge global leaders to adopt a bold stance, and “take Climate Action Now”.

The campaign, led by Kevin Wall, former vice president Al Gore and creative director Pharrel Williams, kicks off with seven concerts on June 18th simultaneously across the world. Unilever will support the movement with a year-long awareness and activation campaign.

Unilever will also become a leading partner in the effort to build the largest social activism campaign to “Unlock Your Power” and end extreme poverty by 2030 as part of the Global Citizen movement.

Impactful Agents

“Our partnerships with Live Earth: Road to Paris and Global Citizen reflect our commitment to help tackle social and environmental issues wherever we do business,” Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer Keith Weed said. “To us, climate and development issues are intertwined.

“We cannot have a healthy business in an unhealthy world – these are issues that business must play a part to help solve. Unilever reaches 2 billion consumers every day through our brands which gives us a real opportunity to encourage action, empowering people to be part of the positive change they wish to see.

Live Earth executive producer and Co-founder Kevin Wall said: “Unilever has integrated a forward-looking sustainability strategy into its core business in order to truly impact our global climate challenge. “They are committed to working with their customers and empowering billions of people to be impactful agents of climate change.”

Unilever announced it has achieved sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill from its global factory network of 240 factories in 67 countries in January, saving more than €200m in waste costs, and is fast-tracking its policy to sustainably source 100% of its wood-based packaging by the end of 2015 – five years ahead of schedule.

Lucinda Dann

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