Unilever

Region: 
Private: 
Public: 
Ticker: 
UNA NA
Market cap: 
$93,014 million
Country of incorporation: 
Netherlands
Industry: 
Consumer Staples
Description: 

Packaged food, detergents, fragrances, home and personal care products. Geographic segments split about evenly, in order of largest to smallest: Asia/Africa, the Americas, Europe. Margerine, yogurt, pasta sauce, pasta, ice cream (owns Ben & Jerry's), salad dressing, ketchup, vinaigrettes, knorr seasonings, lipton teas, slim fast, liquid soaps, cleaners, clothes detergents, soap (dove), vaseline, deoderants (axe), hair gels, lotions, hair conditioners.1

  1. 1. www.unilever.com
Positive Impact – Doing: 

1. Creating green jobs and reducing waste with recycling initiatives in Brazil.1.

2. Unilever Foods factories in S. Africa have begun diverting food waste to make compost used in community vegetable gardens, helping local communities and reducing waste sent to landfill2

  1. 1. http://www.unilever.com/sustainability/casestudies/environment/brazilrec...
  2. 2. http://www.unilever.com/sustainability/casestudies/environment/southafri...
Positive Impact – Talking: 

1. Goal to source all key food raw materials sustainably: tea, tomatoes, spinach, peas, palm oil. All palm oil and tea to be from certified "sustainable sources" by 2015. All tea will be from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Extending goals to coconuts, pineapples, strawberries, gherkins (like cucumbers), dairy, eggs, vegetable oils. "Sustainable agriculture" defined as reducing pesticides/fertilizers, conserving water, using less energy, animal wellfare, biodiversity, and social capital.1

2. Sustainability report2.

  1. 1. www.unilever.com
  2. 2. http://www.unilever.com/sustainability/sustainabledevelopmentreport/
Controversy: 

1. *** 2001:Unilever caught dumping toxic mercury waste from a thermometer factory in Southern India earlier this year. The Anglo-Dutch company recently closed the factory. Community members, however, allege that the multinational has downplayed the dangers of mercury and misled the public in an attempt to cover up the truth.1. Major controvery, but nothing since 2002

2. *** 2002: Multiple UN Global Compact violations: "Unilever has violated Principle 7, "support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges," Principle 8, "undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility," and Principle 9 "promote the diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies" at their thermometer factory in Kodaikanal, India."2

  1. 1. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=935
  2. 2. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=1348
Notes: 

Best practice is seen as "integrated farming" where the "appropriate use of fertilizers and pesticides are used to optimize yield while minimizing environmental impact." Asking agricultural suppliers to commit to and demonstrate minimum standards and to improve over time.1 In other words, the food is not going to be organically grown...

  1. 1. www.unilever.com