On any given day, two billion people use Unilever products to look good, feel good and get more out of life.
Paul Polman, Unilever CEO
We can no longer pretend that business can immunise itself from the rising tide of environmental challenges.
With more than 400 brands focused on health and wellbeing, no company touches so many people’s lives in so many different ways.
Our portfolio ranges from nutritionally balanced foods to indulgent ice creams, affordable soaps, luxurious shampoos and everyday household care products. We produce world-leading brands including Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Axe, Hellmann’s and Omo, alongside trusted local names such as Blue Band, Pureit and Suave.
Unilever BrightFuture is a global initiative which is creating an unprecedented movement for sustainable living
For us, sustainability is integral to how we do business. With 7 billion people on our planet, the earth’s resources can be strained. This means sustainable growth is the only acceptable model of growth for our business. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple our growth from our environmental impact, while at the same time increasing our positive social impact. Our Plan has three big goals that by 2020 will enable us to:
- Help more than a billion people to improve their health and well-being.
- Halve the environmental footprint of our products.
- Source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably and enhance the livelihoods of people across our value chain.
To embed sustainability into every stage of the life cycle of our products, we’re working with our suppliers to support responsible approaches to agriculture. We’re also learning from NGOs and other organisations, recognising that building a truly sustainable business is not something we can do without expert advice.
At the heart of our business is our purpose – to make sustainable living commonplace. Companies are increasingly realising the role that purpose can play and Unilever along with many others has signed up to the Blueprint for Better Business initiative, which helps business develop their purpose and embed it within the organisation, as well as move the conversation of the business sector as a whole.
We believe that as a business we have a responsibility to our consumers and to the communities in which we have a presence. Around the world we invest in local economies and develop people’s skills inside and outside of Unilever. And through our business and brands, we run a range of programmes to promote hygiene, nutrition, empowerment and environmental awareness.
Impact & innovation
We realise innovation is key to our progress, and through cutting-edge science we’re constantly enhancing our brands, improving their nutritional properties, taste, fragrance, or functionality.
We invest around €1 billion every year in research and development, and have established laboratories around the world where our scientists explore new thinking and techniques, applying their expertise to our products.
Consumer research plays a vital role in this process. Our unrivalled global reach allows us to get closer to consumers in local markets, ensuring we understand their diverse needs and priorities.
About our brands
From long-established names like Lifebuoy, Sunlight and Pond’s to new innovations such as the Pureit affordable water purifier, our range of brands is as diverse as our worldwide consumer base.
Unilever has more than 400 brands, 14 of which generate sales in excess of €1 billion a year.
Many of these brands have long-standing, strong social missions, including Lifebuoy’s drive to promote hygiene through handwashing with soap, and Dove’s campaign for real beauty.
Business facts & figures
Our turnover was €48.4 billion in 2014
Emerging markets now account for 57% of our business
We have 13 brands with sales of more than €1 billion a year
More than 172,000 people work for Unilever
We are the number 1 fast-moving consumer goods employer of choice among students in 26 countries
43% of our managers are women
Around 303 million people were reached by the end of 2013 through our programmes on handwashing, safe drinking water, oral health and self-esteem
We have reduced our waste impact by around 11% since 2010
Around 48% of our agricultural raw materials were sourced sustainably by the end of 2013