Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL/ Company) is committed to operate and grow its business in a socially responsible way. Our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. It’s the foundation for our relationships and how we choose our resources. It shapes the value we create for all our stakeholders. It governs our business model. We have long held the belief that being a responsible, sustainable business makes a stronger, better business. The Compass Commitments announced by the Company last year puts serving its stakeholders at the heart of everything the business does. We are committed to the Unilever Compass strategy to create a movement in which all our stakeholders will be part of building a better future.
B. COMPANY’S OBJECTIVES AND PHILOSOPHY:
This Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy of the Company, as recommended by the CSR Committee and approved by the Board of Directors (Board), outlines a clear agenda through which we will continue to contribute to the community at large. The objective of this Policy is to set the direction for the CSR activities of the Company by defining the governance, implementation, and monitoring framework of the activities to ensure effectiveness.
Our multi-stakeholder model is being embedded into the business completely, so the business can continue to be a force for good. Our Compass strategy has a comprehensive and ambitious set of commitments and actions to:
- Improve the health of the planet;
- Improve people’s health, confidence and wellbeing; and
- Contribute to a fairer, more socially inclusive world.
To know more about our sustainability strategy, click on the link: https://www.unilever.com/planet-and-society/. Apart from the aforesaid initiatives of the Company encompassing sustainability in business, the Company has been actively engaged in various CSR projects involving, inter-alia, water conservation, nutrition, health, cleanliness, waste management and environmental sustainability.
C. REGULATORY FRAMEWORK:
The Companies Act, 2013 together with the rules notified thereunder and Schedule VII to the Act and circular(s) and notification(s) issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), from time to time (‘the Act’), provides a framework for companies to define the focus areas in the CSR space. The law also guides companies to apply the scope as defined under Schedule VII to the Act liberally to follow the law in letter and spirit. Further, the Act also provides instructions on agencies eligible for implementation through which the companies may spend its CSR expenditure. HUL’s CSR Policy, focus areas and the implementing agencies shall therefore remain within the boundary set by the law. The provisions herein shall be read in consonance with the Act.
D. FOCUS AREAS:
As a responsible corporate citizen, the Company is committed to sustainable development and inclusive growth and has been focusing on a wide range of issues in relation to water conservation, health and hygiene, skill development, education, social advancement, gender equality, empowerment of women, ensuring environmental sustainability and rural development projects.
The Company has following focus areas for undertaking its CSR activities:
Promoting Health & Hygiene and Nutrition
Promoting and encouraging healthy and hygienic habits; focus on nutrition; advocacy for behavior change; sanitation and cleanliness; waste management, collection and segregation; providing necessary medical support through Telemedicine Centres, Mobile Medical Units, Health Camps, etc.
Environmental Sustainability and Water Conservation including drinking water and creating Eco Model Villages
Environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora and fauna, conservation of natural resources, measures to prevent climate change and creating water positive, zero waste to landfill and carbon neutral villages. Promoting water security, water use efficiency, regenerative agriculture. Supporting awareness generation, innovation and incubation. Supporting implementation for soil and moisture conservation in flagship government programmes including National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
Rural Development, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship Development and Education
Strengthening rural areas by promoting and enhancing alternate livelihoods, empowering women entrepreneurs, promoting gender equality, economic empowerment etc. Skill development including employment enhancing vocational skills, entrepreneurship development in skilling and in value chains; supporting business incubators.
Promoting education through special education and developing infrastructure of aanganwadi centers, primary schools, etc
Managing and responding to disasters, if any, measures for disaster recovery; undertaking relief, rehabilitation and re-construction measures and activities.
While the Company will primarily engage in the CSR activities specified in the aforesaid focus areas, the Company can support or undertake any of the following activities as per Schedule VII to the Act, as amended, attached as Annexure A. The list is illustrative and must be interpreted liberally to capture the essence of the subjects enumerated above.
This CSR Policy issued pursuant to the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014, as amended from time to time has been recommended by the CSR Committee of the Board and adopted by the Board. It can be downloaded from our website –https://www.hul.co.in/investor-relations/corporate-social-responsibility/
E. SURPLUS FROM THE CSR ACTIVITIES:
The CSR activities undertaken/to be undertaken by the Company are not expected to lead to any additional surplus. However, if any additional surplus is generated, it would be dealt in compliance with the provisions of the Act.
F. GOVERNANCE MECHANISM:
We follow structured governance procedures which comprise of a 3 (three) tier governance mechanism to monitor CSR activities.
I. Board of Directors:
i. The Board monitors and reviews the performance and impact of the CSR programmes, provides input and guidance and satisfies itself that the CSR funds so disbursed are aligned to the CSR Policy of the Company and have been utilized for the purposes and in the manner as approved by it. Further, the Board of the Company, upon recommendation of the CSR Committee, may proceed to commence any ongoing projects or classify an existing project as an ongoing project in the circumstances beyond the Company’s control. If the required amount to be spent by the Company may not be expended in its entirety in the relevant financial year, the Company shall ensure due compliance with the necessary provisions under the Act including reclassification of the project as ongoing project. Ongoing Project(s) shall have the same meaning as provided under the Act read with rules.
ii. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Company shall certify that the CSR funds so disbursed have been utilized for the purposes and in the manner approved by the Board.
II. CSR Committee of the Board:
The CSR Committee provides oversight and guidance on CSR performance and monitors compliance with the CSR Policy, commitments and the applicable CSR provisions and if required make necessary recommendations to the Board, from time to time. The role and responsibilities of CSR Committee shall be as set out in the Act and the terms of reference of CSR Committee.
III. Periodic Monitoring by Leadership Team:
The Leadership team works with the Management Committee and meets periodically to discuss the progress of our initiatives including implementation, funding etc of the CSR projects.
G. Guidance with respect to CSR Obligations, Selection, Implementation and Monitoring of CSR activities is attached as Annexure B.
H. LIMITATION AND AMENDMENT:
The Board of the Company may in their discretion and on recommendation of the CSR Committee, make any changes/modifications and/or amendments to this Policy from time to time. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this Policy and statutory requirements, law shall prevail over and automatically be applicable to this Policy. In the event of any amendment to the Act, this Policy shall be deemed to have been amended accordingly.