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In the spotlight: HUL’s sustainability champions

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A hand holding a small plant with soil

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.

Robert Swan

It is World Environment Day, and this quote from Robert Swan rings truer than ever. Global temperature has almost risen 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. While that may not seem a lot, in the context of the global ecosystem, it is close to being catastrophic. As Robert said, no one else is going to save our planet. It has to start from us – a collective action to curb climate change as we reflect on the delicate balance between human needs and the planet's capacity to fulfil them.

This year’s World Environment Day campaign focuses on land restoration, stopping desertification, and building drought resilience under the slogan ‘Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.’

At HUL, we strive towards making sustainable living commonplace through the collective dedication of our employees, each contributing to a sustainable future.

For example, through the Hindustan Unilever Foundation we have positively impacted over 15,000 villages across India and along with our partners we have created a cumulative water potential of over 3.2 Tn litres, a quantity enough to meet the drinking water needs of India for two years. At HUL, sustainability is the sum of countless individual actions over the years that have positively impacted our environment and the communities in which we operate.

In that spirit, let us look at some of HUL’s sustainability heroes and their contributions toward making the world a better place.

In the spotlight

Praveen Pradhan: architecting a future-fit Supply Chain

Photo of Praveen Pradhan

Praveen Pradhan is on a mission to mitigate the risk of climate change in our operations.

He passionately develops strategies and roadmaps for our factories to achieve Scope 1 and Scope 2 emission targets, and his work has been pivotal in contributing towards reducing emissions in our operations.

So far, we have reduced 98% emissions in operations against our 2008 baseline, a key milestone in our sustainability journey.

Geetanjali Vats: championing plastic circularity

Photo of Geetanjali Vats

Bringing the outside in and leveraging HUL’s collective knowledge and expertise to drive systemic change, Geetanjali passionately works towards helping tackle the challenge of plastic pollution through our Less, Better and No plastic framework. She says,

It’s energising to work with people from across our business divisions towards our common goal of enabling circularity of plastic waste, one step at a time.

Prashanth Venkatesh: driving HUL’s corporate sustainability initiatives

Photo of Prashanth Venkatesh

As a fierce believer in the power of innovation & collaboration to solve complex sustainability issues, Prashanth spearheads some of HUL’s key initiatives covering climate action, enhancing livelihoods and sustainability startup partnerships.

Under Prashanth’s leadership, HUL has scaled up the Suvidha initiative – a public-private partnership with the government of Mumbai, HSBC India and JSW that provides access to health and sanitation for over 400,000 people annually. The project has been recognised by World Economic Forum an the policy review of Harvard Kennedy School for its climate resilient model.

Prashanth has also facilitated setting up the FICCI Center for Sustainability Leadership – a platform that will facilitate the net-zero transition of SMEs in India.

Mandira Nagrath: prioritising water stewardship for stronger communities

Photo of Mandira Nagrath

Mandira Nagrath ensures that the communities in which we operate thrive with adequate water resources.

Mandira, through our Prabhat program, leads a team dedicated to co-creating water management strategies in communities around our factories. Cumulatively, ~55,000 farmers across 12 factory sites have benefited from improved water availability and agricultural practices. This intervention sustains agriculture, promotes climate resilience, and supports rural livelihoods.

Zahara Kachwalla: ensuring environmental compliance

Photo of Zahara Kachwalla

As the South Asia Environment Cluster Manager, Zahara works alongside factory teams to ensure regulatory compliance, reduce environmental impact, and promote sustainability.

Having spent much of my childhood beside the beautiful beaches of Mumbai, I have always had a passion to protect nature.

A combined education in Geology and Environmental Law has equipped Zahara to live her passion through her profession. Her efforts are consistently ensuring that we reduce use of water, energy and waste generation in our operations on our journey towards becoming a planet positive business.

Rishu Garg: building local solutions for water security

Photo of Rishu Garg

Rishu Garg works through the Hindustan Unilever Foundation on a holistic approach to water security, a fundamental requirement for fostering healthy communities and ecosystems.

He primarily works with farming communities and local governments across India, to equip and empower farmers and communities to manage water resources effectively. Summarising his mission to help secure India’s water future, he says.

Water security is not just about the availability of water but about empowering communities to manage it wisely and sustainably. Our goal is to create resilient communities that can thrive even in the face of climate change.

These narratives of commitment and innovation at HUL highlight our collective journey towards sustainability. Each employee's story interweaves into a larger tapestry of hope and resilience.

This World Environment Day, we salute all our people whose efforts make a tangible difference, ensuring a greener and more sustainable future for all.

To know more about sustainability at Hindustan Unilever, visit our sustainability section on the website.

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