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Business Integrity

Purpose, Values and Principles

The HUL growth story is intertwined with the India story and our philosophy is ‘what is good for India is good for Hindustan Unilever’. Our business has always been driven by a sense of purpose and the belief that business must have purpose beyond profit. We continue to believe that business must make a positive contribution to addressing the challenges the world faces and that this is the only way a business will succeed. Our history is a story of growth powered by ideas and values. Products, brands and profits followed in their wake; and while we will change to meet the challenges of our times, our values will not. The focus of HUL is very much on growth in line with our values, not on growth at any cost.

HUL’s brands and reputation are valuable assets and the way in which we operate, contribute to society and engage with the world around us is always under scrutiny.

Conducting our operations with integrity and respect for the many people, organisations and environments our business touches, has always been at the heart of our corporate responsibility.

Everyone at Unilever is expected to be an ambassador for our high ethical standards – what we call ‘business integrity’. Each of us at HUL has a key role to play to embed a strong culture of business integrity across all our operations. Our principles and values apply to all our employees through our Code and Code Policies.

Business Integrity Framework

Business Integrity is all about how we work. Our Business Integrity framework ensures that how we do business is fully aligned with our values and applicable laws and regulations in countries where we operate. It has three pillars:

  • Prevention – we seek to embed a culture of integrity at all levels, in all geographies
  • Detection – we encourage employees to speak up and give voice to their values
  • Response – we have the tools to investigate and if necessary, sanction confirmed breaches, and use what we learn to continually improve.

Code of Business Principles and Code Policies

Our Corporate Purpose sets out our aspirations in running our business. It is underpinned by our Code of Business Principles. Our Code of Business Principles  (PDF 218KB) is a clear ethical compass, which says what is right and what is wrong and also supports our approach to governance and corporate responsibility.

We have strong values and clear policies and standards to ensure our employees not only do things right but also do the right thing.

In addition to our Code of Business Principles, it includes clear policies, guidelines and related learning materials, as well as robust procedures and controls to help us prevent, detect and respond to any inappropriate behaviour.

The Code and Code Policies provide a framework of simple ‘Musts’ and ‘Must Nots’ designed to be readily applied by employees in their day-to-day work. They are mandatory for all employees and others working for HUL.

Code Policy downloads

The five pillars under which our Code Policies fall under are :

  • Living the Code
  • Countering Corruption
  • Respecting People
  • Engaging Externally
  • Safeguarding Information

The Code and Code Policies are standard Policies applicable to all Unilever entities and can be accessed using the link provided under each of the pillars below.

Living the Code

Behaving with integrity and acting in an ethical manner, consistent with the expectations of customers, consumers and other stakeholders, is essential for the protection of the reputation of HUL and its brands.

Partnering responsibly

We are committed to establishing mutually beneficial relations with our suppliers, customers and business partners. We want to work with third parties who have values similar to our own and work to the same standards. As a purpose-led company, we are committed to doing business in a manner that improves the lives of workers across our value chain, their communities and the environment.

Our Responsible Sourcing & Business Partnering Policy (PDF 96KB) helps to give us visibility of our third parties to ensure their business principles are consistent with our own.

Countering corruption

cartoon image of a man standing in a field holding a vegetable

One of our fundamental values is Integrity and we aim to have a positive influence across the value chain, raising the bar on Anti Bribery and Corruption. Our Code and Code Policies reflect our desire to fight corruption in all its forms. We are committed to eradicate any practices or behaviours that are not in line with our Code and Code Policies through our zero-tolerance approach to such practices.

Respecting People

World market stall scene

Having a strong set of values that respect people, society, and the planet has always been at the heart of HUL and will continue to be critical to building our purpose-led, future-fit company. We conduct our operations with honesty, integrity and openness, and with respect for the human rights and interests of our employees. We have introduced a paternity leave policy, included same sex partners in our medical policy & are trying to create a workforce that is truly diverse. We believe in a workplace where there is mutual trust, respect for human rights and no discrimination. As an employer, we have taken several steps to make the workplace more inclusive. We have created accessible workspaces for Persons with Disabilities. We shall similarly respect the legitimate interests of those with whom we have relationships.

Safeguarding information

World sustainability hand scene

Information is essential to our success: it fuels our research, keeps us in touch with consumer needs and helps us work effectively together. If used inappropriately, information can cause considerable damage to our business.

In FY 2021-22, 0 complaints were received from outside parties and substantiated by the organisation

Engaging externally

Women in technology

Throughout our value chain, from innovation through to our consumers, Unilever and its employees need to demonstrate the same ethical standards when engaging with others externally as when dealing with colleagues.

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