Sustainable Living brands deliver 60% of company’s growth

1 June 2017 – Six years into its ambitious Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), Unilever has announced it is on track to meet most of its 50+ targets, with its purpose-driven brands driving sales and adding value to the business.  


Globally, Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands delivered over 60% of the company’s total growth, up from 46% last year, and grew more than 50% faster than the rest of the business in 2016.  

Clive Stiff, Chairman & CEO Unilever Australia & New Zealand said, “Increasingly we are seeing that that sustainability is good for business. There is no doubt the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is making us more competitive, helping us to grow our brands and become more innovative. At the same time, the USLP is strengthening our supply chain to reduce our risks and lower our costs as well as building trust in our business. Not only is this good for our consumers and our world but we are also creating value for our shareholders.” 

As part of its efforts to scale up and progress its commitments on sustainable living, Unilever commissioned consumer research to help gain a better understanding of some of the issues that are driving people’s purchasing habits and behaviour. The research showed that over half of all consumers already buy or want to buy sustainably. One in three (33%) already purchase products with sustainability in mind and a further 21% do not currently but would like to.  

This year in Australia, Dove partnered with Coles, to raise awareness of the body image challenges young people face and highlight to parents what their kids are searching for online. The campaign ran in over 700 Coles supermarkets nationwide and reached over 55,000 young people in the month of August alone. Downloads of Dove’s online self-esteem training guide increased by 550% and at the same time Dove skin cleansing sales grew by 12% in Coles. 

Continental continues to help farmers to develop their ideas and fast-track the implementation of more sustainable farming practices in Australia and New Zealand. Continental’s Landmark Farms have been recognised for championing agricultural sustainability and responsible land use and are certified against Unilever’s Sustainable Agriculture Code. To date, 88% of the ingredients used in Unilever’s Australian Continental factory come from sustainable sources, including 100% of wheat, tomatoes and pumpkins. 

Unilever also announced that it is making solid progress on reducing its environmental impact, cutting its carbon footprint and developing a renewable energy strategy to meet its 2030 carbon positive ambition. Unilever’s efforts to reduce, reuse, recover and recycle waste from across its value chain were also recognised by the Australian Packaging Covenant for the second year in a row.

Already 78% of Unilever packaging in Australia and New Zealand is made from recyclable materials with the company now working on developing a roadmap to meet its global 2025 target of ensuring all plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable. 

Coinciding with the release of the sixth year progress report of the USLP, Kantar Worldpanel revealed 13 of Unilever’s brands were included in its index of the world’s most chosen FMCG brands. Unilever not only had the highest number of brands in the index, two thirds of the Unilever brands in the top 50 were also Unilever Sustainable Living Brands, showing consumers are embracing the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices. 

Coinciding with the release of the sixth year progress report of the USLP, Kantar Worldpanel revealed 13 of Unilever’s brands were included in its index of the world’s most chosen FMCG brands. Unilever not only had the highest number of brands in the index, two thirds of the Unilever brands in the top 50 were also Unilever Sustainable Living Brands, showing consumers are embracing the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices. 


This year’s other highlights include:

Reducing environmental impact

• C02 emissions per tonne of production in Australia were reduced by a further 4% compared to 2015 and 17% compared to our 2008 baseline. This was achieved through improving manufacturing practices, streamlining processes and investing in new and more efficient technologies.
   
• Total waste per tonne of production decreased by 17% compared to 2016 - 16% reduction compared to 2008 baseline.

• All of Unilever’s Australian Manufacturing sites continued to maintain zero waste to landfill.
  
• Globally 60% of Unilever’s agricultural raw materials came from sustainable sources, up from 14% in 2010.

• Unilever won the Business Leadership category at the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage Green Globe Awards which recognises businesses that have fully integrated environmental management and sustainable practices into all aspects of their strategy and operations in Australia.  
• Since 2010, Unilever has replaced over 18,834 Streets ice cream freezers in Australia and New Zealand with efficient new models that use hydrocarbon refrigerant (R290) and emit less CO2.

• Unilever’s REDcycle partnership diverted nearly 2 million packs, or over 3.3 tonnes of flexible plastic packaging, away from landfill in 2016. 


Improving health and wellbeing

• The Dove Self Esteem program has reached over 720,000 people in Australia and New Zealand to date, and over 55,000 young people in August 2016 alone.
• With the 2017 launch of the Vaseline Healing Project in Australia and New Zealand, 5 cents from each product sold has been donated to international medical aid organisation Direct Relief.

Enhancing livelihoods

• Unilever continues to make progress on its commitment to empower 5 million women worldwide and build a gender-balanced organisation by 2020. Women made up 47% of the local workforce and 48% of management positions at the end of 2016.
• Unilever supported Foodbank’s efforts by donating food which has provided 428,414 meals to people in need.  

For further information about Unilever’s Brands with Purpose and their latest initiatives visit https://www.unilever.com.au/sustainable-living/ 

Media contact:

Adam Facer / afacer@respublica.com.au / 0468 753 760 / 02 8297 1506

About Unilever Australia and New Zealand

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €52.7 billion in 2016. Unilever employs more than 2,000 people, and has offices and manufacturing facilities in Australia and New Zealand. 

Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world. In Australia and New Zealand, our brands include Flora, Lipton, Bushells, Dove, Rexona, Lynx, Vaseline, OMO/Persil, Surf, Continental, Toni & Guy, Choysa, Ben & Jerry’s and Streets. 

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:
* Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
* Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030
* Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 40% faster than the rest of the business and delivered nearly half of the company’s global growth in 2016.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2016 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the sixth year running. Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive in its operations by 2030.

Unilever has been named in LinkedIn’s Top 3 most sought-after employers across all sectors and named Graduate Employer of Choice in Australia. 

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.au For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com.au/sustainable-living/


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