Sustainable Innovation

Unilever perceived as sustainability leader
April 13, 2011, 10:31 am
Filed under: Sustainability News | Tags: , , ,

GlobalScan and SustainAbility presented the results of their study about perceived Sustainability Leadership. Results are based on an worldwide online survey among 559 sustainability specialists working in the private and public sector and at NGOs.’

What are the top 5 sustainable development leaders ?  Unilever (mentioned by 15%), General Electric (12%), Interface (12%), Wal-Mart (11%) and Marks&Spencer (8%).

What makes Unilever the frontrunner ? First of all, the newly launched and ambitious Sustainability Living Plan is much admired. Second it proves to have  encorporated sustainability values deep in the organisation. Third, it works in close relationship with external experts. As an illustration the four key objectives of Unilevers Sustainability Living Plan :

1)  Improve the health of 1 billion people in Asia, Africa and Latin-America by providing Lifebuoy soap, assisting with changing health habits, reducing diarrhea and thereby reducing infant mortality.

2) Source 100% of its raw materials sustainably by 2020, including 100% sustainable palm oil. (Unilever know buys 3% of the worlds palm oil).

3) Make drinking water safer in developing countries by extending sales of its Pureit home water purifier.

4) Improve the standards of living of 500 million smallholders by linking them to the Unilever supply chain in cooperation with NGOs Oxfam and the Rainforest Alliance

The following indicators as most contributing to perceived sustainability leadership :

1) commitment to sustainability values :  Does the company demonstrate the willingness to address social and environmental challenges, by its mission statement and  strategic directions.

2) sustainable products/services/supply chain :  The extent to which the company has changed and improved its portfolio of products and services and has changed its purchase and supply chain strategies to match environmental and social requirements.

3) integration in the core business model : If and how the company has incorporated sustainability in its operational business.

What counts now is the extent to which companies can match social and environmental issues with their core business, change their products and service portfolio, supply chains and operational business accordingly.

Sources : / /


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