Unilever partners with global sustainability movements

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The FINANCIAL — Unilever on April 28 announced plans to partner with leading mass movements, Global Citizen and Live Earth: Road to Paris, in line with its ambition to grow its business while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact.

This is the first time that the company has partnered with two global movements on this scale through its Unilever brightFuture campaign, which will encourage action amongst consumers towards a more sustainable future. Through these new partnerships and its growing portfolio of sustainable living brands, Unilever joins the mass social movements in support of ambitious sustainable development and climate goals this year, according to Unilever.

Activity includes:

Partnership with Live Earth: Road to Paris across the series of global events on 18th June

Encouraging climate-conscious people to sign the “Take Climate Action Now” pledge

Helping to build the world’s largest, most effective social activism campaign to help address global sustainable development as one of Global Citizen’s major partners.

Unilever will partner with Live Earth: Road to Paris and Global Citizen to help create impact at scale across the interlinked issues of sustainable development and climate change.

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever said: “2015 is a critical moment in time, an opportunity to agree on a universal agenda that tackles poverty and inequality and to all take action to protect the one planet we have. As a business we can deploy our resources, expertise and scale to help our consumers to take action. Today, we are adding our support for the growing movement of citizens and businesses demanding change.”

Impact through partnership

Live Earth: Road to Paris is a climate change campaign driving a vital movement for people to “Take Climate Action Now”. The mission launches with a series of global events on 18 June. Live Earth co-founders Kevin Wall and former Vice President Al Gore, creative director Pharrell Williams, along with the United Nations and The Climate Reality Project, present global events across all media platforms anchored in Paris and New York, produced by Control Room and executive producer Aaron Grosky.

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2015 is a critical year for the climate movement. World leaders are meeting at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of the Parties, COP21 in Paris, France this December to sign a strong emissions reductions agreement. Global events will be broadcast across all major media platforms and supported by a year-long awareness and activation campaign in partnership with Unilever. The aim is to collectively secure a billion voices globally to urge world leaders to adopt a bold, universal agreement at COP 21 in Paris which is crucial to solving the climate crisis.

Global Citizen is a movement to end extreme poverty by 2030. Its newest campaign, “Unlock Your Power,” aims to encourage people to act towards making the new Sustainable Development Goals a reality. Unilever will become a Global Citizen leading partner in the effort to help build the world’s largest social activism campaign.

Unilever has maintained its vision that to be a successful business in the long-term, there needs to be an investment in the planet and its people – by addressing environmental and social challenges which include moving to sustainable sourcing, using scale to improve health and wellbeing, moving to zero waste across its factories, and ensuring that human rights are embedded across the supply chain. By encouraging support for the “Take Climate Action Now” pledge and the partnership with Global Citizen, Unilever can now help people engage in issues that impact everyone, enlisting our employees and consumers to lend their voice and take action.

Hugh Evans, CEO of The Global Poverty Project said: “The support Unilever has given to Global Citizen will enable us to engage millions of people in the movement to end extreme poverty by 2030. Their commitment to encouraging people to take action to change the systems and policies that keep people poor is remarkable. Unilever is a true example of a global citizen, and we are honoured to be on this journey together.”

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Kevin Wall, Executive Producer and Co-founder of Live Earth said: “Unilever has integrated a forward-looking sustainability strategy into its core business in order to truly impact our global climate challenge. They are committed to working with their customers and empowering billions of people to be impactful agents of climate change. We could not be more excited to be on the Road to Paris with partners like Unilever that literally pave the way.”

Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Unilever added: “Our partnerships with Live Earth: Road to Paris and Global Citizen reflect our commitment to help tackle social and environmental issues wherever we do business. To us, climate and development issues are intertwined. We cannot have a healthy business in an unhealthy world – these are issues that business must play a part to help solve. Unilever reaches 2 billion consumers every day through our brands which gives us a real opportunity to encourage action, empowering people to be part of the positive change they wish to see.”

The Unilever brightFuture campaign aims to engage people so that:

Everyone has enough food to eat and no child goes to bed hungry

Children reach their fifth birthday and have the right to a happy childhood

Every home has enough water to drink and to wash, cook and clean

And everybody can enjoy life today while protecting the planet for future generations

Tackling these issues is at the core of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to decouple the Company’s growth from its environmental footprint and increase its positive social impact. Although considerable progress has been made, there are still significant global challenges which cannot be solved by any one organisation alone. To reach its goals, Unilever believes that collaboration between companies, governments, NGOs and consumers will help create system-wide change.


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