There is no business case for enduring poverty

The UN launches its new Sustainable Development Goals this month – 17 ‘Global Goals’ which aim to ensure the health, safety and future of our planet in the next 15 years.

We’re backing the UN’s Global Goals

With the overarching aim of ending extreme poverty, fixing inequality and injustice, and tackling climate change, 193 world leaders will be signing up to support the Goals on 25 September. It is a historic opportunity to build a better future for everyone. 

For Unilever, the challenges the Global Goals aim to tackle have a huge impact on our business and are aligned with our own ambitions set out in our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. We see the Goals as a framework for action.

Making the Goals a reality

Ben & Jerry's 100% electric car

Our sustainable living brands are already working towards making the Goals a reality. Here are just a few examples. 

  • Ben & Jerry’s is helping build a broad based social movement to pressure world to deliver the low carbon economy of the future (Goal 13 for climate action). Their campaign called ‘Save our Swirled’ is activating their fans to create a 100% clean energy future in partnership with AVAAZ. They have also found ways to save energy through The Chunkinator, which uses ice cream waste to create biogas, reducing greenhouse gases emissions that contribute to global warming.
Family with new toilet Domestos Toilet
  • Lifebuoy’s vision to bring health and hygiene to a billion people though their ‘help a child reach 5’ programme is helping to deliver Goal 3 (good health and wellbeing). Having taught the lifesaving habit of handwashing with soap to over 257 million people, Lifebuoy is now helping save neo-natal lives. 
  • Domestos has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020, and in doing so is supporting Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation). By improving sanitation, we contribute towards a basic human right, and help keep kids healthy and in school. We are improving sanitation by working with UNICEF on its global sanitation behaviour change programmes, through our Domestos Toilet Academy and through our schools programmes, focused on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) education and the building and maintenance of toilets.
World food day 2014
  • Knorr is helping to address Goal 2 (zero hunger) through its partnership with the World Food Programme and their shared ambition to create a world where everyone has access to nutritious food. Supporting Goal 15 (life on land), the brand is committed to sourcing all its agricultural ingredients sustainably, for the benefit of farmers and to protect their land.

Changing the way we do business

Meeting these ambitious goals will mean fundamentally changing how we do business and account for our impacts. We also know that delivering the goals can happen only if the public sector, private sector and civil society all step up and demonstrate real leadership and a willingness to work together. 

We know that providing all countries with better infrastructure, a healthy, well-educated workforce and the systems for better resource management will deliver higher economic and commercial returns. There is no business case for enduring poverty. 

As Unilever CEO Paul Polman says: “We’re already bringing the Global Goals to life through our sustainable living brands and their social missions. 

“The challenges the goals aim to tackle have a significant impact on, and opportunity for, our business and are aligned with our own ambitions set out in our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan such as deforestation, women’s empowerment, and health and hygiene,” he adds.

Play your part

We will continue to help deliver the Global Goals through our business. But supporting the Global Goals isn’t just a job for businesses and politicians – we all can, and should, play our part. 

The more people are aware of the Global Goals, the more successful they will be. All you need to do is chose the Goal that means the most to you, and share it with as many people as you can. Social media is a great way to do so.

Become a global citizen

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