Unilever partners with global sustainability movements

Johannesburg, Tuesday 5th May 2015- Unilever recently 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.

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.

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.”

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.

Find out how to get involved and support Unilever brightFuture by visiting https://brightfuture.unilever.co.za/or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/UnileverZA and Twitter https://twitter.com/unileversa using #brightfuture..

People can also sign up to the Live Earth pledge at https://www.brightfuture.unilever.co.za/ClimateAction and they can join the movement to end extreme poverty at http://www.globalcitizen.org.


Notes for the editor

Media Enquiries:

Please contact the Unilever Press Office at press-office.london@unilever.com or 0207 822 6719

About Unilever:

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 billion consumers a day. It has 172,000 employees and generated sales of €48.4 billion in 2014. Over half (57%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) commits to:

  • Decoupling growth from environmental impact.

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.

  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2014 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 2014 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the fourth year running, and in 2015 was ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard.

Unilever has been named in LinkedIn’s Top 3 most sought-after employers across all sectors.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit our website. 
Unilever brightFuture is an evolution of the Project Sunlight campaign which aims to use the platform of sustainability to engage people to take action and join us in the movement to create change – addressing the global issues of sustainability and climate change. From here on, join us at brightFuture.unilever.com.

About Live Earth:

On June 18, 2015, 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.

Live Earth: Road to Paris headlines a year-long, planet wide campaign to amass a billion voices to deliver the Take Climate Action Now! message to all world leaders convening at COP 21 in Paris this December. For more information visit LiveEarth.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation with the hashtag #LiveEarth.

About Global Citizen:

Global Citizen is a content and campaigning platform where people can learn about and take action on the world’s biggest issues. Global Citizen works in partnership with and supports some of the most effective organizations working to end extreme poverty. Committed to providing the most interesting stories, effective actions and powerful campaigns, Global Citizen aims to unlock the power of every individual to play his or her part in the movement to end extreme poverty in the next 15 years.

For media queries only, contact:

Barry Dijoe External and Media Relations Manager

031 570 247 or 072 633 7248

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