BUSS1000 Lecture Notes Week 6.docx - BUSS1000 Future of...

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BUSS1000Future of Business Lecture NotesWeek 6Unilever’s New Global Strategy: Competing through Sustainability “We think that businesses that are responsible and actually make contributing to society a part of their business model will be successful”. Announced a ‘Compass Vision’ that aimed to double the size of Unilever’s business while simultaneously reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact.Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) – three goals for 2020: help a billion people improve their health and well-being, to halve environmental footprint of making and using Unilever products, and to enhance the livelihoods of those in its value chain. Core strategy to stimulate growth, cut costs, engage consumers and motivate employees. The broad goals and specific targets not only gave credibility to Unilever’s new corporate purpose “to make sustainable living commonplace” but were also translated into its operating business model that it depicted as “A virtuous circle of growth”. Three years into USLP’s rollout, Unilever sustainably sourced 48% of its agricultural products, up from 14% in 2010. And its efforts to improve the health of a billion people had reached 303 million with handwashing, oral health, and safe drinking water programs. USLP’s early analysis had calculated that consumer use accounted for 68% of Unilever’s GHG impact and 85% of its water footprint. Klintworth was appointed Chief Sustainability Officer, launched an initiative she called “USLP Refresh.” Assigning leaders for each of USLP’s seven pillars, she charged them withworking with category and brand teams to evaluate their business models, connect them with resources, and help build the capability to take action. While not giving up on its USLP agenda, management decided that in order to achieve its goals, it had to leverage its scale, its influence, and its resources to bring about a market transformation and engage other companies to take broader responsibility. The first target for transformational change was deforestation, chosen because Unilever was a major buyer of palm oil, a key driver of the problem.

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