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Unilever has claimed that its Sustainable Living brands delivered more than 60% of the company’s growth in 2016, and have grown 50% faster than the rest of the company’s business.
This announcement was made as part of a presentation to industry and UK government figures at Unilever’s headquarters in London, which reviewed the progress of the Sustainable Living programme, now in its sixth year.
The programme aims to promote sustainable business practices by reducing the company’s environmental impact by half, improving the health and well-being of consumers and providing greater opportunities for its suppliers.
According to Unilever, 18 Sustainable Living brands are now present in the top 40 brands in the company’s business portfolio based on growth, up from 12 in 2015.
Brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Hellmann’s and Brooke Bond tea were identified as particularly strong performers, all achieving above-average growth.
Unilever CEO Paul Polman said: “We have made great progress. Our results show that sustainability is good for business, with increasing evidence that our ‘sustainable living brands’ do better.
“There is no doubt that the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is making us more competitive by helping us to build our brands and spur innovation, strengthen our supply chain and reduce our risks, lower our costs, and build trust in our business.
“It is helping Unilever to serve society and our many consumers, and in doing so, create value for shareholders.
“By continuing to work with others, we hope to mobilise a new kind of growth, one that taps into the economic opportunities that the Sustainable Development Goals present.”
Unilever has made a number of recent commitments to reduce its environmental impact, most recently joining with companies such as Arla and PepsiCo in the UK Plastic Pact, which aims to tackle plastic waste levels.
The company also formed a partnership with Indorama Ventures to trial a new technology which converts PET plastic waste back into food-grade plastic packaging, in order to reduce plastic waste.
Meanwhile, the company has made recent commitments to improve sustainable farming practices, including an agreement with Indonesian palm-oil producer PT Perkebunan Nusantara to accelerate sustainable agricultural practices.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019