Unilever Sustainable Living Plan

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) sets out to decouple our growth from our environmental impact, while at the same time increasing our positive social impact.

It has three big goals to achieve by 2020 – to improve health and well-being, reduce environmental impact and source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably and enhance the livelihoods of people across our value chain.

Supporting these goals are seven commitments underpinned by targets spanning our social, environmental and economic performance across the value chain – from the sourcing of raw materials all the way through to the use of our products in the home.

In the second year of our Plan, we made steady progress towards our goals. Our USLP is ambitious and we have much more to do. We continue to strive to deliver our stretching goals.

†In our 2011 Progress Report we presented our people and workplace targets as a standalone set of targets. In 2012 we incorporated these into our commitments.

Improving health and well-being

We estimate that we helped 224 million people take action to improve their health and well-being.

1 Health & hygiene

girl washing hands.

By 2020 we will help more than a billion people to improve their hygiene habits and we will bring safe drinking water to 500 million people. This will help reduce the incidence of life-threatening diseases like diarrhoea.

Key

  • achieved
  • on-plan
  • off-plan
  • %of target achieved

(M) our most material targets

224 million people reached by end 2012

119 million people with Lifebuoy; 45 million with safe drinking water from Pureit; 49 million with our toothpaste brands; and 11 million through Dove Self-Esteem programmes.

2 Improving nutrition

Improving nutrition

We will continually work to improve the taste and nutritional quality of all our products. By 2020 we will double the proportion of our portfolio that meets the highest nutritional standards, based on globally recognised dietary guidelines. This will help hundreds of millions of people to achieve a healthier diet.

Key

  • achieved
  • on-plan
  • off-plan
  • %of target achieved

(M) our most material targets

18% of our portfolio by volume met the criteria for highest nutritional standards in 2012

In 2012 the majority of our products met, or were better than, benchmarks based on national nutritional recommendations. Our commitment goes further: 18% of our portfolio by volume met the highest nutritional standards, based on globally recognised dietary guidelines.

Note: Progress on targets for highest nutritional standards; salt; saturated fats; trans fat; and kilocalories is measured January-September 2012. Progress on sugar target is measured January 2011-September 2012. In 2012 we moved to full volume-based (tonnes sold) reporting for highest nutritional standards and salt.

Reducing environmental impact

Our greenhouse gas and waste impacts per consumer use have reduced and our water impact per consumer use has remained broadly unchanged.*

3 Greenhouse gases

Greehhouse gases

Halve the greenhouse gas impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2020*

Key

  • achieved
  • on-plan
  • off-plan
  • %of target achieved

(M) our most material targets

4 Water

Woman washing

Halve the water associated with the consumer use of our products by 2020*

Key

  • achieved
  • on-plan
  • off-plan
  • %of target achieved

(M) our most material targets

5 Waste

Waste and packaging

Halve the waste associated with the disposal of our products by 2020*

Key

  • achieved
  • on-plan
  • off-plan
  • %of target achieved

(M) our most material targets

*Our environmental targets are expressed against a baseline of 2008 and on a 'per consumer use' basis. This means a single use, portion or serving of a product. As of April 2013, our new automated system only allows us to compare our footprint to 2010 rather than to our original 2008 baseline.

Enhancing livelihoods

We have trained around 450,000 smallholder farmers.

6 Sustainable sourcing

a farmer with sustainable sourced rice and tomatoes.

By 2020 we will source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably.

Key

  • achieved
  • on-plan
  • off-plan
  • %of target achieved

(M) our most material targets

7 Better livelihoods

Better livelihoods

By 2020 we will engage with at least 500,000 smallholder farmers and 75,000 small-scale distributors in our supply network.

Key

  • achieved
  • on-plan
  • off-plan
  • %of target achieved

(M) our most material targets

450,000 smallholder farmers trained; smallholders’ metric in development; 48,000 small–scale Shakti distributors by the end 2012

We have increased the number of tea farmers trained in sustainable practices to around 450,000. The next step is to develop a methodology to assess improvement in smallholder livelihoods. We have consolidated our small-scale distributors programme, reaching 48,000 entrepreneurs.