UNILEVER AND DEVELOPMENT BANK JOIN HANDS TO BUILD SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES Durban, Wednesday 16 May 2007 An innovative partnership in the fight against poverty has been launched jointly by Consumer Goods company, Unilever and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DSBA) to promote sustainable development in communities. Today, Wednesday, 16 May 2007, the two partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which formalises their agreement to work together to maximise the development impacts of Unilever’s Reach the People Campaign as part of DBSA’s Sustainable Communities Programme. According to Gwede Mantashe, Executive Manager: Strategic Operations at the DBSA, the initial scope of the MoU will focus on identifying and implementing a range of short, medium and long-term projects which aim to provide lower LSM (Living Standard Measure) communities, particularly in the rural areas, with business and income-generating opportunities. This includes establishing community-owned and run packaging, distribution and sales infrastructure that could be supported by and contracted to Unilever and its business partners. In terms of the agreement, DBSA will assist Unilever in developing and implementing the various projects by making funding available, and by integrating Unilever’s Reach the People Campaign with its Sustainable Communities Programme. This will allow Unilever to leverage on the relationships DBSA already has in place at local government and community level. The Bank will also assist in obtaining and managing community support through its established, structured community and stakeholder management strategy. more…\ Gail Klintworth, Chairman of Unilever, said the company’s involvement in the project was aimed at making it possible for those communities which would otherwise not have been able to engage in business activities to receive financial and project management expertise and thereby empower themselves. “Unilever brings a deep understanding of consumers and their needs, conceptual development of new business ideas relevant for community development, and business skills, knowledge and training opportunities to the partnership. “We are excited at the new opportunities that this partnership will bring to help build successful communities.” Mantashe added, “DBSA strongly believes that development is created through cooperation with others and that by working together, we can produce real, tangible development impacts that make a meaningful difference in the lives of all South Africans. “Our partnership with Unilever is testimony to this belief and we are confident that by pooling our resources and sharing knowledge and expertise, we can make Unilever’s products and services accessible to a greater number of South Africans while at the same time, ensuring that benefits of the manufacture, distribution and sale of Unilever’s products are transferred to communities through sustainable enterprise development initiatives.” Klintworth concluded that the economic development plan would also give true meaning to Unilever’s mission which is to add Vitality to life. “Vitality is at the heart of everything we do. It's in our brands that help people look good, feel good and get more out of life; it’s in our people and our values. Our job is to help improve the quality of life of all South Africans and in so doing grow our business. “Our culture also embodies Vitality. Adding Vitality of life requires the highest standards of behaviour towards everyone we work with, the communities we touch and the environments on which we have an impact.” Ends About DBSA’s Sustainable Communities Programme Sustainable development can be defined in terms of the “triple bottom line” of economic development, enhancing social being and maintaining environmental integrity and biodiversity. The approach is founded in the principle that people are at the centre of the development effort. A brief description of each component would be: 1. Economic development as increasing the opportunities for people to enhance their quality of life by participation in the production and consumption processes of the economy. Development of the economy and specifically economic growth provide necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for economic development of the people. Certainly, the focus needs to be on inclusion of the marginalized and empowerment of the poor. “Economic justice” in terms of levels of participation in- and ownership of the economy are paramount. 2. Social well-being as a person’s sense of belonging and leading a useful life. The complexities of social exclusion and limitations placed on people to “become the best they could be” by continuing deprivation of life skills, education and other social support mechanisms need to be addressed. 3. Environmentally integrity is not about conservation per se, but use of the environment and its resources in a way that enhances the quality of life of the current generation without compromising the same for future generations. This definition underpins the core values of the DBSA and reflects on the DBSA vision of “An empowered and integrated Region, free of poverty, inequity and dependency” and offers an opportunity for the DBSA to maximize our contribution towards development by providing finance, expertise and using partnerships to improve the quality of life of the people in a demonstrable way.