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					                                                                                          An Overview of Unilever’s Approach
                                                                                          to Environmental & Social Responsibility




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worldwide web
If you would like to know more about Unilever’s approach
                                                                                     global challenges
to environmental and social responsibility, please visit
our website, where copies of our latest Environmental
Performance Summary Report and Social Review can
be read online or downloaded:                                                            local actions
➞ www.unilever.com/environmentsociety


your views
We would like to hear from you. If you have any questions,
comments and ideas about this publication or any other
aspect of Unilever’s environmental and social policies,      We have neg and print
please contact:

➞ csrcomment@unilever.com
or write to:

Corporate Relations
Unilever PLC
PO Box 68
Unilever House
Blackfriars
London EC4P 4BQ
United Kingdom

Corporate Relations
Unilever N.V.
PO Box 760
Weena 455
3000 DK
Rotterdam
The Netherlands



SB/C/0203
Writing: Richard Aldwinckle, Peter Knight, Context
Design: salterbaxter
Print: Wace
Paper: Look!
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Cover Extending distribution
The remoteness of some villages in Indonesia has
forced us to develop innovative ways to distribute
our products, including by motorbike. Since the
economic crisis hit Indonesia in the late 1990s and
the value of incomes fell, Unilever Indonesia has
                                                          second income by linking them up with the
                                                          distributors of our brands. While Unilever benefits
                                                          from better distribution of its brands among rural
                                                          households, the added incentive of being able to
                                                          buy products has attracted more women to attend
                                                                                                                                                                            global challenges
provided rural family planning workers with a             family planning talks.


                                                                                                                                                                                local actions
Our Business                                                                                                           Every day, around the world, 150 million people       That is why, as a multi-local multinational, we tackle
Unilever is a multi-local multinational with                                                                           choose our products to feed their families and        global concerns with local actions and work in
consumers, employees, business partners and                                                                            clean themselves and their homes. By making and       partnership with local agencies, governments and
shareholders on every continent. The Unilever                                                                          selling brands that meet people’s everyday needs,     non-governmental organisations.
Group* was created in 1930 when the British                                                                            we have grown into one of the world’s largest
soap-maker Lever Brothers merged its businesses                                                                        consumer goods businesses.                            This booklet shows how we go about meeting our
with those of the Dutch margarine producer,                                                                                                                                  social and environmental responsibilities. It contains
Margarine Unie. Unilever has operations in                                                                             We believe the very business of ‘doing business’      an overview of our policies and performance, and
around 100 countries and our products are                                                                              in a responsible way has a positive social impact.    some examples of our social and environmental
on sale in 50 more.                                                                                                    We create and share wealth, invest in local           partnerships in action.
                                                                                                                       economies, develop people’s skills and spread
Unilever has two divisions – Foods and Home                                                                            expertise across borders.                             It is not a complete picture of what we do.
& Personal Care. Food brands include such well-                                                                                                                              For a more comprehensive review, please visit our
known names as Lipton, Knorr, Hellmann’s,                                                                              As a global company we aim to play our part           website. But we hope it will give you some idea
Magnum and Bertolli. Home and personal care                                                                            in addressing global social and environmental         of how we approach the subject of corporate
brands include Dove, Lux, Omo, Pond’s and Sunsilk.                                                                     concerns, such as micro-nutrient deficiency,          social and environmental responsibility at Unilever
                                                                                                                       health and hygiene, water quality and                 and provide an insight into the very practical
                                                                                                                       sustainable agriculture.                              way we are tackling some of these issues.

                                                                                                                       But we do not believe it is practical to address
                                                                                                                       these concerns only at a global level. Or that
                                                                                                                       companies such as ours can make a difference
                                                                                                                       without working in partnership with others.


                                                                                                   multinational
* The Unilever Group, also referred to as Unilever or the Group, consists
of the two parent companies, Unilever N.V. and Unilever PLC which, together
                                                                                                     multi-local
with their group companies, operate as nearly as practicable as a single entity.                                                                                                                                                   1
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global policies
                                                                                           1        Water quality                                       2         Top tomatoes                                 3        HIV/AIDS in Africa                      4        Hygienic hawkers
                                                                                           Monitoring the operation of the waste water                  Checking tomato quality in Australia, where we         A senior occupational health nurse advises on    Unilever Indonesia’s initiative to encourage
                                                                                           treatment plant at the Algida ice cream factory in           are involved in a partnership to develop sustainable   HIV/AIDS prevention at Unilever South Africa’s   unemployed youths to become entrepreneurs has
                                                                                           Turkey. The plant was Unilever's first to be certified       agriculture guidelines for tomato growers. Tomatoes    Boksburg plant.                                  created a new type of hawker in Jakarta, trained in
                                                                                           to ISO 14001, the globally recognised environment            are one of five crops in our Sustainable Agriculture                                                    food hygiene, who sell traditional hot cooked meals
                                                                                           management systems standard.                                 Initiative.                                                                                             made with Unilever products.




local initiatives
Environment                                    Sustainable Agriculture                     with the conservation organisation WWF,                      Social                                                 companies in Africa have developed               Department of Trade and Industry and
                                               Recent environmental and social pressures   set up the Marine Stewardship Council to                                                                            a common approach with programmes                others to create more first generation
Our environmental policy applies to            on agriculture have prompted us to          establish a certification process for                        We are committed to making a                           that focus on prevention education and           small business start-ups.
all Unilever companies worldwide.              develop a more sustainable approach         sustainable fishing practices.                               positive contribution to society                       the most appropriate types of treatment
It sets out our commitment to                  to how our crops are grown. We have                                                                      through the brands we produce and                      and care for AIDS sufferers.                     A series of pilot projects started in 2000 has
meet the needs of customers and                completed guidelines for the sustainable    Water Stewardship                                            sell, through our commercial                                                                            been highly successful, not only for the
                                                                                                                                                        operations and relationships, through        Advice and help for employees has                          economy but also for Unilever Indonesia.
consumers in an environmentally                management of all five of our key crops     Unilever’s activities are intimately linked
                                                                                                                                                        the voluntary contributions we make          been extended to their families and                        One scheme has involved training
sound and more sustainable manner,             – palm oil, tea, peas, spinach and          with safe water supplies, whether used
                                                                                                                                                        to the community and through our             communities through joint programmes                       unemployed youths to become
through continuous improvements                tomatoes – which are being published        in our operations or by our suppliers
                                                                                                                                                        wider engagement with society.               with local partners. For example, as a                     entrepreneurs selling Unilever products,
in environmental performance                   on www.growingforthefuture.com,             or by consumers who use our products.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     leading member of the Kenya HIV/AIDS                       while another has created a new
in all our activities.                         a website specially set up to share our     Competing demands for water – for
                                                                                                                                                        Unilever is a decentralised organisation,    Business Council, Unilever is working                      distribution channel for the company
                                               knowledge. We are also working with         agriculture, manufacturing and human
                                                                                                                                                        so our policy is not to impose global social closely with the government, local NGOs                    to reach small shops and kiosks in urban
We use a life cycle approach to assess         other major food companies – including      consumption – and the need to sustain
                                                                                                                                                        programmes on our managers but to            and 100 other companies to stop the                        and rural areas. Unilever Indonesia is
our overall impact on the environment.         Danone and Nestlé – to promote              a healthy environment mean that society
                                                                                                                                                        empower them to decide what is right for spread of HIV/AIDS at the workplace                            now establishing a business incubator
This enables us to analyse our impacts         sustainable agriculture practices through   needs to adopt a more integrated
                                                                                                                                                        their businesses and their local societies.  and in the community. In South Africa                      to provide training and business
and to concentrate on those areas              the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative      approach to water management.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Unilever employees, the Unilever                           advice for entrepreneurs.
where we can bring the greatest                (www.saiplatform.org).                                                                                   This approach is based firmly on the values
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Foundation and the Durban Children’s
benefits. Our strategy has a clear focus.                                                  To help us manage our many water                             enshrined in our Corporate Purpose and
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Society are supporting a community
We aim to make more with less in our           Sustainable Fisheries                       projects effectively, we developed a set                     the standards of corporate behaviour set
                                                                                                                                                                                                     family home for AIDS affected children.
manufacturing (eco-efficiency), and            The world’s fisheries are under threat.     of principles with the help of the UK                        out in our Code of Business Principles.
design our products to minimise their          According to the UN’s Food and              sustainability organisation Forum for                                                                     Entrepreneurs in Indonesia
                                               Agriculture Organisation, 48% are           the Future. Our Sustainable Water and                        Policy in Practice                           In Indonesia 90% of all businesses
impact on the environment (eco-
                                               fully exploited, 16% overfished             Integrated Catchment Management                              It is at a country level that our policy     are small or medium-sized and are
innovation).
                                               and 9% depleted.                            (SWIM) principles combine a structured                       becomes a reality as shown by these          responsible for generating over half
                                                                                           approach to understanding water                              two examples:                                the country’s income. They are a major
We realise that many issues that affect us
are outside our direct control either at       Unilever is one of the world's largest      demands in a particular catchment                            HIV/AIDS in Africa                           engine for growth in the local economy,
the beginning of our supply chain or at        buyers of frozen fish for our Iglo, Birds   area with a framework for managing                           Providing a consistently high standard       so the Indonesian government is keen
the end. This has led us to focus on three     Eye and Findus brands. Without regular      partnership projects.                                        of occupational healthcare is core           to find new ways of encouraging more
sustainability initiatives in areas that are   supplies we would have no fish business,                                                                 to our business principles. But different    entrepreneurs to start businesses.
relevant to our business and where we          so we have a clear commercial interest to                                                                countries have differing needs.
believe we can make the most difference:       protect and preserve fish stocks. In 1996                                                                In sub-Saharan Africa, one in ten people     Unilever Indonesia works with over
agriculture, fish and water.                   we made a pledge to buy all fish from                                                                    is thought to have HIV/AIDS. As there is     2,000 small and medium-sized suppliers
                                               sustainable sources by 2005 and, working                                                                 currently no cure for AIDS, Unilever         and distributors, so is an appropriate
                                                                                                                                                                                                     partner to work with the country’s

2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 3
  Environmental Performance                                                                                                                                            Social Performance

  This is a summary of our environmental performance since 1997.                 2. Load per tonne of production 1997-2001                                             3. Unilever accident frequency rate 1997-2001                                          4. Unilever Group distribution of cash value added % of total 2001
  Graph 1 shows our six key environmental performance indicators                                                                                                       Lost time accidents and restricted work cases per 100,000 hours.                       Total cash value added distributed € 14,209 million
  and the overall improvement (expressed as % of the 1997 figures)               Parameter                    Units     1997      1998      1999      2000     2001    During 2001 the worldwide accident rate increased. Our goal remains
                                                                                                                                                                       zero accidents and we have introduced a new global health and safety
  since then and our 2006 targets (for actual figures, see table 2).                                                                                                   framework to improve our performance.                                                  ■ Employees 50%
                                                                                 COD 1                    kg/tonne      3.23     2.96       2.79      2.50     2.33
  1. Reduction in load per tonne of production since 1997 – target for 2006                                                                                                                                                                                   ■ Governments 15%
                                                                                 Hazardous waste          kg/tonne      0.98     0.66       0.62      0.50     0.50    1997                                                                        1.10       ■ Providers of capital 23%
                                                                                                                                                                       1998                                              0.74                                 ■ Local communities 1%
                          COD
                                                                                 Non-hazardous waste kg/tonne          17.46    14.86      13.00    12.00     11.26                                                                                           ■ Invested in business
                                                                                                                                                                       1999                        0.45                                                          for future growth 11%
                                                                                 Water                    m3/tonne      6.79     6.54       6.06      5.43     5.04
                          100
                                                                                                                                                                       2000               0.33
                           80                                                    Energy                   GJ/tonne      2.69     2.57       2.40      2.27     2.19
                                                                                                                                                                       2001                      0.41
                           60                                                    CO2 from energy   2
                                                                                                          kg/tonne    226.08   217.16     208.09   197.91    198.52
       Boiler/                                    Hazardous                                                                                                                                                                                                    6a. Community spend by region 2001        6b. Turnover by region 2001
                                                  waste                          Boiler/Utilities SOx 3   kg/tonne      0.59     0.55       0.45      0.42     0.34    5. Number of Unilever employees trained abroad: pilot study 2001
Utilities SOx              40
                           20                                                                                                                                          8 countries                          Employees receiving               % of total
                                                                                     Notes:                                                                                                                    training abroad                employees

                                                                                 1. COD (chemical oxygen demand) is a measure of effluent quality.                     Brazil                                             332                         2
                                                                                 2. CO2 from energy is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted when fossil          Canada                                               25                        1
                                                                                    fuels are burned. This table shows our energy use as well as the resulting CO2     Ghana                                                35                        2
                                                                                    emissions. Since 1999 we have focused on global warming potential and this
                                                                                    is why our targets are expressed in terms of CO2 from energy as well as energy     Indonesia                                            55                        2
 CO2 from                                        Non-hazardous                      consumption. CO2 from energy accounts for 94% of our manufacturing                 Poland                                               86                        3
   energy                                        waste
                                                                                    greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.                                                                                                                                            ■ Europe 43%                              ■ Europe 39%
                                                                                 3. Boiler/Utilities SOx is the measure of the oxides of sulphur emitted when fossil
                                                                                                                                                                       Turkey                                               51                        3        ■ North America 30%                       ■ North America 26%
                          Water                                                     fuels are burned.                                                                  Vietnam                                              48                        2        ■ Africa, Middle                          ■ Africa, Middle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  East and Turkey 9%                        East and Turkey 7%
                                                                                                                                                                       HPC USA                                              32                        1        ■ Asia and Pacific 12%                    ■ Asia and Pacific 15%
  ■ 1997 Actual ■ 2001 Actual ■ Target 2006                                                                                                                            HPC USA refers to our Home & Personal Care division only in the USA.                    ■ Latin America 6%                        ■ Latin America 13%




  Environment                                            In the USA, Unilever's Home & Personal
                                                         Care Division cut energy consumption in
                                                                                                             The water is either re-used in the factory
                                                                                                             or, if it contains tomato pulp, is used by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            global reporting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          local performance
  All Unilever companies must comply                     offices and factories by over 10% in 2001,          local farmers for irrigation. The pulp has
  with the Unilever Framework                            despite a 25% increase in production.               proved to be an effective fertiliser.
  Standards for occupational health                      The savings were largely due to a simple
  and safety, environmental care and                     one-page spreadsheet that listed each               In France, our Amora Maille mustard
  consumer safety. Our environmental                     site's energy costs alongside projected             factory has cut its water consumption
  management system, which operates                      savings for the current year. “This generated       by up to 40%. The savings have been
  on a global basis, is designed to                      real healthy competition between the                achieved through a combination of                         Social                                                     This identified a number of valuable          We spend about 1% of our pre-tax
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  performance indicators that are helping       profits on community initiatives
  achieve continuous improvement and                     plants. Everybody wanted to be green,”              new machinery and staff training which
                                                                                                                                                                       Unilever has a long tradition of being                     us work out what it is practical and          each year. This amounted to around
  is compatible with international                       said Jim Pease, energy and environmental            has led to better working methods.
                                                                                                                                                                       a socially responsible company, although                   realistic to measure globally.                € 57 million in 2001. Over half the
  standards. It is supported by a range                  manager.
                                                                                                                                                                       it is only in recent years that we have                                                                  total is spent on health and education
  of environmental training courses.                                                                                                                                                                                  One global performance measure is the                     programmes and the proportion of
                                                                                                                                                                       started to develop our approach to
  Our target is to have all our main
                                                         We have projects throughout                                                                                   reporting on our social performance.           wealth we create by adding value to the                   community investment in different
                                                                                                                                                                       We aim to manage our social                    raw materials we buy around the world                     regions of the world is broadly in line
  manufacturing sites certified to the                   the world to improve our                                                                                      responsibilities as professionally as          as they are processed into branded                        with our turnover (see 6a, 6b above).
  International Standards Organisation’s                                                                                                                                                                              goods in our local markets. This wealth
  ISO 14001 environmental management                     energy efficiency.                                                                                            any other aspect of our business.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      is shared among our stakeholders in
  systems standard by the end of 2003.
                                                         Over 90% of the energy used in the                                                                            Our approach has been to carry out research the form of wages, taxes, dividends and
  At the end of 2001 over a quarter of                                                                                                                                                                                community investment. Employees
                                                         factories of Tea Estates India, Unilever's                                                                    to establish what our businesses around
  our sites were certified.                                                                                                                                                                                           are the single largest group to benefit,
                                                         tea company in southern India, is from                                                                        the world are doing that contributes to
                                                         renewable sources, mainly plantation                                                                          society – our ‘social footprint’ – to identify receiving around 50% of the value
  We have a team of experts who provide                                                                                                                                                                               we add (see 4 above).
                                                         timber. The company has also invested                                                                         what we can measure and where we
  specialist environmental help and
                                                         in two windmills to supply electricity.                                                                       can improve.
  guidance to our manufacturing plants                                                                                                                                                                                Our pilot study showed that growing
  throughout the world on issues ranging
                                                         Saving Water                                                                                                  Some performance measures and targets numbers of employees receive training
  from boiler emissions to waste disposal.                                                                                                                                                                            away from their home countries (see 5
                                                         Clean water is essential for our business.                                                                    are already set and measured globally,
  For example, they have produced                                                                                                                                                                                     above). This is not only an investment in
                                                         It is needed to irrigate crops. Our factories                                                                 such as health and safety (see 3 above).
  guidelines on how to avoid unnecessary                                                                                                                                                                              the individual and in Unilever’s future,
                                                         need it to make our products and our                                                                          However, not all social impacts can be
  packaging and promote the use of
                                                         consumers must have clean water to                                                                            measured in every country, either because but represents an important transfer
  recycled materials.                                                                                                                                                                                                 of skills between countries.
                                                         use our products. We make special efforts                                                                     it is difficult to do so in a consistent way,
                                                         to reduce the use of water at all our                                                                         or because local laws or the absence of
  Saving Energy
                                                                                                                                                                       relevant measures prevent us from doing so.
  Reducing energy use saves money and                    factories throughout the world.                                                                                                                                          We aim to manage our
  reduces emissions. We have projects                    At the Goiania tomato processing factory
  throughout the world to improve our                    in central Brazil, water is used                                                                              In 2002 we conducted a pilot study                         social responsibilities as
                                                         to carry the fresh fruit into the factory,                                                                    in 11 countries, representing more than
  energy efficiency.
                                                         for washing and processing.                                                                                   a third of Unilever’s worldwide sales.                     professionally as any other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  aspect of our business.


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practical partnerships
                                                                                                                                          1        Sustainable catch                             3        Hospital ahoy!
                                                                                                                                          Hoki, a white fish from the hake family, sourced       The Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital navigating the
                                                                                                                                          from New Zealand. The fishery is recognised            bustling waterways of Bangladesh to bring
                                                                                                                                          as well managed and certified to the standards         healthcare and treatment to its many riverside
                                                                                                                                          set by the Marine Stewardship Council.                 communities.

                                                                                                                                          2        Clear need                                    4         Salt solution



combining skills                                                                                                                          As part of our sustainable water initiative, we have
                                                                                                                                          made a long-term commitment to work with others
                                                                                                                                          to improve the watersheds feeding the Don River,
                                                                                                                                          near Toronto, Canada.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 In just two years, sales of iodine-enriched Annapurna
                                                                                                                                                                                                 salt in Ghana have captured 35% of the market and
                                                                                                                                                                                                 helped increase distribution of iodised salt – a key
                                                                                                                                                                                                 requirement in the fight against iodine deficiency
                                                                                                                                                                                                 – by 50%.



Environment                                    governmental organisations, agro-chemical     Living Lakes                                 Social                                                 distribution of iodised salt by 50%.                    The Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital, named
                                               companies and universities. In India and      One of our key water-related                                                                        So successful has it been, as a brand for               after one of our leading brands in
We work with different groups of               Kenya, where we are working in similar        partnerships is the Living Lakes project     Unilever also works with a wide                        Unilever Ghana and in tackling iodine                   Bangladesh – Lifebuoy soap – aims
people – such as the fishing industry,         partnerships, we have found ways to           with the Global Nature Fund. This aims       variety of partners on economic and                    deficiency, that there are now plans to                 to provide treatment, medicine and
water experts, contract growers and            make our tea production more sustainable.     to clean up, conserve and promote            social issues, including governments,                  introduce it to other African countries                 healthcare education to over 30,000
non-governmental organisations – to                                                          environmentally sensitive economic           non-profit organisations, NGOs and                     and develop other fortified foods,                      people a year in some of the country’s
reduce our impacts, secure the supply          Working with WWF on Fisheries                 development around 23 lakes across           international agencies, such as UNICEF,                such as iron and vitamin-enriched                       most remote and deprived communities.
of raw materials and promote                   In 1996, we joined with WWF to find           the world (www.livinglakes.org).             WHO and the Red Cross/Crescent.                        wholemeal maize flour.
sustainable development.                       a solution to the global fish crisis.         For example, Unilever South Africa and       We believe that working in cross-
                                               Our partnership had a clear aim: to           over 50 of its employees are helping         sector partnerships, with different                    To reach remote villages in Ghana,
Sustainable Agriculture                        set up jointly a body to run a fisheries      to conserve and protect Lake St. Lucia,      organisations contributing different                   Unilever and UNICEF have also teamed
In farms and plantations around the            certification scheme that could endorse       while Unilever Spain, working with the       skills and capabilities, is an effective               up with a local bank to provide micro-
world we are working with others               sustainable fisheries management. This has    Fund and local goverment agencies, has       way for business to respond to                         credit facilities to enable village women
to develop sustainable agricultural            been achieved. The Marine Stewardship         recovered a significant area of wetlands     people’s concerns about health,                        to buy Annapurna and other products
methods for use in growing some of             Council (MSC) accredits certifiers, and its   and wildlife at Laguna La Nava in Castilla   nutrition and economic development                     on credit for onward sale. Over 400
the raw materials for our food products.       logo can now be used by companies             y León.                                      in different parts of the world.                       women are now involved, giving
For example, in Brazil we are working          selling fish from certified fisheries that                                                                                                        them a useful source of income and
with growers and a range of stakeholders       conform to MSC standards (www.msc.org).                                                    With UNICEF in Africa                                  Unilever access to villages that it
to develop ways to grow tomatoes more                                                                                                     One in three children in Africa suffers                would otherwise be difficult to reach.
sustainably. New drip irrigation techniques    We believe that consumers and the                                                          from iodine deficiency, which impairs
save water, contribute to higher yields        market can play an important role in                                                       mental development and quality of life                 Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital
and reduce the need for pesticides             fostering a sustainable fishing industry.                                                  for sufferers and their families. Yet it costs         In Bangladesh it is not unusual for people
significantly.                                 Over 100 products from many companies                                                      just five cents a year to provide someone              living in rural areas to travel 40 km to
                                               now carry the MSC logo, including those                                                    with sufficient levels of iodine.                      their nearest doctor. Lever Brothers in
We have similar pilot projects concentrating   from Iglo and Birds Eye made from New                                                                                                             Bangladesh, in partnership with the
on different crops in other parts of the       Zealand hoki, a white fish from the hake                                                   Working closely with UNICEF, Unilever                  humanitarian Friendship Association,
world. In Germany and Italy we are             family. In 2002 we bought more than a                                                      Ghana has launched a brand of iodised                  realised that one way of getting
working with spinach growers and a wide        third of our fish from sustainable sources,                                                salt – originally developed by Hindustan               healthcare to these areas was along the
range of experts and other stakeholders.       and 6% from MSC-certified fisheries.                                                       Lever in India – called Annapurna which is             rivers that criss-cross the countryside.
In the UK we focus on peas and have                                                                                                       fortified with iodine, iron and Vitamin A.
been working with farmers, non-                                                                                                           In two years, the brand has captured 35%               Their solution was to convert an old oil
                                                                                                                                          of the market and helped increase the                  tanker into a floating, travelling hospital.



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environmental challenge
                                                                                                                         1        Cleaning and greening
                                                                                                                         Volunteers from Unilever Indonesia helping to
                                                                                                                         clean up the Brantas River and plant morinda
                                                                                                                         trees. These fruit trees help make the river bank
                                                                                                                         more attractive and also produce a cash crop.
                                                                                                                                                                                         local tastes
social development                                                                                                                                                           world-class know-how
Cleaning up the Brantas River                programme to improve sanitation,             Cleaning the river would not   Our Brands                                           In each case, how a shower gel or soap
By 2001 the Brantas River in East Java,      waste management and local                                                  Each of the countries in which we                    bar is designed needs to be different
Indonesia, had become so polluted that       infrastructure, while greening the           help unless industry and the   operate has its own cultures and                     but understanding of dermatology
something had to be done. Poor industrial    surrounding areas, creating income-                                         traditions. Respecting those differences,            and bactericides and cost-effective
and domestic waste management practices      generating activities and promoting          community also changed the     not imposing a single viewpoint, is at               manufacturing techniques need to
along the river had led to a worrying        environmental understanding.                 way they used the Brantas.     the core of our business approach.                   be world class.
decline in water quality. This was                                                                                       This is reflected in the development
damaging biodiversity and harming            These measures have been                                                    of our core 400 brands, which are a                  Tastes and traditions are not the only
the health of local villagers, many of       complemented by lifestyle changes.                                          mix of global brands and regional                    differences we must take into account.
whom work for Unilever Indonesia,            For example, river-side houses have                                         and local brands that appeal to local                Products need to be packaged and
whose operations are based in East Java.     traditionally faced away from the river,                                    tastes and habits.                                   priced in sizes that people can afford.
It also made it more expensive to            which was little more than an open                                                                                               This is particularly important in countries
supply drinking water to the factory.        sewer. Villagers have been asked                                            Consumer preferences are local in                    where people live on very low incomes
                                             to reverse the layout so that the fronts                                    character and we adapt our products                  or where high inflation and currency
Unilever took the initiative to tackle the   of their houses overlook the Brantas.                                       to suit different tastes. For example,               devaluations have squeezed their
problem, working with others in the          This has had the effect of making the                                       Unilever uses over 20 separate types                 purchasing power. For example, our Ala
community. In 2001 we set up the Clean       river their front garden, discouraging                                      of black tea to prepare more than                    detergent brand was created specifically
Brantas Forum to clean up the river and      their use of the river for waste disposal.                                  200 different blends for local markets,              to meet the needs of low-income
turn it into a sustainable resource for                                                                                  while ice cream, bouillon cubes and                  consumers in the north east of Brazil,
local people.                                New roads and paths have been built                                         tomato sauces are also developed                     while Annapurna, our low-cost, iodine-
                                             on the river bank and greening and                                          to please local palates.                             enriched salt referred to on page 7, can
Cleaning the river would not help            income-generating activities introduced,                                                                                         be bought in India and Ghana in small
unless industry and the community also       including the planting of morinda                                           Similar preferences apply to home and                affordable 200g packs.
changed the way they used the Brantas.       fruit trees and help for fish farmers,                                      personal care products. For example,
So Unilever ‘adopted’ four riverside         whose livelihoods have been protected                                       in Iceland most people prefer to take
villages, working with over 32,000           as a result of the clean up of the river.                                   a bath. In Israel they prefer a shower.
residents, local government officials,       Unilever is now approaching other                                           And in Cambodia around half
environmental groups, the university         industries in East Java to replicate                                        the population washes in a river.
and other industries to plan and             the programme and extend its benefits
implement a long-term solution.              to other villages along the river.
The result was an integrated




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