_____________________________________________________________________________________________ HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LIMITED
Meeting Everyday Needs of People Everywhere
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is rooted in its Corporate Purpose - the belief that "to succeed requires the highest standards of corporate behavior towards our employees, consumers and the societies and world in which we live". HUL's CSR philosophy is embedded in its commitment to all stakeholders -- consumers, employees, the environment and the society that the organization operates in. HUL believes that it is this commitment which will deliver sustainable, profitable growth. HUL’s key CSR initiatives are undertaken with a long-term view. Initiatives that are sustainable have long-term benefits and an ongoing business purpose linked to them is accorded priority focus. As early as in the 1950s, HUL focused on import substitution when balance of payments was an issue. Since the 1980s, most of HUL’s investments have been in designated backward areas and zero-industry districts, spreading industrialization. HUL has revived sick industries and has developed local entrepreneurship Furthering this rich tradition of contributing to the community, HUL is focusing on health & hygiene education, women empowerment, and water management. In addition to these important platforms, HUL is also involved in a number of community support activities, like providing audio-visual packages for basic education in primary schools, education and rehabilitation of special or underprivileged children, care for the destitute and HIV-positive, and rural development. In recognition of these initiatives, HUL received the prestigious TERI-CSR Special Award for the year 2002-03 from The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). As is well-known, TERI, which was established in 1974, is world famous for its commitment to and initiatives in every aspect of sustainable development.
Among HUL's major CSR initiatives are:
PROJECT SHAKTI - Changing Lives in Rural India
Project Shakti is HUL's rural initiative, which targets small villages with population of less than 2000 people or less. It seeks to empower underprivileged rural women by providing income- generating opportunities. Project Shakti also aims to improve the standard of living of the rural community, by providing health and hygiene education. In general, rural women in India are underprivileged and need a sustainable source of income. NGOs, governmental bodies and other institutions have been working to improve the status of rural women. Project Shakti is a pioneering effort in creating livelihoods for rural women, organized in Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and improving living standards in rural India. Project Shakti provides critically needed additional income to these women and their families, by equipping and training them to become an extended arm of the company's operation. Started in 2001, Project Shakti has already been extended to about 20000 villages in 196 districts in 11 States - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The respective state governments and several NGOs are actively involved in the initiative. Project Shakti already has about 6200 women entrepreneurs in its fold. A typical Shakti entrepreneur earns a sustainable income of about Rs.1, 000 per month, which is double their average household income. Project Shakti is thus creating opportunities for rural women to live in improved conditions and with dignity, while improving the overall standard of living in their families. In addition, it involves health and hygiene programmes, which help to improve the standard of living of the rural community. The...