SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REPORT, 2009
1 Introduction 2 Our business & brands 4 Sustainability strategy Making a difference through our brands Enhancing livelihoods through partnerships Building responsible leaders
45,000 Shakti entrepreneurs
serving more than 1,00,000 villages across India
10 Consumers 18 Business partners 22 Employees
19 tea estates certified
Enhanced livelihood of 75,000 rural women by INR 18 crores in partnership with DHAN foundation by Rainforest Alliance for sustainable sourcing of tea Our employees volunteered more than 1,15,000 hours for community initiatives through HUL Sankalp
Sustainable living Creating a positive impact Ensuring returns through sustainable growth
Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna has touched more than 120 million Indians since 2002
Reduced environmental impact of our manufacturing operations by - 31% for water use - 28% for CO2 from energy measured per tonne of production over 2004 baseline
More than 3 million households protected by Pureit water purifier
46 Industry & Business associations 47 Glossary 48 GRI and UNGC content index 49 About the report
HUL felicitated for receiving highest number of patents in 2009 in India
We provide millions of Indians with a great variety of affordable and quality products which better their lifestyles. Our strategic approach – small actions, big difference – illustrates our responsibility towards our multiple stakeholders, and the deep and reciprocal impact we have on each other.
Dear Stakeholders, 2009 was a challenging, yet transformational, year for business. The global economic and financial crisis highlighted the wider challenges of what it means to be a sustainable business. Businesses must grow and generate profits, but this cannot be the only role of a business. At its core, business is about people and an understanding of their needs and aspirations. This is what will make a business thrive in the long run. An approach any narrower than this may bring short-term dividends, but will come at the cost of long-term value. One is reminded, in this context, of the absolutely inspiring words of Lord Leverhulme, the founder of Lever Brothers – "I believe that nothing can be greater than a business, however small it may be, that is governed by conscience; and that nothing can be meaner or more petty than a business, however large, governed without honesty and without brotherhood." This belief has stood Lever Brothers, and now Unilever, in good stead through over 100 years of its existence. In the 76 years of our presence in India, we have participated actively in contributing to society not only with product innovations that make people feel good, look good, and get more out of life, but also with our social initiatives – from health campaigns
to developing micro-enterprise opportunities. In 2009, we received the highest number of patents in India and continued to focus on product and process innovations to derive improvements and better the quality of our consumers' life through our brands. Future sustainability strategy Issues like poverty, low awareness about health and hygiene, scarcity of water and natural resources, are barriers to growth. Hence, it is imperative to address these issues in ways that go beyond simple charitable or philanthropic actions. If the impact needs to be scaleable and sustainable it will also require an organisational culture where people are not just sensitive to the issues we face, but also recognise that addressing them has become central to business strategy and sustainability. The simple truth is that in the long run you cannot have a thriving business in a failing society. Once this truth is accepted, we can drive actions that will contribute to India's, and the developing...