Unilever launched its Sustainable Living Plan in 2010 and continues to promote it through its international subsidiaries. Nitin Paranjpe CEO of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is passionate about the program and affirmed his commitment to it in a recent interview with The Economic Times. Paranjpe recognizes “that business has a larger purpose and our purpose cannot be just making money.”
HUL’s sustainability crusade started in November 2010 when global CEO Paul Polman launched ‘The Compass’ strategy that was encapsulated in Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), an internal Magna Carta that laid out the company’s future POA: double the size of the business while halving the environment footprint of its products, increase the company’s positive social impact, and source 100% of agricultural raw materials sustainably. Polman’s was a call to arms for Leverites in 190 countries to bring about deep changes in the way the company’s businesses are run. A clear move away from the quarter-on-quarter focus, it was a decisive shift to, as Paranjpe puts it, ‘delink growth from the environmental impact and recouple growth with societal good.’ Unilever’s global chief holds an inherent belief that as global resources deplete, consumers will ‘vote with their wallets’ by choosing socially responsible companies.
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