Unilever is a world leader in sustainability – they call it sustainable living. It’s transforming their business and shaping a new model of capitalism.
What’s more, it drives massive growth – in 2016, Unilever’s 'Sustainable Living Brands' delivered 60% of their growth and grew over 40% faster than the rest of the business. This was driven by continued consumer demand for brands with purpose.
We were asked to help the Presidents of Unilever’s four divisions (each running a multi billion Euro organisation) to tell their stories to spread ‘sustainable living’ across the whole organisation and beyond.
Capturing insights and proof
We ran structured sessions with each of the four category Presidents to uncover the key business drivers, areas of positive impact and personal motivations.
We reviewed each category’s strategy and heritage, as well as their business and sustainable living plan priorities. We also completed a competitor and out-of-sector benchmarking and best practice exercise.
Engaging those who matter
We developed a narrative for the leaders of each category to use as a launch pad for major engagement programmes internally and externally. There is now a common language and leadership understanding across each category. In addition, precision has been applied to the commercial logic and societal impact of each division’s ‘Sustainable Living Brands’.
The sustainable living approach is now embraced by around 80% of colleagues and is referred to as the 'new business model’ for Unilever.
For two of the divisional Presidents, we also supported internal engagement programmes including Town Hall sessions, interviews and films.
“There is no doubt that the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is making us more competitive by helping us to build our brands and spur innovation, strengthen our supply chain and reduce our risks, lower our costs, and build trust in our business. It is helping Unilever to serve society and our many consumers and, in doing so, create value for shareholders”.
Paul Polman Unilever CEO, May 2017