Our vision

Our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace.

Happy girls queuing


The answer is simple. We believe we have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to be a force for good in the world.

And – just as importantly – we believe that doing good makes us a better business.

The best way – and the only way – to do business

We’re convinced that the businesses that thrive in the future will be those that serve society today.

That’s why ten years ago we launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which sets out how we are decoupling our growth from our environmental footprint, while increasing our positive social impact.

We’ve made a difference to millions of lives by acting on the issues that matter. Gender equality. Fairness. Climate action. Healthy eating. Hygiene. Sustainable sourcing. Plastic waste – and many more.

This action doesn’t harm our business.

It does the opposite.

It is helping us drive more profitable growth for our brands, save costs, mitigate risk and build trust among our stakeholders. It is the best and only way to achieve long-term growth.

We have:
empowered1.85 million womenthrough initiatives that promote safety, develop skills and expand opportunities
746,000 smallholder farmersthrough initiatives aiming to improve agricultural practices or increase incomes
1.73 million small-scale retailersthrough initiatives aiming to improve agricultural practices or increase incomes
achieved49%female representation in our management
reduced44%water abstraction per tonne of production
52%CO2 emissions from energy per tonne of production
sourced56%agricultural raw materials sustainably sourced
reached1 billion peoplethrough Lifebuoy’s handwashing programmes
55 million peoplewith safe drinking water
improved16.5 million people’s accessto toilets
ensured48%of our foods met the highest nutritional standards in 2018
66%of our foods met our salt intake targets

Follow our progress in our Sustainable Living Report, including how we’re meeting our three big goals:

  • Helping more than a billion people to improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Halving the environmental footprint of our products.
  • Sourcing 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably and enhancing the livelihoods of people across our value chain

Brands you love, taking action

We know our brands can make a difference on the issues that matter to people.

We’ve been doing it for more than 120 years.

Our founder William Lever launched Sunlight Soap in 1884 with a vision of promoting hygiene and health. He believed in ‘doing well by doing good’.

The world has changed a lot since then – but our underlying purpose has not.

Today, our brands are creating positive change in all sorts of ways.

Knorr’s work to support sustainable farming. The campaign to support proper toilets in schools, led by Domestos. Dove’s Self-Esteem Project, which has reached 35 million people. The work to empower women and break down stereotypes that involves TRESemmé, Sunsilk, Omo and many more brands. The 45,000 job opportunities created by Streets. And the incredible 458 million people reached by Lifebuoy soap’s handwashing programme.

There are examples across our portfolio. And we want to make the positive impact of all our brands even bigger.

That’s what we mean by being purpose-led. And that’s how we'll make sustainable living commonplace.