Sydney, 24 August 2022 – Unilever Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) - maker of Australian household staples, including OMO, TRESemmé, Continental and Streets ice cream - has today announced it is joining the B Corporation (B Corp™) community, a growing network of organisations which are committed to meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
Unilever ANZ joins a growing list of more than 460 businesses to achieve the Certification in the region, and over 5,400 globally. The rigorous assessment process reviewed Unilever’s entire operations in Australia & New Zealand. The Certification is independently administered by B Lab and awarded to companies that demonstrate verifiable positive impact through policies and practices across five areas – governance, workers, communities, customers, and the environment.
The actions Unilever ANZ is taking under - its global sustainable business strategy - were integral to its successful Certification. This includes fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce with gender parity across management; pioneering flexible work with a four-day work week trial in New Zealand; switching to 100% renewable electricity to power its Australian factories; reimagining packaging to reduce plastic waste; collaborating with farmers on Regenerative Agricultural Principles; and driving strong employee engagement around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).
CEO of Unilever Australia & New Zealand, Nicky Sparshott, says the Certification is a tremendous milestone for a company of Unilever’s size and scale.
“On any given day, millions of Aussie and Kiwi households use our products - we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to use our scale as a force for good. We’re thrilled to achieve B Corp Certification, as both a validation of the actions we’ve implemented across Australia & New Zealand, and a motivator to strive even further.”
“Without a healthy planet and society, we cannot have a healthy business, which is why our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace.To realise this purpose, we have to work collaboratively. From the suppliers who provide us essential ingredients and materials; to our team members, the partners that sell our products, and the people who enjoy them every day – we want to create a coalition of the passionate and willing, to galvanise a stronger, more inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy for all.”
Andrew Davies, CEO of B Lab Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand says, “When businesses of the size and scale of Unilever Australia & New Zealand certify, it shows just how much the idea of business delivering positive impact on people and planet has grown. Their Certification sends a powerful signal that will further advance change in the consumer goods sector, and our broader global economic system.”
“We need more businesses of all sizes to step up and be accountable, and B Corp Certification is one powerful way to do that. It comes with a significant burden of greater transparency and requires continuous improvement to maintain the Certification over time. It’s a credit to the team at Unilever ANZ that they have been willing and able to achieve this with such a large, complex business.”
The B Corp Certification requires ongoing disclosure for Unilever ANZ to maintain its credentials. As part of Certification process, the business was required to make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance approach to be accountable to all stakeholders. Certified businesses must also exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.
Ms Sparshott says becoming B Corp Certified is only the beginning for Unilever Australia & New Zealand.
“Through our Certification, we’re proving it’s possible to be profitable while simultaneously having a positive impact on people and the planet. Becoming a B Corp makes us a stronger business as it will help us attract talented jobseekers who are increasingly seeking out meaningful work; become a partner of choice for organisations who are prioritising ESG; and win over Australian shoppers that want to buy purposeful brands that have a positive impact.
“Unilever has been striving to make sustainable living commonplace for more than a decade. While we already hold ourselves accountable to our own ambitious targets, achieving Certification adds an extra layer of accountability and encourages us to be even more transparent. We want to share our learnings, and equally, we want to learn from other likeminded organisations along the way. We’re already planning how we can turbocharge our positive impact and look forward to sharing our journey with Australians and New Zealanders as we go.”
Our brands must undergo a Brand Review by B Lab before they are entitled to use the B Corp logo. They must pass the minimum threshold of 80 points in the B Impact Assessment. Brands eligible for use of the B Corp logo/ intellectual property are those for which Unilever ANZ controls greater than 50% of the product. We have completed this assessment process and the brands that are entitled to use the B Corp logo include Continental, Magnum, OMO/Persil, Comfort, Surf, Blue Ribbon, Splice, Golden Gaytime, Bubble O Bill, Paddle Pop, Weis, TRESemmé, Radox.