Unilever and Its Supply Chain: Embracing Radical Transparency to Implement Sustainability

Unilever and Its Supply Chain: Embracing Radical Transparency to Implement Sustainability

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2417-5.ch008


The chapter refers to Unilever and its efforts to implement the concept of radical transparency to implement sustainability and it is split into four sections in order to complete its purpose. First, the chapter provides a background on Unilever as a company. Second, the authors discuss several lenses with which Unilever may view their options to find the most optimal starting point or points to enact sustainability measures. The chapter then demonstrates one such tool, Sustainability Stakeholder Rating Tool (SSRT) and discusses how this weighting tool may be applied to three key products including dairy, vegetables, and palm oil. The chapter discusses various ways in which Unilever may encourage sustainable supply chain compliance, verify practices, and drive sustainability down the supply chain via the innovation and still relatively new radical transparency practices of certification, crowd-sourcing, and trust -based networks.
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Unilever And Sustainability

Unilever, based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, owns many of the leading consumer brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents, and personal care products. Unilever employs 163,000 people in around 100 countries and their products are sold in over 170 countries around the world.

The top 25 brands in their portfolio account for nearly 75% of their sales. They are the global market leader in all the food categories in which they operate: Savory, Spreads, Dressings, Tea and Ice Cream. They are also the global market leader in Mass Skin Care and Deodorants, and have very strong positions in other Home and Personal Care categories. They have 264 manufacturing sites worldwide, all of which align with their values of safety, efficiency, quality and environmental impacts. Around 50% of the raw materials that they use for our products come from agriculture and forestry. They buy approximately 12% of the world’s black tea, 6% of its tomatoes and 3% of its palm oil.

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