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Unilever Bets Big On Sustainability

July 5, 2012: 10:55 PM EST
Unilever has staked its future growth and profitability on its sustainability strategy, which aims to double sales while cutting in half its impact on the environment. Unilever CEO Paul Polman said his company wants to persuade more than a billion people to improve their hygiene habits by 2020 by encouraging them to wash their hands and by providing clean and affordable drinking water in developing countries. Unilever believes that sustainable business practices, selling healthy and necessary goods and services that meet the needs of the growing middle class worldwide and uplift the conditions of the poor, will help it grow its business. Risks to Unilever’s reputation posed by potential environmental or labor issues and obstacles, such as consumer reluctance to behavioral change, could hamper the company’s sustainability efforts.
Matthew Boyle , "Unilever Wants Short, Soapy Showers and Long-Term Investors", Bloomberg, July 05, 2012, © Bloomberg L.P.
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