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Unilever’s sustainability agenda – a Proactive Approach to Doing Better Business.

Nironkush Das

on 25 July 2013

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Transcript of Unilever-Tea-Sustainability

1. Accreditation
The Tea Board of Kenya
Rainforest Alliance
The Fairtrade Foundation
Ethical Tea Partnership

2. Community Investment
Supporting HIV/Aids Sufferers
Subsidising Childrens' Education
Provision of clean water

3. Production / Supply Chain
Sustainable farming practices implemented
Improved techniques taught to small plantation holder to increase quality and quantity of yields.
Improved condition for tea plantation workers
Supporting small plantation owners

4. Protecting the Environment
Water Management
Waste Management (e.g. Compost Pits)
Unilever's Sustainable Livelihoods Plan
Better Business?
Supply Chain Revenue Breakdown
A Proactive Approach to Doing Better Business
A Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal
"If we hit all our targets on this plan, but no-one else follows suit, we will have failed miserably."
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever (2011).
Anthony Edwards - Bernard Yu - Davina Fell - Gopal Panchal - Janet Du Chenne - Rick Das
We will also articulate some of the issues and challenges that the CSR strategy presents to Unilever.
Unilever’s re-engineering of the supply chain for tea, we will argue, has provided a test-case for how to make a business ethical.
Unilever's activities in Kenya based on its Sustainable Living Plan
Rising costs of labour
Wage Inflation
Workers' Rights
Collective Bargaining
Volatile price of tea
Revaluation of Kenya Shilling
Production outpacing export demand
Cost of land
Demand for profitable crops - biofuel
Sustainable farming
The Good
The Bad
1. Fair prices
2. Training
3. Voice for farmers
4. Social Interaction
5. Greater benefits to the community

1) Initial project delays
2) Cultural differences particularly in data collection
3) Failure to understand Kenyan infrastructure
4) Lack of further training and education programs
Lessons Learnt
Education centres:
Creating sub-schools in village centres close to a cluster of farmers
Use of lower end tablets to communicate lessons stored on the tablet.

Rainforest Alliance training:
Encourage and allow both husband and wife to attend the training sessions.

Additional training outcomes:
Further education in some areas was foreign to Kenyan cultural norms e.g. “cost benefit” analysis training
Data recording seen as a “punishment” by the famers.

Early intervention:
Factories could implement methods to track tea quality.
Using KPIs and other methods can improve production quality.
JohnVidal, ‘The last nomads: drought drives Kenya’s herders to the brink’, The Guardian, 3 September 2009
Jefferey Gettleman, ‘Lush land dries up, withering Kenya’s hopes’, The NewYork Times, 8 September 2009
JohnVidal,‘Climate change is here, it is a reality’, The Guardian, 22 September 2009 
A. Morser (2010). “A bitter cup: The exploitation of tea workers in India and Kenya supplying British supermarkets.” War on Want. Unite the Union. July 2010.
V. Largo (2011). “PG Tips and Lipton tea estates hit by allegations of sexual harassment and poor conditions.” What’s in your cuppa? Ecologist. April 2011.
W. McLennan (2011). “Environmental damage and human rights abuses blight global tea sector.” What’s in your cuppa? Ecologist. April 2011.
Kenya Human Rights Commission (2008). “A comparative study of the tea sector in Kenya: A case study of large scale tea estates.” KHRC: 2008.
Yuca Waarts, Lan Ge, Giel Ton and Don Jansen, Sustainable Tea Production in Kenya , IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative. June 2012
Unilever (2009) Farmer Field School Project: Growing sustainable tea in Kenya  [Online] Available from: http://www.unilever.com/images/sd_TheFarmerFieldSchoolProject-GrowingSustainableTeainKenya_tcm13-212243.pdf
Heather Connon (2013) New Consortium takes on the Chai Challenges [Online] Available From: http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/07/new-consortium-takes-chai-challenge/
Kenya Television Network (2013) Unilever Kenya’s Sustainability Strategy [Online} Available From: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ktn/video/watch/2000067709/-unilever-kenya-sustainability-strategy
Thank you. Any questions?
Challenges faced by Unilever in Kenya
Source: van der Wal, Sustainability Issues in the Tea Sector; SOMO, 2008.
Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan
"Unilever is a good example of a company with a comprehensive CSR strategy" - Financial Times.

Featured in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for 11 consecutive years.

Ranked 7th in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.
McKinsey & Co reports: "Unilever's Tea plantation in Kericho is a model of good CSR activities; ensuring sustainable supplies of critical raw materials, while improving productivity, sustainability, and environmental management, as well as energy and habitat conservation; certification from the Rainforest Alliance for all Lipton tea farms by 2015; the initiative increased farmer revenue through a 10 to 15 percent premium paid above market price."
Public Perception of Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan on Kenyan Tea
The business strategy is hailed as a sound model for sustainable growth.
• Takes responsibility for its suppliers, distributors and for how consumers use its brands.

Progress So Far ...
36% of Agricultural Raw Material sustainably sourced by end of 2012.
224 million people reached by end 2012.
Waste impact per consumer use reduced by 7% since 2010.
450,000 smallholder farmers trained.
Even More Praises
Unilever retains its top ranking in the latest 2013 Sustainability Leaders survey from GlobeScan/SustainAbility for the third consecutive year;

The World Environment Center awarded Unilever its 2013 Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development.
Full transcript