Unilever aims to raise living standards across value chain
Unilever announced sweeping commitments and actions “to help build a more equitable and inclusive society” by raising living standards across its value chain. The British multinational consumer goods company , headquartered in London, UK, aims to create opportunities through inclusivity, and preparing people for the future of work.
“The two biggest threats that the world currently faces are climate change and social inequality,” said Unilever CEO Alan Jope. “The pa st year has undoubtedly widened the social divide, and decisive and collective action is needed to build a society that helps to improve livelihoods, embraces diversity, nurtures talent, and offers opportunities for everyone.
“We believe the actions we are committing to will make Unilever a better, stronger business; ready for the huge societal changes we are experiencing today – changes that will only accelerate. Without a healthy society, there cannot be a healthy business.”
Unilever’s main commitments include:
- Ensuring that everyone who directly provides goods and services to the company earns at least a living wage or income, by 2030
- Spending €2 billion annually with suppliers owned and managed by people from under-represented groups, by 2025
- Pioneering new employment models for employees and equipping 10 million young people with essential skills to prepare them for job opportunities, by 2030
Unilever says ensuring people in the value chain earn a living wage or income is a critical step towards building a more equitable and inclusive society. There is also a direct benefit to the economy, through consumer spending, job creation, improving job productivity and quality.
The company will focus on the most vulnerable workers in manufacturing and agriculture – working with suppliers, other businesses, governments and NGOs to create systemic change and global adoption of living wage practices.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy
Unilever also sees diversity as a critical factor and has introduced a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy to remove barriers and bias in recruitment and aiming to achieve a workforce that reflects the population in the countries where they operate.
This commitment extends to spending €2 billion annually with diverse suppliers by 2025. These suppliers will be small and medium-sized businesses owned and managed by women, under-represented racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities and LGBTQI+.
Helping young people acquire essential skills
On the skills and training front, Unilever will ensure all employees are reskilled or upskilled by 2025, and will pioneer new employment models. It will offer “new ways of working, to offer both security and flexibility”.
Looking beyond the company’s workforce, Unilever says it will help 10 million young people acquire essential skills for future jobs. It will also grow its apprenticeship schemes around the world, and work with suppliers and distributors to build vocational skills to help young people to get into work.
Professor John Ruggie, Harvard University, Former UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, member of the Unilever Sustainability Advisory Council, commented: “The right to an adequate standard of living is a fundamental human right – sadly one that many of millions of people around the world are unable to access.
"Decent work, enough to adequately maintain yourself and your family not only helps people escape poverty but helps economic and social development too. So I commend Unilever for its foresighted announcement today as it continues the evolution of its social ambition, founded on the respect for human rights.”
People Moves EMEA: Kearney, KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Skoda
It’s been a busy week for executive transitions across EMEA and especially in the world of consulting, with partner/CEO announcements at Oliver Wyman, KPMG and Kearney, and in the role of head of sustainability, with new CSO appointments at Laing O’Rourke and Syngenta Group.
We round up the biggest executive moves across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Nick Studer announced as CEO of consulting giant Oliver Wyman
Set to take the top job at consulting giant Oliver Wyman next month, Nick Studer has been named CEO and Dual President of the firm’s economic and brand consulting subsidiaries NERA and Lippincott and will be based in London. Having been with Oliver Wyman for more than two decades, becoming partner in 2003, Studer has since served in a variety of international leadership roles, including head of Global Corporate and Institutional banking Practice, before becoming managing partner at the start of 2021.
According to Dan Glaser, CEO of Oliver Wyman parent Marsh McLennan, Studer has not just led many of the firm’s practices, but he “has been a leading voice for change and a major driver of our Inclusion and Diversity agenda”.
Delphine Bourrilly to lead Kearney in France
Seasoned consultant Delphine Bourrilly has been appointed leader of consulting firm Kearney for France, one of the firm’s larger locations in Europe, becoming fifth head of the Paris office. Having been with Kearney for more than a decade, most recently leading the Leadership, Change and Organisation practice across Europe, Bourrilly has an array of client successes under her consulting belt, including overseeing an operating model transformation at a large retailer. Prior to this, she spent five years at UBS. According to Geir Olsen, Head of Europe at Kearney, Bourrilly’s “talent, energy and charisma will be critical in leading Kearney through its next growth phase in France”.
Roland Villinger becomes head of corporate and product strategy, Skoda Auto
A consulting veteran, Roland Villinger has been appointed head of Skoda Auto’s corporate and product strategy, a newly created area for the Czech car manufacturer that combines two departments. Described by Skoda’s CEO Thomas Schafer as “an international experienced leader and proven digital expert”, Villinger most recently oversaw the implementation of Volkswagen Group strategy and was also previously chief strategy officer and chief digital officer at Audi AG. Prior to this, he spent 25 years at consultancy McKinsey including serving as a senior partner and running McKinsey’s operations in the APAC region.
Hanan Alowain promoted to Partner, public sector, KPMG
Becoming the second Saudi female partner in the history of KPMG, Hanan Alowain has been promoted to Partner in the firm’s Public Sector function. With 14 years of experience in human capital and social development in the Kingdom, including the last three and a half years at KPMG, Alowain is a Harvard Business School graduate with extensive experience both in the public sector, as director of research and development for the Saudi government’s Ministry of Labour, and the private sector, including as a partner at investment & development group Eradah.
Vicky Bullivant named Laing O’Rourke’s first-ever group head of sustainability
Seasoned ESG leader Vicky Bullivant is joining Laing O’Rourke as its first-ever group head of sustainability from Drax Group where she was head of sustainable business and responsible for developing the firm’s climate ambition, social strategy and community and charity policies. Having led the world’s first company ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, and the UK’s first energy company to commit to improving skills and education for one million people by 2025, Bullivant boasts 25 years of ESG business experience in highly regulated sectors, FTSE 100 companies, government and NGOs.
Bullivant spent eight years at Experian, where she was head of corporate affairs and community, nearly four years as head of corporate responsibility at Eon, five years as group head of sustainability at Rolls-Royce, where she turned around the firm’s performance in the Dow Jones Sustainability index, as well as sustainability heads at Tate & Lyle and Drax Group.
Daniel Vennard joins Syngenta Group as new CSO
Former global director at the World Resources Institute Daniel Vennard has been appointed chief sustainability officer for Syngenta Group. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Vennard will be responsible for developing and implementing the Group’s sustainability into its business strategy. Bringing extensive experience in the development of sustainability strategies and in launching global sustainability programmes that deliver growth and impact, Vennard most recently served as global director at the World Resources Institute, Vennard founded the Better Buying Lab bringing together scientists to develop, test and scale innovations that help consumers opt for sustainable plant-based food.
Prior to this he spent 15 years at Mars and Procter & Gamble in sustainability, corporate strategy and marketing and brings “creativity and remarkable expertise in sustainability” that will “help us further advance regenerative farming practices and help mitigate the harmful effects of global warming”, says Erik Fyrwald, CEO, Syngenta Group.