As one of the world’s largest consumers of agricultural products, Unilever relies heavily on nature—rich soils, abundant water and functioning ecosystems—leading them to prioritize the need to measure their impacts to allow them to better manage their risk and reduce their impacts.
Unilever plans to grow its profits—doubling the size of the business whilst halving their environmental footprint, and increasing their positive social impact—focusing in the first instance on ensuring that their sourcing activities do not encourage detrimental land use changes or practices.
They address this by taking direct action to avoid deforestation, associated with sourcing agricultural-based ingredients and the paper and pulp for packaging, and extraction of non-renewable resources.In 2010 Unilever joined in a commitment to zero deforestation by 2020 by all 400 members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). Unilever also led the foundation of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), a public-private partnership between the CGF and the governments of the US, UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Indonesia and Liberia to reduce and eventually eliminate the deforestation associated with the sourcing of palm oil, soy, beef, paper and pulp.
In 2013, Unilever launched their Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Policy, designed to drive market transformation by working with their key suppliers and the fast moving consumer goods industry to focus on stopping deforestation, protecting peat lands and driving positive economic and social impacts.
You can read more about how Unilever are using new metrics here.