Unilever launches global foundation

Partnership with five global organizations to deliver sustainable change worldwide launched today at the World Economic Forum in Davos

London/Rotterdam/Davos (January 27, 2012) - Unilever today announced the launch of The Unilever Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life through the provision of hygiene, sanitation, access to clean drinking water, basic nutrition, and enhancing self-esteem. To help achieve the Foundation’s mission, Unilever has formed partnerships with five leading global organizations that are committed to creating sustainable change worldwide: Oxfam, PSI, Save the Children, UNICEF and the World Food Programme.

The Unilever Foundation is a key action that Unilever is taking to help achieve its goal of helping more than one billion people improve their health and well-being, and in turn, create a sustainable future.

“We live in a rapidly changing world. One where populations are growing, water is becoming increasingly scarce, and where food security is a growing issue. Unilever is committed to addressing the unmet social needs that our business can play a unique role in helping to solve. This is especially true in developing and emerging markets where we have deep roots,” said Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Unilever.

“We aim to double the size of our business while reducing our environmental impact and deliver increased social value. Together with our partners, we will deliver life-saving solutions as we work toward achieving these ambitious goals,” he added.

The challenges of the 21st century are increasingly complex:

  • Over 1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.
  • More than 3.5 million children under 5 die annually from diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections.
  • One child dies every four seconds from preventable and treatable diseases.
  • 2.6 billion people lack access to improved sanitation.
  • An estimated 925 million people suffer from chronic hunger.
  • “Two billion times a day, somebody, somewhere, uses a Unilever brand. Our global reach and scale, coupled with a deep understanding of what triggers consumer behaviours that can lead to a sustainable future, uniquely enable us to drive long-term scalable and systemic change,” added Weed.
  • The Unilever Foundation will be working with its Global partners on a number of live-saving initiatives:
  • The Unilever Foundation’s partnership with Oxfam will improve lives around the world through programmes designed to empower individuals and deliver good nutrition and clean, safe drinking water. According to Barbara Stocking, Oxfam Chief Executive, “Unilever and Oxfam have been working together across the world for quite a number of years so we are pleased to be working with Unilever with the new Foundation as it is set up. The first way that we are going to work together is in the UK, providing food parcels to the very poorest people and helping them move from surviving to thriving. We are looking forward to extending that worldwide, focusing on two pillars core to Oxfam’s work on tackling poverty and inequality – the rights of women and access to clean drinking water.”
  • In supporting PSI, the Unilever Foundation is making a tangible contribution to improving the health of children and families through delivering behavioural change interventions focused on hand washing, clean drinking water and sanitation. "The launch of the Unilever Foundation represents the best of what is possible in Davos," said Karl Hofmann, President and CEO of PSI. "By pooling ideas and resources, private companies and health organizations can improve the health of millions of children and families worldwide. PSI is excited to be working with Unilever, a company that recognizes - and values - the economic impact of good health."
  • The Unilever Foundation is working with Save the Children to save and improve the lives of children around the world. This will involve improving access to health workers and life-saving vaccines, and ensuring more children and mothers are reached with high-impact health and nutrition programmes. The partnership will also provide a platform to catalyse a global movement and generate the public and political will for a global breakthrough on child survival. Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of Save the Children International, said "Save the Children is proud to be selected as a partner for the Unilever Foundation. This partnership will help us to deliver transformational change to millions of children's lives around the world through our EVERY ONE campaign. Each year 7.6 million children die needlessly of preventable illnesses. The support from Unilever will bring us a step closer to ensuring that a health worker is within reach of every child, life-saving vaccines are available for all, and children have enough food to grow up healthy. Combining our global reach and joint ambition - we can give children the chance to fulfil their potential." The Unilever Foundation and UNICEF are partnering to improve sanitation in developing countries through UNICEF’s Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (‘CATS’) initiative, a behaviour change program that promotes good hygiene practices, helps create demand for access to toilets, and raises awareness of the sanitation crisis. “By investing with communities in sanitation, this partnership is helping us break one of the last taboos in public health – open defecation – and demonstrating real leadership for the private sector,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF’s Executive Director. “Improved sanitation could prevent the deaths of over one million children each year so these investments have enormous potential for the future health and strength of their societies.”
  • The Unilever Foundation is also partnering with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Project Laser Beam, a public-private partnership that aims to create a scalable and sustainable model to improve nutrition, health, and livelihoods in Bangladesh and Indonesia. “With millions of children around the world suffering from malnutrition, there has never been a better time to take action on this truly solvable problem,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran. “Project Laser Beam is investing in the next generation by ensuring that our children grow up healthy and strong. The knowledge and expertise of partners like the Unilever Foundation help make this goal a reality.”

Additionally, the Unilever Foundation is also working with other organizations worldwide by providing a combination of direct funding, expertise, products and employee support that help to help address country-specific needs primarily aligned with the Foundation’s mission.

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www.unilever.com/aboutus/foundation

www.facebook.com/unilever

About Unilever

Unilever works to create a better future every day. We help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 180. Consumers buy 170 billion Unilever packs around the world every year, and our products are used over two billion times a day. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most loved brands including twelve €1 billion brands, and global leadership in many categories in which we operate. The portfolio features iconic brands such as: Knorr, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Dove, Vaseline, Persil, Cif, Rexona and Degree. We have around 167,000 employees in over 100 countries, and generated annual sales of €44.3 billion in 2010. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com Unilever is Leader in the Food Producers sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for the 13th year running. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. We are also ranked 7th in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, a list compiled by Corporate Knights Magazine. We achieved Platinum Plus standard in the UK’s Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index 2009, and were named Company of the Year in 2010.

About the Unilever Foundation Partners

Oxfam is a global humanitarian, development and campaigning organisation working with others to overcome poverty and suffering. Since its Oxford-based beginnings in 1942, it has grown into a worldwide force. Oxfam is now working in nearly 60 countries on a diverse range of projects, from providing emergency water sources to supporting community health projects.

Oxfam has one million supporters in the UK. For every £1 donated to its general funds, 83p is spent on emergency, development and campaigning work, 10p is spent on support and governance and 7p is invested to generate future income. Oxfam has more than 700 high street shops across the UK selling donated fashion, books, music, homewares and new ethical products. It is supported by a workforce of 22,000 volunteers. Oxfam also launched the UK’s first online charity shop in 2007. Oxfam GB is affiliated to Oxfam International, a global confederation of 15 independent Oxfams which share the same purpose. Visit www.oxfam.org.uk

PSI is a global non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like a lack of family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal health, and the greatest threats to children under five, including malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition. www.psi.org(Link opens in a new window); Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSIimpact

Save the Children works in more than 120 countries. We save children's lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfill their potential. For more information visit: www.savethechildren.org.uk

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

World Food Programme (WFP) is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting malnutrition and hunger worldwide. Each year, on average WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. WFP has prioritized reaching children in the first 1000 days, when their brains and bodies are subject to permanent stunting due to a lack of micronutrients. WFP procures 80 percent of food and nutrition supplies it purchases from the developing world. WFP now provides RSS feeds to help journalists keep up with the latest press releases, videos and photos as they are published on WFP.org. For more details see http://www.wfp.org/rss

Lucila Zambrano

+44 (0)207 822 5354
Lucila.zambrano@unilever.com

Molly Slotznick - UN World Food Programme

Ph: +39 06 65 13 3873
Mob: +39 345 644 3105

Molly.slotznick@wfp.org

Larissa Schlotterbeck - UNICEF

Ph: +41 22 909 5477

lschlotterbeck@unicef.org

Kate Redman - Save the Children

Ph: +44 (0) 78999 02886
Mob: +33 (0) 60 204 9345

k.redman@savethechildren.org.uk

Marshall Stowell - PSI

+1 202 785 0072

mstowell@psi.org

Leona Everitt - Oxfam

+44 (0)1865 472498

leveritt@oxfam.org.uk

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