Unilever Announces Effort to Provide Hygiene Services for the Homeless
Commitment to Mobile Shower Organizations Designed to Improve Health & Wellbeing
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ (December 4, 2018) – Unilever today announced “The Right to Dignity”, a social mission and commitment to improving the health and well-being of people living on the streets. Unilever is partnering with mobile shower organizations across the country to help provide reliable, safe and free access to showers and other basic hygiene needs, services often unrecognized but proven to be critical in improving welfare. The launch was marked by a convening of a committed group of changemakers, advocates and experts united in their efforts to positively impact people experiencing homelessness, held in New York City.
Speaking at the event, Unilever CEO Paul Polman said “We have long known about the many challenges we are facing as a society: inequality, poverty, youth unemployment and climate change. The list is long. I have always believed that business has power to influence these issues, and the communities impacted. Here in the U.S., we know it is critical to address the issue of inequality and homelessness.”
Since its founding, Unilever has been on a mission to make cleanliness commonplace and believes that no one should be denied access to hygiene resources. With the lack of consistent, safe hygiene services available to those living on the streets, and the transformative impact these services can provide, the company saw a powerful opportunity to make a difference.
“While we know homelessness is a complex and systemic issue, we’ve learned that health and hygiene play a critical role in helping people feel able to move through the world and be seen. ” said Esi Eggleston Bracey, EVP and COO of Personal Care for Unilever North America. “For this reason, dignity is at the core of the mission Unilever is building, with today as an important first step.”
To better understand how it could make an impact, Unilever partnered with Lava Mae, the largest mobile shower organization in the U.S., which has provided more than 58,000 showers to more than 15,000 guests in California since its launch in 2014 and has also inspired 100+ mobile hygiene services modeled after its own. Over the past year, Unilever has provided direct financial support for Lava Mae as well as likeminded organizations such as Streetside Showers, Organization of Hope, Project Outpour and Brooklyn Community Services.
These investments will help build additional mobile shower units and sustain operations in San Francisco, Dallas, Baltimore, Charlotte and Brooklyn respectively. The long-term goal is to build a nationwide network of providers delivering regular, safe, free hygiene and wellbeing services to all those experiencing housing instability.
As Unilever introduces this commitment the company hopes to be part of a broader movement to impact homelessness. Visit https://www.unileverusa.com/news/news-and-features/2018/the-right-to-dignity to read the full manifesto and learn more about the impact that can be made to the lives of those living on the streets.
About Unilever United States, Inc.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day.
In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Degree, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Love Beauty and Planet, Magnum, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Pure Leaf, Q-tips, Schmidt’s Naturals, Seventh Generation, Simple, Sir Kensington’s, St. Ives, Suave, Sundial Brands, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TAZO, TIGI, TONI&GUY, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.
Unilever employs approximately 8,000 people in the United States – generating more than $9 billion in sales in 2017.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
- Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. Globally, the company’s sustainable living brands grew 46% faster than the rest of the business and delivered more than 70% of the company’s growth in 2017.
For more information on Unilever U.S., its brands, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan visit: www.unileverusa.com
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