BCTI Unveils PwC-Authored Case Study Spotlighting Unilever’s Social Impact Strategy

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11 April, 2024




Geneva, 11 April 2024: The Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI) has unveiled its latest case study report, “How Unilever builds and delivers its social performance strategy”, offering insights into effective strategies for addressing inequality within the private sector. The report, created by PwC, highlights Unilever’s exemplary journey in defining and implementing a robust social impact strategy across its business and value chain. 

“The need for social performance is finally catching up with the more tangible actionable agenda on climate. By developing ambitious and material strategies, business can generate new opportunities and mitigate social risks. And with this, create value for humanity to flourish.”, said Wendy van Tol, Partner, Sustainability Transformation Services at PwC. 

The case study, a practical application of the framework outlined in Chapter 3 of the BCTI flagship report “Tackling inequality: An agenda for business action”, illuminates Unilever’s approach to tackling inequality through its Sustainable Business Transformation Framework. Unilever’s strategy is depicted as a step-by-step process, guiding C-suite members on making tangible progress in the “S” of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives. 

Key highlights from the report include

  • Baselining and maturity assessment: Unilever’s initial assessment of existing policies, projects, and partnerships to address inequality issues laid the groundwork for reflection on business strategies and priorities. 
  • Prioritizing action areas and setting targets: The company’s commitment to prioritizing action areas based on material interest and optimal impact on people, extending from its operations and workforce to its wider value chain. 
  • Strategic integration and implementation: Unilever’s integration of its social impact strategy throughout the business, emphasizing the business case for sustainability and its potential to drive growth, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and build trust. 
  • Social performance review: Clear definitions of each target, coupled with impact studies, enable Unilever to evaluate the value created for workers, the business, and the wider economy. 
  • Communications on progress: Unilever’s transparent reporting mechanisms, including its Annual Report & Accounts and global website, ensure stakeholders are informed of progress and sustainability efforts. 

The case study illustrates how Unilever’s ambitious work on living wage can serve as an example of putting a people positive agenda at the heart of corporate operations – an intrinsic part of the mission of the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality providing practical insights and inspiration for businesses seeking to address inequality within their spheres of influence. 

“Unilever’s commitment to addressing inequality at the heart of its strategy and management processes and share its lessons learned, challenges, and opportunities along the way are a great example of how the Business Commission seeks to make a difference. Only by collectively raising the bar and walking the talk on this important agenda can we move at the pace that the equity agenda requires.”, commented Carolien de Bruin, Senior Director Equity Action at WBCSD. 

Click here to access the full case study report. 

About BCTI

The Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI) is a cross-sector, multistakeholder coalition of organizations and their leaders with the mission of mobilizing the private sector to tackle inequality and generate shared prosperity for all. The BCTI is coordinated and powered by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The BCTI will kick off its next two-year phase of work with 80+ Commissioners later this month. Visit us at www.tacklinginequality.org

About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 151 countries with over 360,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition and Ice Cream products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 3.4 billion people every day. We have 127,000 employees and generated sales of €59.6 billion in 2023. For more information about Unilever and our brands, please visit www.unilever.com.