The World Environment Center (WEC) is pleased to announce that its 29th Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development will be awarded to Unilever. The company is being recognized for its deep and longstanding commitment to advancing environmental sustainability through its strategic business initiative, the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, that is applied to its products, governance structure, supply chain and consumers. Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman will accept the Gold Medal Award on behalf of the company on Thursday, May 9, 2013, during the Gold Medal Presentation Ceremony in Washington, DC.
Unilever’s Gold Medal submission was evaluated in a global competition with companies in multiple business sectors by WEC’s independent Gold Medal Jury chaired by Dr. Joel Abrams, Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh. The Jury found that Unilever earned the award on the merits of its long-term dedication to integrating sustainability into its business products and operations, its deep history of improving global environmental standards, and its comprehensive Unilever Sustainable Living Plan business strategy that contains specific performance goals and more than 50 targets.
This Unilever Sustainable Living Plan addresses environmental improvements not only in Unilever’s direct operations but with its suppliers, distributors and, most innovatively, in how consumers use its brands. Half of Unilever’s raw materials come from either farms or forests, and the company has committed to the sustainable sourcing of 100% of its agricultural raw materials within eight years. In addition, the initiative commits to helping more than one billion people take action to improve their health and well being, and finally, it promises to cut the environmental footprint of Unilever products in half while doubling the size of its business.
“On behalf of the independent Gold Medal Jury, I extend my sincere congratulations to Unilever for its extraordinary commitment to sustainable business throughout its operations. The scale and depth of Unilever’s impact across sustainable farming, logistics and consumer behavior has raised the bar for global businesses,” stated Gold Medal Jury Chairman Joel Abrams.