NIGERIA – Unilever, one of the nation’s leading consumer goods producers, has published a summary of the progress of its Unilever Sustainable Living Plan four years after it was launched.

In a report titled ‘Scaling for Impact: Summary of Progress 2014, the company gave an insight into its sustainability approach and actions in Africa from 2010 till 2014.

The updates are supported by data on key priority areas such as Improving Health and Wellbeing, Reducing Environmental Impact and Enhancing livelihoods.

In a statement signed by the company’s corporate affairs director, Soromidayo George, the company said some of the key highlights of the report included helping 397 million people improve their health and hygiene habits; achieving zero waste to landfill in all factories across 67 countries and sustainable sourcing of 55% of agricultural raw materials used.

Others were over €400 million saving through the Eco programme and collaboration and genuine partnership to drive whole system change.

As the Millennium Development Goals wind up this year and the world takes on the sustainable development Goals in September, a number of private sector-led initiatives become critical to achieving national and global sustainable development.

Unilever Nigeria, in alignment with the group’s Sustainable Living Plan, has also streamlined its projects along the three key priority areas of focus, ensuring that sustainable development initiatives are fully embedded in its brand strategy and operations.

“We have strategically embarked on using its portfolio to drive behaviour change programs to tackle several social and health issues in Nigeria with brands like Blue Band margarine, Knorr Seasoning, Pureit Water Purifier, and Pepsodent & Close-Up toothpastes,” the statement added. 

For instance, Pepsodent has partnered the Nigerian Dental Association through its successful behaviour change programme, focusing on promoting better oral care habits.

The programme allows children become ambassadors in their own homes, spreading the brush day and night gospel to build long-lasting habits, in order to reduce the number of cavities and improve  overall oral health and hygiene in the country.

The company also launched her Pureit in-home water purifier to provide safe and affordable drinking water in Nigeria.

Pureit, a unique and scientifically-proven complete germ kill device, is improving the lives of many Nigerians especially in rural communities with low income earners where safe drinking water is uncommon.

Pureit works with a break-through “Germkill Technology” and has an advanced multi-stage purification process which provides water that’s completely free from all harmful germs, thus giving 100 per cent protection from all water-borne diseases, thus providing high quality water at an affordable price.

The company’s other initiatives cut across reducing its environmental footprint in a cost effective manner, and enhancing livelihoods through employment generating schemes and women empowerment projects across the country.

August 12, 2015;