Unilever Bangladesh Launches Its Sustainability Report 2021 Titled Partnering Bangladesh5 min read
Unilever Bangladesh, the country’s one of the oldest and largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Companies, unveils its Sustainability Report for the year 2021, title ‘Partnering Bangladesh’, said a press release. The report demonstrates the company’s work and impact on health, the environment, and society.
With a legacy spanning more than five decades, Unilever has been driving its resources to become a force of good for the people and the country by driving sustainable changes in terms of health, environment, and society. Unilever Bangladesh continues to innovate products that cater to the greater Bangladeshi market and materialize its vision of building a sustainable future in Bangladesh through utilizing its value chain, purposeful brands, and instrumental partnerships. The three key focus areas of Unilever Bangladesh – improve the health of the planet, improve health, confidence, and well-being and contribute to a fairer, more socially inclusive world – are at the core of our compass strategy.
The report was launched through a formal event in the capital where Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun MP, Minister, Ministry of Industries, Robert Chatterton Dickson, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, and Zaved Akhtar, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh were present along with its diversified partner.
In alignment with Unilever’s global Compass commitments, Unilever Bangladesh peruse some important behavior changes through its purposeful brands, embedded sustainability into every part of its business, and built multi-stakeholder models to bring in diversified partners including the Government of Bangladesh in its journey towards building a sustainable Bangladesh. In 2021, Unilever Bangladesh has invested over BDT 430 million covering 10 different SDG Agendas and impacting millions through these sustainability initiatives.
The year 2021 was a special for the company as it undertook some critical initiatives. For example, it collaborated with the largest municipal-backed plastic waste collection project in Bangladesh, supported communities fighting Covid-19, and improved the quality of life of 10% of Bangladeshis by increasing the disposable income of the Readymade Garment Sector (RMG) workers. Due to its wide network and purpose-led brands the company understands and values that its actions not only impact 20,000 people who work in its extended value chain or outer core but also to 1.1 million retail partners and their families across Bangladesh.
Furthermore, in its relentless pursuit to build a sustainable future by developing impactful partnerships, delivering impacts, and building an environment with the potential to grow, Unilever Bangladesh has conveyed its appreciation to its five partners: FRIENDSHIP, UNDP, Bhumijo, BRAC, and PLAN International Bangladesh who has worked with the company to achieve its social commitments throughout 2021.
In the program, the minister also inaugurated a refill machine, a unique initiative of Unilever Bangladesh to reduce plastic use through technology and behavior change of consumers.
Zaved Akhtar, CEO and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh, said, “In our history of operating in Bangladesh over the last five decades, Unilever has always been a forerunner to do good for the country and the people. In alignment with Unilever’s global compass commitments, we encourage behavior change through our purposeful brands, embedded sustainability into every part of our business, and built multi-stakeholder models to bring in our partners including the Government of Bangladesh in our journey toward building a sustainable Bangladesh.”
“Throughout the world, we have strategized and utilized our purposeful brands to improve the health, confidence, and wellbeing of people and help achieve SDG Goals of Zero Hunger, Good Health and Wellbeing, and Clean Water and Sanitation. Expanding that philosophy in Bangladesh, we have used our brands to improve the lives of people. We have many success stories like improving oral hygiene of the children of the country and taught over 10 million school children proper handwashing since the 1990s. We are now focusing on replicating these experiences for toilet hygiene, the habit of safe water consumption, and mental wellbeing- as we identified these to be the areas where there are barriers or taboos.”
“But it is clear we need to do much more – within our business, and by using our size, scale, and partnerships in our value chain and beyond. Inspired by this very philosophy, we, at Unilever, aspire to create a society with equity at its core, and we believe that it needs a more hands-on and concerted holistic approach,” Akhtar said.
“Unilever Bangladesh’s Sustainability report is our small effort to talk about the initiatives that we are taking to build a sustainable Bangladesh. It is not an end outcome but the beginning of a journey of some big daunting goals that we need to achieve not singularly rather through collaboration and co-creation with our partners”, he added.
Honorable Minister, Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun MP, said, “We are proud of the partnership between the Government of Bangladesh with Unilever therefore, we wish for its overall success and expansion.”
“The Government is currently preparing to join the fourth industrial revolution.” Adding that, he said, “In order to sustain the trend of economic progress, we must work together to protect human life and health and the environment. The government is working on necessary plans to protect the people from the effects of climate change and natural disasters. Unilever has not only been conducting business in Bangladesh for more than five decades but also working with its partners for the social and environmental progress of Bangladesh as an ethical and responsible organization. The company is working with about 1 million entrepreneurs across the country. As a result, Unilever Bangladesh is making a huge contribution in creating employment.”
On this important occasion, Robert Chatterton Dickson, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, said, “It’s a great pleasure to be here at the launch of the Unilever Sustainability Report 2021. There is a deep systemic crisis that affects all of us around-climate change, and we desperately need to bend the curve towards the reduction in CO2 emissions. Of all the companies I’ve worked with, I think Unilever has the most sustained, and mainstreamed commitment to this crucial agenda.
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I think the wonderful thing about Unilever in Bangladesh is the way in which Unilever is able to form partnerships with extraordinary, innovative, and capable corporate civil society organizations that Bangladesh has benefitted from. Despite the challenges and vulnerability of Bangladesh on climate, I feel the partnership between the government, Unilever, as a catalyst and a private sector donator of capability and purpose and finance, and the capability of the third sector, corporate civil society organizations to reach out into the society, is very strong.”
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