In the case of Unilever, competitive advantage is based on product development approaches that integrate research to address market needs. In addition, the company maintains growth through a suitable combination of intensive strategies. Unilever shifts the prioritization of its intensive growth strategies based on the condition of the consumer goods market. Such competitive advantage also enables Unilever to apply intensive growth strategies that match business needs, thereby supporting growth.
Shutterstock joachim affeldt Jeff Seabright, chief sustainability officer at Unilever, explains how the company has integrated the SDGs into its strategy — and why the global financial system needs urgent reform. What was Unilever's initial response to the SDGs? The purpose of business is first and foremost to serve society, and Unilever has always embraced this responsibility.
For over years, our goal has been to improve the lives of the world's citizens one day and one person at a time.
Our mission has not changed much since our founder William Lever focused on what he called "shared prosperity" during the s. Today we are living out this commitment through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan USLPwhich aims to grow our business whilst halving our environmental footprint and increasing our social impact.
This vision is closely aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals SDGswhich provide us all with a roadmap on how to achieve long-term growth and development, in a sustainable way, by So, whilst our unique heritage still shapes the way we do business today, our scale and reach mean we're well placed to both contribute to and benefit from the SDGs, which we're addressing in a number of ways through the USLP.
However, to drive this forward with greater speed, we are consistently setting ourselves new and ambitious targets: How does a company go about addressing such a large number of goals and targets?
Do you have to prioritize or should you engage with all of them? The SDGs are a scorecard on how well the world is doing, but also as an enormous opportunity to address some of the world's biggest challenges.
We are getting to the point wherein each of the opportunities identified be it food security, education, climate change, sanitation, gender equality, etc. At a time that we need jobs and growth, we have the plan already given to us.
So, it's in the best interest of businesses to act. For us, implementing the goals means applying an SDG lens to every aspect of strategy: No single goal is more important than another and they are all interconnected; that's the beauty of the goals.
Every business can make a difference, irrespective of its size. It's up to each company to identify in which areas they can have the greatest impact and work with others — through SDG 17 on partnerships — to create a shift across the industry. Do you agree with some of the criticism that they can be difficult for businesses to navigate and translate?
Companies have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to embrace the SDGs as a driver of business growth. There are still many challenges to overcome, including the short-term focus of financial markets, the difficulty in giving social or environmental capital a true value and political systems too focused on the next election cycle instead of on the next generation.
If they fail to get behind systems change and the kind of inclusive capitalism laid out by the SDGs, the costs and uncertainty of doing business will swell. On the other hand, if a critical mass of companies joins the movement for system change, it will create an unstoppable force.
How has Unilever taken practical steps in support of the SDGs?
The plan takes responsibility across the total value chain — from farm to fork and addresses external issues such as climate change, food security, deforestation and sanitation. It puts sustainability at the heart of our operations, supply chain, innovation and brands. It's a moral and business imperative.
Through the USLP, we are cutting costs, reducing risk, driving growth and engraining a sense of purpose throughout the organization, which attracts talent. Transparency is also key to reestablish trust and our plan calls out 50 targets to be achieved and relies heavily on working in partnership with others.
Increasingly driving more transformational changes especially around livelihoods, women, social compliance in the value chain, climate change, food security and sanitation, health and hygiene. In doing so, we are unlocking new markets and investing in brands with purpose and innovation.
The interdependence and mutuality of the goals ensure that progress against one leads to progress against others. How has the company built a business case for working on the SDGs?
What are the benefits of having an SDG-informed sustainability strategy?Unilever’s SWOT Analysis – Recommendations This SWOT analysis of Unilever highlights a number of internal and external strategic factors that managers must include in strategy development.
For example, the weaknesses of limited business diversification and imitable nature of products are significant because they influence business stability and performance. The Business & Sustainable Development Commission, co-founded by Unilever, concluded that successful delivery of the SDGs will create market opportunities of at least $12 trillion a year and create million jobs by in just four economic areas — .
The brand portfolio of the Unilever group. Print Reference this.
Published: 23rd March, Today Unilever employs people, sells products in countries worldwide, and supports the jobs of many thousands of distributors, contractors and suppliers. This model may be used as a tool to better develop a strategic advantage over.
The new dynamics of managing the corporate portfolio. However, in our experience, managers can quantify several of these concepts of portfolio strategy and bring them together in a more cohesive approach. Portfolio strategy, at its core, is about being or becoming the natural owner of businesses and balancing investment opportunities.
Our business model begins with consumer insight that informs brand innovation, often with partners in our supply chain, to create products we take to market supported by marketing and advertising across a range of distribution channels.
Why Unilever's Sustainable Living brands are driving growth The growth of Unilever's purpose-driven brands should lay to rest the argument that there is a conflict between profit and purpose, says Becky Willan, the managing director of strategic and creative brand purpose agency Given.