Unilever and Water

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Water in Unilever’s Sustainable Development
Approach

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Unilever and Water

  1. 1. Water in Unilever’s Sustainable development approach GIN 2009, American International School of Rotterdam Marti van Liere 2nd October 2009
  2. 2. Our brands 160 million times a day, someone will choose one of our foods, home or personal care brands
  3. 3. Our approach to sustainability • We have studied the footprint and impact of our business on society and the environment • We aim to minimise negative impacts in our own manufacturing, eg water use, CO2 emissions, sustainable production of tea, tomatoes etc. • We aim to maximise positive impacts of our products and our business on the health and wellbeing of the population • www.unilever.com/sustainability
  4. 4. Water A shared resource
  5. 5. A shared resource • Water scarcity is a growing global concern • We are reducing water use in our own manufacturing • Our water footprint prompts us to focus on areas of biggest impact – water use by consumers and agricultural suppliers • We are designing products that need less water • We are working with agricultural suppliers to reduce their water use via our Sustainable Agriculture Programme
  6. 6. Understanding our water footprint We estimate that our manufacturing makes up less than 5% of our total water footprint
  7. 7. Reducing water use in manufacturing
  8. 8. Working with our suppliers • Water is one of 11 indicators tracked through our Sustainable Agriculture Programme • Water wastage and evaporation can be cut down using drip irrigation to deliver water exactly where it is needed – reduces water use by up to 30% for tomatoes in Brazil – trials on tea in Tanzania show it can reduce water by 10% – equivalent to saving 700 million litres of water if implemented on a 3,000 hectare farm
  9. 9. Health, hygiene & well-being Changing habits, saving lives
  10. 10. Changing habits, saving lives • Water is a scarce resource also from a health and hygiene perspective • Preventable diseases resulting from poor hygiene and sanitation pose significant health challenges around the world • Our brands deliver health benefits and promote well-being - but quality products alone are not enough if people do not change their habits • Our campaigns promote behaviour change to – make a positive difference to health – grow our business
  11. 11. Providing safe drinking water 80% of all diseases in developing and emerging countries are waterborne, killing 2 million children a year • Many major diseases in D&E countries are waterborne • Contamination of drinking water by germs (viruses, bacteria, and parasites) • Widespread Government and consumer concern • Cost of implementing clean piped water infrastructure is prohibitive
  12. 12. Widespread drinking water contamination Urban areas Rural areas • Inadequate municipal water • Groundwater contaminated due to: pre-treatment and sewage disposal • Open defecation • Deep pit latrines • Water and sewage pipes in parallel • Septic tanks close to wells • Compounded by • Contamination of handpumps • Lack of water pressure in pipes • Unauthorised tapping into pipes • Storage tanks not cleaned in apartments • Contamination due to human handling • Supplemental ground water not treated
  13. 13. Concerned consumers are making various compromises on efficacy / convenience / cost - education is key • Boiling – Cumbersome – Time consuming – Energy intensive – rising costs – Poor taste – Expensive • Bottled water – Expensive – Environmental concerns • Standalone filters – Typically do not deliver adequate bacteria, virus and parasite kill/removal • Ultraviolet / reverse osmosis purifiers – Dependent on electricity & pressurised pipe water – Expensive
  14. 14. Unilever Pureit A breakthrough innovation • Complete germ protection • No harmful viruses, bacteria, parasites • Has an end-of-life indicator, and an auto switch-off mechanism • Safe water …. anytime, anywhere • Works without electricity, pressurized piped water • Meets the US Environmental Protection Agency’s germ kill criteria for untreated water • Great tasting, clear, odour-free water • Sachet in development for emergency relief
  15. 15. Pureit : Affordable and sustainable protection India • Purifier is Rs 2000. • Four litres of water that’s ‘as safe as boiled water’ for just one rupee • Replacement Germkill Battery Kit TM is Rs 350 purifying 1500 litres of water • Protecting 2 million homes in India – 10 million people Euro Comparison • Purifier is €32 working out at €0.004c per litre
  16. 16. School Program with UNICEF Key Objectives • bring safe drinking water to school children • makes concerned schools self sufficient with respect to ongoing maintenance cost • improving safe water as well as overall hygiene awareness amongst school children and concerned local communities Experience so far: Safe water rapidly brought to 100 government schools, and 100 anganwaris, protecting 15,000 children from low income homes
  17. 17. Key Findings from School Intervention • Avg. consumption per child per day – 0.3 ltr / one purifier sufficient for about 50 children • System for ongoing maintenance established • Qualitative assessment through teachers and stake-holders • improvement in attendance amongst students • Generic awareness amongst students • Many small purifiers in a school better than one big purification unit Easier access for children between class breaks Units placed next to class room – strong ownership by teachers and students who take turns in being water / hygiene experts Because there are multiple units there is no risk of not having safe water due to one unit being out of operation • Immediate startup possible – no lead time to setup; no issues of finding appropriate space • Not having to need any technical maintenance is important in ensuring sustainability • Local authorities and parents come together to fund the ongoing costs of the consumable components
  18. 18. Encouraging behaviour change • Promoting better health and hygiene through simple, everyday steps, eg washing hands with soap to prevent disease, brushing day and night with fluoride toothpaste • Our smart technology helps monitor and evaluate handwashing and tooth brushing habits • Integrating hygiene, water and sanitation as well as nutrition interventions in schools and communities
  19. 19. Our defined Social Mission for the next 5 years To bring safety, security and health to 5 Billion people through the active promotion of handwashing with soap
  20. 20. Lifebuoy An Overview • + 100 years of hygiene protection • World’s Largest health Soap – 2.3 Billion bars sold annually • How are we different – Accessible pricing. 30-40% cheaper than competition – Bringing health to those who need it most – Enjoyable World class products
  21. 21. Visible commitment to action Approaches Hygiene Education : Swasthya Chetna – Rural Hygiene promotion projects in India – Reaching 125 million + people in 6 years Advocacy: Global Hand Washing day Capacity Building: In Safe hands – in partnership with the WSP-World Bank, LSHTM
  22. 22. SWASTHYA CHETNA
  23. 23. One of our best example of commitment : Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna The largest sustained rural direct contact program in the world • Since 2002 • 50,671 Villages in 9 states • 120 Million+ rural Indians touched
  24. 24. “Global Handwashing Day” – 15th of October of every year which is now mandated by the UN
  25. 25. EVALUATION 2008 - Snapshot 75 COUNTRIES HAD HANDWASHING ACTIVITIES TAKING PLACE ON THE DAY A WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT FOR THE MOST PEOPLE WASHING THEIR HANDS AT THE SAME TIME 46 PARTNERS ACROSS THE GLOBE INVOLVED IN THE DAY 23 LIFEBUOY MARKETS HAD A PRESENCE IN THE FIRST EVER GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY

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