Unilever pioneers with inaugural Human Rights Report
Global consumer goods giant Unilever is leading the reporting way yet again with the publication of a first-of-its-kind Human Rights Report.
The report outlines Unilever’s goal not only to respect human rights but to actively advance them across all areas of its business. It documents areas where the company has taken significant steps forward, and assesses some of the challenges ahead.
Paul Polman, ceo, Unilever said: “Business can only flourish in societies in which human rights are respected, upheld and advanced. People are our greatest asset, and empowering them across our supply chain is not only the right thing to do, but also ensures a sustainable future for the business.
“As we look ahead to the agreement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in September and to the prospect of a global climate agreement in Paris at the end of the year, it is a fitting time to open an honest discussion about human rights.
“The effects of climate change threaten us all, with expected impacts hitting the poorest people and communities the hardest. They are often also those most at risk from negative human rights impacts. It is no longer enough for business to merely respect human rights. Our role must be far more active to ensure we succeed in our commitment.”
Marcela Manubens, Global Vice President, Social Impact, Unilever added: “Our ambition is to embed the promotion of human rights into every function, every role, and every corner of our organization.
“We have 172 000 employees, 76 000 suppliers and sales in more than 190 countries across the globe, with varying cultural norms and socio-economic challenges. We will know that we have been successful when all of these 172 000 people around the world understand what this agenda means in their job, and are empowered into action. We have a long way to go and we cannot do this alone - but being honest about the challenge we face is crucial to making progress.”
The report highlights key areas of progress, including Unilever’s work to empower women, its progress in the fight against sexual harassment, and addressing health and safety issues across the supply chain.