Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020

Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
Human Rights
Creating a fairer and more
socially inclusive world

                        UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   1
Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
Welcome to our Human
Rights report 2020
We made a commitment in 2014 to disclose our efforts and challenges in
implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
This is a report on our progress.

In 2021 we announced a wide-ranging         We believe that human rights are at             This report reflects our belief that
set of commitments and actions to help      the heart of sustainable business, and          transparency and accountability must
build a more equitable and inclusive        our human rights work does not exist in         underpin the advancement of human
society. All these ambitions – including    isolation within Unilever. It is increasingly   rights. We hope it will help foster the
raising living standards, creating          integrated throughout the business, with        engagement and discussion with
opportunities through inclusivity, and      our markets, brands and people in all           stakeholders that have been crucial to
preparing people for the future of work     functions continually improving the ways        our progress so far – and contribute to
– are founded on the principle of respect   they advance respect for human rights.          a global movement in which businesses
for human rights.                           This report is therefore not exhaustive:        advance and promote human rights for
                                            it can only give a snapshot of the work         people everywhere.
In this report we give an outline of the
                                            that is done by people and teams across
work we have done since 2014 to build
                                            Unilever, every day, all over the world.
those foundations by embedding the
                                            We know that our journey is not over.
respect and promotion of human rights
                                            Human rights issues still occur in our
into every function, role and corner of
                                            value chain, and there is much more we
our organisation – and of our approach
                                            need to do to address them. Respect
to continuing our momentum in the
                                            for human rights will continue to drive
future. We describe the progress we’ve
                                            Unilever’s approach in the years to come.
made in addressing our salient human
rights issues, and discuss the challenges
we continue to face as well as the
lessons we have learnt.

                                                                                                    UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   3
Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
    Welcome from Alan Jope, CEO                      5

    Introduction from Marcela Manubens,
    Global VP, Integrated Social Sustainability      6

    Our strategy                                     8

    Our salient human rights issues                 20

    Spotlight on issues                             46

    Brands with purpose                             60

    Responsible and socially
    sustainable business                            66

    Appendices I–VIII                             82–96

Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
Our approach

Welcome from
Alan Jope, CEO
Putting our purpose into action.
Building a fairer world.

At the heart of our business strategy is     can take to address the social inequality
the vision of building a fairer, more        that, alongside climate change, is the        “The era of radical
socially inclusive world. We’re              greatest collective challenge the world        transparency is coming,
determined to turn that vision into          faces today.                                   and I welcome it.”
action – and that means everything we
                                             With our commitment to purpose
do through our business and our brands                                                      Alan Jope
                                             and brands that reach billions
must be underpinned by an absolute                                                          Unilever CEO
                                             every day, Unilever can, and must,
commitment to respect human rights.
                                             make a positive difference.
If we ever needed reminding, 2020
                                             As this report describes, we’ve made
showed us again and again why
                                             good progress already in embedding
equity and human rights matter so
                                             human rights in our business – and
much. Around the world, social divides
                                             while we’re far from finished, we have
widened, inequalities deepened – and
                                             a firm foundation to build on through
the COVID-19 pandemic threatened
                                             our wider ambitions of raising living
livelihoods and the rights of workers.
                                             standards, tackling harmful social
It’s clearer than ever that decisive and     norms, pioneering new employment
collective action is needed to build a       models, and being a beacon of equity,
society that helps to improve livelihoods,   inclusion and diversity.
embraces diversity, nurtures talent,
                                             This work will continue – both within our   ‘footprint’ is sustainable, socially as well
and offers opportunities for everyone.
                                             business and value chain, and through       as environmentally. The era of radical
So, in January 2021, we announced a
                                             our network of stakeholders among           transparency is coming, and I welcome
set of commitments and actions that
                                             suppliers, governments, civil society,      it – because it will add even more
will take our business to the next level
                                             unions and others.                          momentum to our brands in their drive
when it comes to tackling inequality and
                                                                                         to be a force for good. And brands with
unfairness. We’ve made a range of key        And it is a journey we will take with
                                                                                         purpose drive growth.
commitments – including ensuring that        consumers, too. They want to know
everyone who directly provides goods         that we source, make, transport and         We invite all our stakeholders to read
and services to Unilever earns at least a    advertise our products responsibly.         this report, share their feedback, and
living wage or income by 2030, which we      Our brands want to lead the way in          continue to help us respect and promote
believe is one of the strongest actions we   knowing, and showing, that their            human rights in everything we do.

                                                                                                  UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020     5
Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
Our approach

                                            Introduction from
                                            Marcela Manubens

    The world changed in 2020 – both in           by wider global trends. We know              One of those drivers is poverty wages,
    terms of the realities of life for millions   that the economic disruption caused          which deny people a decent standard of
    of people, and in the way we as citizens      by COVID-19 could impact working             living and trap them in cycles that leave
    view our lives.                               conditions in supply chains, for example,    them vulnerable to many human rights
                                                  as rising unemployment and insecurity        issues, so we’re committed to ensuring
    As we build back better from COVID-19,
                                                  put pressure on wages, working hours,        that everyone who directly provides
    we must make sure the world changes
                                                  safety and other fundamental workers’        goods and services to the company
    again in 2021– for the better. We need
                                                  rights. We’re also seeing transformative     earns at least a living wage or income
    to stand up for the opportunity to build
                                                  changes to the world of work, brought        by 2030.
    a fairer, more socially inclusive world
                                                  about by automation, digitisation and
    – and stand against any trends that                                                        Inequality is also deepened when
                                                  new business models. At the same time,
    deepen divides or undermine respect                                                        marginalised groups are held back
                                                  movements like Black Lives Matter have
    for human rights. And we must hold on                                                      from fulfilling their potential – so we’ve
                                                  highlighted once again that the journey
    to what the pandemic has reminded                                                          embarked on a range of actions to
                                                  to equity, inclusion, diversity and social
    us – how valuable life and health are,                                                     create opportunities through inclusion.
                                                  justice is far from over.
    how much we treasure our families                                                          And we’ve set out a clear path to
    and those around us, and how much                                                          generate and sustain employability, by
    we can achieve when we work together          Towards fairness, equity                     preparing our employees and people
    with purpose.                                 and gender equality                          beyond our organisation for the societal
                                                                                               and technological changes that are
    Building that better world will take
                                                  Business has to take action to tackle the    taking place.
    courage, commitment, and co-operation
    – but I am convinced it is both possible      issues of unfairness and exploitation,       In this work, we will be able to build on
    and essential.                                and Unilever is setting a course for         our progress over recent years. Our
                                                  the future that is underpinned by an         ten-year Unilever Sustainable Living
                                                  unfaltering commitment to respecting         Plan (USLP), which came to an end in
    The journey is far from over                  human rights.                                2020, drove positive social impacts
                                                  Our business strategy includes key goals     within and beyond our business, and
    While there is no doubt progress has
                                                  announced in 2021 that are designed          from 2014 included transformational
    been made on human rights, both in
                                                  to tackle social inequality and the          goals in the areas of Opportunities
    society and in our business, the risks to
                                                  drivers that make it so entrenched in        for Women, Fairness in the Workplace
    human rights have not gone away. In
                                                  our societies.                               and Inclusive Business. These goals
    some areas, they are being highlighted
                                                                                               enabled pioneering work in areas

Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
such as combating violence against              This report aims to show the steps we
women, tackling harmful stereotypes,            have taken on our journey so far. We
and ensuring a living wage for all              share what we have learnt, and identify
our employees by 2020 – work that               some of the challenges we have
often anticipated trends we see                 overcome – while acknowledging that
magnified today, as the calls for gender        there are areas where we still have
empowerment, equality, and equity               much more to do and learn. I am
are increasingly, and often belatedly,          confident that, as part of a community
being heard in our societies. And this          underpinned by respect for human
work – which continues at the heart of          rights, we can continue to progress and
our strategy – could only make progress         build a better future. And on a personal
because it is built on the foundation           note, I would like to thank everyone in
of advancing human rights across our            that community of colleagues and
operations and extended supply chain.           critical friends; it has been a privilege to
                                                be part of such an extraordinary journey
                                                over the last seven years.
Wiring our business to drive
                                                                                               “Harnessing the scale
respect for human rights
                                                                                                and reach of Unilever,
As this report describes, building that         Marcela Manubens                                we are absolutely
foundation has meant wiring respect for         Global Vice President for Integrated            committed to advancing
human rights into every aspect of the           Social Sustainability, Unilever                 human rights around the
business. That was no small challenge.
We employ 155,000 people in our                                                                 world. Regardless of
operations, and many millions play a                                                            what progress we may
role in our value chain. We have sales in                                                       have already made, we
more than 190 countries, each of which
is socially, culturally and legally distinct.
                                                                                                now all need to redouble
                                                                                                our efforts, and continue
To make progress we have had to
engage and establish a community of
                                                                                                to actively drive an
action. That applies within Unilever,                                                           environment where it’s
ensuring that human rights were not                                                             safe to speak up,
siloed in one function, but were the
                                                                                                collectively and
responsibility of everyone, in their
everyday jobs. It also applies beyond                                                           individually.”
the business, where our partnerships
with civil society and UN agencies and
our engagement with peer companies                                                             Marc Engel
and other stakeholders have been vital,                                                        Chief Supply Chain
both in terms of our ability to make a                                                         Officer, Unilever
difference on the ground, and to our
understanding of the issues.

                                                                                                   UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   7
Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
Our strategy
      PHASE I                             PHASE II                           PHASE III

      Setting our social                  Building capacity                  Moving from
      sustainability                      and public                         ‘do no harm’
      ambition                            reporting                          to ‘do good’

    We set our social sustainability    We created awareness and drove     With the foundational human
    ambition and created a new          engagement through training        rights work well established,
    human rights pillar for our USLP    and the effective implementation   our focus has broadened to
    – Fairness in the Workplace. We     of our expanded Human Rights       promoting and driving best
    strengthened Unilever’s human       policy framework and related       practices in partnership with
    rights policy framework across      programmes across functions and    others. By the end of 2020, we
    functions and geographies to        geographies. We delivered on our   had made important progress in
    include new policies aimed at       commitments, including public      moving from ‘do no harm’ to ‘do
    guiding our relationships with      reporting under the UN Guiding     good’. This will be the theme and
    Unilever employees, suppliers,      Principles Reporting Framework.    strategy for our new Compass
    partners and stakeholders.                                             ambition, described on page 11.

    STATUS: ACHIEVED                    STATUS: ACHIEVED                   STATUS: ADVANCED

Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
We describe our work on governance in
  PHASE IV                          the governance section of this report.

  Driving sustainable               Committed to the UN Guiding
                                    Principles Reporting Framework
  business and
  demonstrating                     Our first Human Rights Report 2015, our
                                    progress update report in 2017 and this
  its value                         current report have all followed the UN
                                    Guiding Principles Reporting Framework.

The next phase of our approach is
founded on the fact that ‘people’
                                       LIVELIHOODS,                     HUMAN         Human Rights

and ‘planet’ are inextricably          ADVANCING                        RIGHTS        report

linked with sustainable business       HUMAN                            PROGRESS
                                                                        REPORT 2017
success - and that economic,           RIGHTS                                         2020
social and environmental                     HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2015
                                                                                                  UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRESS REPORT 2017   1

sustainability, anchored on
human rights, are increasingly
recognised by financial markets
as the only long-term business
strategy. The respect and
promotion of human rights must
be mainstreamed and embedded
in every new business model. We
will continue to demonstrate the
value and positive impact of our
approach to all stakeholders,
including investors.


                                                                                             UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020                     9
Human Rights report Creating a fairer and more socially inclusive world 2020
Our strategy

     Our five focus areas
     We have consistently adopted five areas of focus for our work
     in embedding human rights across our business.

     Our five focus areas have become            Shared Responsibility (previously             These new business models carry
     mainstream ways of working for              described as “Collective responsibility       with them the dangers of fewer social
     responsible business.                       models”) proposes a coordinated               protections for workers. If we want to
                                                 response by businesses, governments,          have a less polarised world, we need
     Transparency is critical in allowing us
                                                 international organisations,                  to understand these issues to advance
     to discuss the root causes of human
                                                 philanthropic groups, unions and other        new and better business models. We
     rights concerns and abuses, so we can
                                                 interested parties to devise collective       need to ask ourselves what it means to
     develop effective solutions. Benchmarks
                                                 solutions and share the financial costs       put human rights front and centre of
     and indices increase in importance
                                                 of addressing the most entrenched             new business models and ensure that
     alongside product information apps and
                                                 human rights problems in complex              every job is a ‘good’ job, and meets
     labels that disclose the social impacts
                                                 supply chains. Key to this is making          social protection requirements such as
     of products which trace supply chains.
                                                 these problems visible and addressing         those of the ILO core conventions. The
     Technology will continue to drive and
                                                 not just the problem itself but also the      role of financial markets and investors
     support increased transparency.
                                                 underlying cause. By taking an industry-      will be critical as we build back better
     Stakeholder consultation has become         wide approach and acting together,            as capitalism evolves. Meanwhile we
     integral to our way of working and our      our progress is likely to be quicker and      continue to build capability within our
     multi-stakeholder value creation model      more sustainable.                             operations and throughout our value
     – as shown by our extensive internal                                                      chain, so that people can recognise and
                                                 Through our partnerships with other
     and external consultation in advance                                                      act on human rights issues. This includes
                                                 companies, civil society organisations,
     of the launch of our new Compass                                                          improving people’s access to grievance
                                                 governments, development agencies
     commitments (see page 11). We’re                                                          mechanisms and remedy, which play
                                                 and multinational initiatives, we
     committed to a frank and open dialogue                                                    a critical role in opening channels for
                                                 continue to scale up our efforts to
     with all our stakeholders about progress,                                                 dialogue, investigation, problem solving
                                                 promote universal human rights
     challenges and solutions, so that we                                                      and, when required, providing remedy.
                                                 principles, create positive social impact
     can take combined action. We carry
                                                 and search for solutions that build on        More information on transparency and
     out independent human rights impact
                                                 local knowledge, lead to better decisions     reporting can be found in Appendix VI.
     assessments where engagement with
                                                 and create lasting change.
     stakeholders and rights-holders is an
     integral element. Stakeholder dialogue      As 2020 has shown, the world of business
     informs our work.                           is changing fast, with an increased
                                                 focus on e-commerce and automated
                                                 factories, greater flexibility and platform
                                                 or gig employment.

Our strategy

Building a more equitable
and inclusive society,
founded on human rights
At the heart of our business strategy is the
                                                                                       “There is much to
ambition to help build a more equitable
                                                                                        welcome in these new
and inclusive society by raising living                                                 commitments from
standards across our value chain, creating                                              Unilever, not least its
opportunities through inclusivity, and                                                  robust readiness to give
                                                                                        real substance to the
preparing people for the future of work.
                                                                                        notion of ‘fair value’
This can only be achieved based on a                                                    through its supply chains,
foundation of respect for human rights.                                                 and to do so in a way
                                                                                        that gives equal weight
Accelerating our ambition                 Taking action against                         to social justice as it
through our social compass                social inequality                             does to climate justice
                                                                                       – across a decade that
We know that social inequality and        Among a wide range of social ambitions        will undoubtedly
climate change remain the biggest         that show how our journey to embed            decide the future
challenges of our time – so in early      respect for human rights has driven our
2021 we announced commitments             strategy, we have committed to:
                                                                                        of humankind.”
and actions that would take us a step
                                          – ensure that everyone who directly
further towards the fairer and more
                                          provides goods and services to the
inclusive world we want to see. These                                                  Jonathon Porritt
                                          company earns at least a living
social ambitions build on our Unilever                                                 Founding Director of Forum
                                          wage or income, by 2030
Sustainable Living Plan which ran until                                                for the Future, leading
2020 and are informed and driven by       – spend €2 billion annually with suppliers   sustainability expert and
our continuing journey to embed human     owned and managed by people from             member of the Unilever
rights across the company, making         under-represented groups, by 2025            Sustainability Advisory Council
human rights the foundation of our
                                          – pioneer new employment models for
business strategy.

                                                                                          UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   11
our employees, and equipping 10 million       evolution of our human rights strategy     to our direct employees. As we extend
     young people with essential skills to         from ‘doing no harm’ to ‘doing good’.      our ambition, we will focus on the most
     prepare them for job opportunities,                                                      vulnerable workers in manufacturing and
                                                   A living wage is sufficient to afford a
     by 2030                                                                                  agriculture, working with stakeholders
                                                   decent standard of living for a family’s
                                                                                              to create systemic solutions to raising
                                                   basic needs including food, water,
                                                                                              living standards through purchasing
     Focus on a living wage                        housing, education, healthcare,
                                                                                              practices, collaboration and advocacy
                                                   transportation, clothing and other
                                                                                              wherever we operate. Our approach to
     One of our key commitments is that            essential needs including provision for
                                                                                              extending our ambition on living wages
     everyone who directly provides goods          unexpected events.
                                                                                              beyond our direct employees builds on
     and services to Unilever will earn a living
                                                   Enabling people to earn a living           our requirement, enshrined in our RSP,
     wage or a living income by 2030.
                                                   wage will support and help stimulate       that our suppliers must pay their workers
     We believe this is a vital contribution to    economic recovery in the communities       the legal minimum wage or prevailing
     the global effort to eradicate poverty        where we operate. This in turn will fuel   industry standard, whichever is higher.
     wages from value chains, and an               consumer demand and kickstart the
                                                                                              We describe our work in this area in
     enabler for advancing respect for human       engine of responsible and sustainable
                                                                                              Fair wages, page 25.
     rights in many areas. And it is a critical    economic growth.
     step forward for the work we’ve done
                                                   We have already achieved our
     since 2014 to advance human rights
                                                   commitment to providing a living wage
     throughout our value chain, showing the

       “The right to an adequate standard of                                  “Inclusive growth relies on business
        living is a fundamental human right                                    sharing their profits and therefore
       – sadly one that many of millions of                                    ensuring broader prosperity built
        people around the world are unable to                                  through labour. A minimum living wage
        access. Decent work, enough to                                         is fundamental to escape poverty,
        adequately maintain yourself and your                                  ensure dignity of work and to facilitate
        family not only helps people escape                                    the capacity for working families
        poverty but helps economic and social                                  to participate in sustainable economies.
        development too. So I commend                                          Unilever’s leadership on this
        Unilever for its foresighted commitment                                commitment along with their
        as it continues the evolution of its                                   unwavering support for mandated
        social ambition, founded on the                                        human rights due diligence is a
        respect for human rights.”                                             social platform that all business
                                                                               must implement.”
        Professor John Ruggie
        Harvard University, Former U.N. Secretary General’s                   Sharan Burrow
        Special Representative for Business and Human Rights,                 ITUC General Secretary
        member of the Unilever Sustainability Advisory Council

Our strategy

Looking to the future
We want to see economies that provide people with decent
jobs and sustainable livelihoods through a fair distribution of
income and wealth. These economies help build social cohesion
and create opportunities for inclusive growth and development
that is good for both society and business. We are taking a
holistic approach to tackling social challenges, and we will
deliver this approach across our entire business.

As we look ahead at the future of our business, we can see both challenges and
opportunities in the field of human rights work and reporting. In this section we
look at some of the trends that we believe will shape the future of our work.

  How do we ensure                       How do we support                          How do we improve
  a fairer future for                    human rights due                           our measurement
  workers?                               diligence?                                 and reporting so
                                                                                    we can see, and
                                                                                    share, our impact
                                                                                    on people’s lives?

                                                                                             UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   13
The trend
     How do we ensure                                                                    Our four principles for
                                         The world of work is changing fast. More
     a fairer future for                                                                 responsible automation:
                                         and more people are hired as contract
     workers?                            workers rather than in traditional              Our responsibility as an enterprise
                                         full-time roles, accelerating the move          operating in local communities.
                                         towards a gig economy. At the same              Business decisions impact those
                                         time, increasing automation continues           communities and they need to be
                                         to change people’s roles and create             taken with integrity and respect.
                                         shifts in the demand for workers and
                                         for certain types of employment. Both           Our commitment to support people
                                         trends threaten to converge in ways             to increase their employability and
                                         that weaken people’s access to their            entrepreneurship and create new
                                         rights, including their right to freedom of     opportunities.
                                         association. This risk is compounded by         Our openness to establishing
                                         many other factors, including legislation       transparent communication
                                         that bans or hinders trade unions and           with our employees, unions, the
                                         social practices that shape perceptions         community and other relevant
                                         around union activity.                          stakeholders.
                                         We have seen these risks to workers’            Our values of integrity, respect,
                                         rights increase as economies are                responsibility and pioneering.
                                         disrupted by COVID-19.

                                         Our action

                                         We recognise the shifts that are              governments and academia, as well
                                         taking place in the workplace, and            as working with trade unions. We have
                                         our responsibility to respect the rights      Future of Work plans tailored for each
                                         of workers in our business and supply         country in which we operate, supported
                                         chain. We need to ask ourselves how we        by our Social Impact Playbook, which
                                         put human rights front and centre of new      will guide implementation. In addition
     “Gig economy in                     business models – particularly as we          to skills development, we will pioneer
      Britain doubles,                   contribute to building back better after      new employment models and provide
      accounting for                     COVID-19.                                     our people with flexible employment
                                                                                       options, by 2025.
      4.7 million workers.”              We’ve committed to ensuring that
                                         all our employees are reskilled or            Any country transformation plan must
                                         upskilled to have a future-fit skillset,      include a responsible automation plan
       he Guardian newspaper
                                         by 2025. While we may not be able to          to manage its social impact responsibly.
      reporting a study from
                                         offer permanent, full-time, fixed jobs        It must provide effective and agile
      the TUC and academics
                                         for life, we want to ensure that our          solutions for the repositioning of
      at the University of
                                         employees are equipped with the skills        employees impacted by transformation
      Hertfordshire, July 2019.
                                         required to protect their livelihoods,        and must increase redundant workers’
                                         whether within or outside Unilever.           employability while supporting their
                                         We’re engaging with other businesses,         transition to new employment.

We have developed our guidelines                                                            the ground. In September 2020 we
for our approach to responsible                 How do we support                           signed a Statement relating to the
automation, based on four core                                                              EU framework on mandatory human
principles. We’re also developing digital
                                                human rights due                            rights and environmental due diligence,
ways for qualitative and quantitative           diligence?                                  supporting legislation that will require
feedback from workers on their progress                                                     businesses to address their actual and
in finding replacement jobs.                                                                potential human rights impacts and,
                                                                                            where legally permissible, scale up
Our work with unions on responsible
                                                                                            collaboration between brands, suppliers
automation is described on page 31.
                                                                                            and other stakeholders to improve
                                                                                            the sustainability of supply chains. We
The challenges ahead                                                                        also gave our public support to this in
                                                                                            relation to cocoa and as members of
We know that we need to improve our                                                         AIM-Progress and B4IG, we also support
visibility of conditions for workers in our                                                 their contribution to this debate.
supply chain, especially as the economic      The trend
impacts of COVID-19 could create scope
                                              Under the UN Guiding Principles on
                                                                                            The challenges ahead
for weakening rights in communities
facing high unemployment. We also             Business and Human Rights companies
                                                                                            There remain significant challenges in
know that the trends towards contract         have a responsibility to undertake
                                                                                            operating in countries where national
labour and automation are likely to           human rights due diligence. Worldwide,
                                                                                            law is either non-existent in certain
accelerate, and that our Framework            and particularly in Europe, there is a
                                                                                            areas, or deviates from internationally
for the Future of Work must continually       growing movement for mandatory due
                                                                                            recognised human rights standards. It is
adapt to stay ahead of them. This             diligence – that is, legal requirements for
                                                                                            also vital that mandatory human rights
underlines the importance of remaining        companies to show that they are taking
                                                                                            due diligence results in processes that
open to transparent communication             action to address human rights risks in
                                                                                            are fully embedded in governance and
with our employees, unions, the               their value chains.
                                                                                            company culture, ultimately leading to
community and other rights-holders
                                                                                            better outcomes for people.
and stakeholders.
                                              Our action

                                              We support due diligence frameworks
                                              that address the root causes of
                                              human rights violations, lead to
                                              real shifts in companies’ practices
                                              and bring about positive change on

                                                                                                   UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   15
Our action                                    The challenges ahead
       How do we improve                                                                         There is a consistent challenge for
                                                   We are building on the ways we hear
       our measurement                             directly from people on the ground who
                                                                                                 business in this area: the impact on
       and reporting so                            are impacted by our business. Some of
                                                                                                 the individual rights-holder is difficult
                                                                                                 to measure and very personal. Robust
       we can see, and                             the ways we do this are described on
                                                                                                 social impact metrics will help better
                                                   pages 75 and 77. Social dialogue with
       share, our impact                           workers’ representatives is also vital, and
                                                                                                 capture complexities, enabling clearer
                                                                                                 measurement of effectiveness as we
       on people’s lives?                          we describe our engagement with trade
                                                                                                 continue to work on strengthening on
                                                   unions in Freedom of association, on
                                                                                                 the ground verification. This includes
                                                   pages 30–32.
                                                                                                 a greater role for technology to bring
                                                   We align our reporting with the United        transparency, as well as continuing
                                                   Nations Guiding Principles Reporting          expansion of community-based
                                                   Framework, producing a first human            monitoring engagement, including
     The trend                                     rights report in 2015, a progress report in   ‘ground-truthing’.
                                                   2017 and a series of updates on progress
     Stakeholders focus on transparency,           each year. Following our engagement           The new Unilever Compass
     quantitative reporting and impact             in the consultation process for auditing
                                                                                                 Building on the progress we made and
     measurement. They, like us, want to see       implementation of the UNGPs, our
                                                                                                 the lessons we learnt throughout the
     evidence of progress on the ground in         progress is reviewed and validated
                                                                                                 ten years of the USLP, the Compass
     the form of improved working conditions       (not verified) by our sustainable finance
                                                                                                 is our fully integrated corporate
     and better lives in our value chain. Social   team and independently assured
                                                                                                 strategy, which includes actions and
     impact, however, remains difficult to         (not audited). Details of our Basis of
                                                                                                 commitments designed to help build a
     measure and report in meaningful ways.        Preparation can be found here. From
                                                                                                 fairer, more inclusive world. Giving focus
                                                   2021 we will continue with these
                                                                                                 to the Compass will be 15 multi-year
                                                   principles as we integrate our human
                                                                                                 priorities that cover the full spectrum of
                                                   rights reporting into the business’s core
                                                                                                 our business and wider ecosystem, with
                                                   reporting framework through the Annual
                                                                                                 a new set of industry-leading, company-
                                                   Report and the new Planet & Society hub
                                                                                                 wide social and environmental
                                                   on Unilever’s global website. Our aim is
                                                                                                 commitments. These commitments will
                                                   to make our reporting more interactive,
                                                                                                 tackle the key challenges of our time
                                                   with regular updates, and to incorporate
                                                                                                 including human rights, social inclusion
                                                   more quantitative reporting and impact
                                                                                                 and fair value distribution. We describe
                                                                                                 our social ambitions on page 11.

Our strategy

Collaborative action
  The Consumer               World Economic             AIM–Progress                   Leadership Group         Business for
  Goods Forum                Forum (WEF)                RESPONSIBLE
                                                                                       for Responsible          Inclusive Growth
  (CGF)                      HUMAN RIGHTS; EQUITY       SOURCING                       Recruitment              (B4IG)
                             AND SOCIAL JUSTICE;                                       (LGRR)                   INCLUSIVE
  SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY         TRANSPARENCY AND                                          RESPONSIBLE
  CHAINS                     ANTI-CORRUPTION                                           RECRUITMENT

                                                    For more details see Appendix V.

Taking action to achieve                    Steering Group, providing strategic              Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI), focused
                                            direction to the organisation.                   on providing clear guidance to buyers
systems change
                                                                                             and suppliers in the consumer goods
                                            Priority areas include:
                                                                                             industry on third-party auditing and
The lasting, systemic changes needed
                                            – Human rights due diligence                     certification schemes that cover
to make a positive difference to millions
                                                                                             sustainability requirements and apply
of people can only come about through       – Eradication of forced labour and
                                                                                             relevant governance and verification.
collaborative action at scale. That’s          promotion of responsible recruitment
why we work with a wide range of
                                            – Understanding the impact of climate           Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG)
                                               change on human rights
                                                                                             We are members of the working
In addition to our global partnerships,
                                            – Working towards a living wage in              groups on Building an inclusive
our brands have many local
                                               supply chains                                 recovery; Inclusive sourcing and
                                                                                             Impact measurement.
                                            – Developing worker voice solutions
Institute for Human Rights and                 and grievance mechanisms
Business                                                                                     Working with partners to
                                            – Measuring and reporting outcomes
We have worked with the Institute for          and impact for people in member               achieve social impact
Human Rights and Business since 2014,          supply chains
including as a founding member of                                                            Our strategy involves working
the Leadership Group for Responsible        The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)                   with multiple partners to achieve
Recruitment, see Appendix V.                                                                 positive social impact, implement
                                            We are members of CGF and participate            programmes on the ground, advocate
                                            actively in its committees including the         for policy changes and create powerful
                                            Human Rights Coalition – Working to              campaigns to raise awareness and drive
We are members of the Human Rights          End Forced Labour and the Sustainable            consumer engagement.

                                                                                                     UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   17
Public–private partnerships for                   – India: Supporting Dharma Life to              Spaces. Launched in 2018, this aims
     change                                               promote ‘Clean and Connected Homes’           to increase the safety of women in
                                                          and scale awareness and behaviour             agricultural value chains, as we describe
     We see public–private partnerships
                                                          change among rural low-income                 on page 34. We were also a founding
     as a core part of our approach. In
                                                          households on good health, hygiene,           member of the UN Women-convened
     2015, for example, Unilever and the
                                                          water and sanitation habits, and              Unstereotype Alliance and are proud
     UK government’s Department for
                                                          provide access to relevant products.          to be a vice chair today. Launched in
     International Development (DFID, now
                                                                                                        2017, the Alliance aims to eradicate
     UK Aid*) founded TRANSFORM, an                    – India: Working with Frontier Markets’
                                                                                                        stereotypes and adverse social norms
     innovation programme which supports                  network of 300 women entrepreneurs
                                                                                                        from the advertising industry. We
     social entrepreneurs to bring private                to distribute Pureit water filters in rural
                                                                                                        describe our work to combat gender-
     sector creativity and commercial                     Rajasthan for the first time.
                                                                                                        based violence in Harassment.
     approaches to solve persistent global
                                                       – Bangladesh: Supporting Drinkwell
     development challenges. By aiming to
                                                          to scale its micro-franchise model of         Oxfam
     enable millions of people in sub-Saharan
                                                          community water kiosks to sell clean
     Africa and South Asia to gain access to                                                            We have worked with Oxfam on a range
                                                          drinking water, aiming to impact 100
     products and services that have been                                                               of projects and relating to workers
                                                          million lives globally by 2030.
     shown to improve health, livelihoods, the                                                          and farmers in our supply chain. These
     environment or well-being, it addresses           – Rwanda: Improving the business                include a poverty footprint study in
     a wide range of the UN Sustainable                   model of Pit Vidura which promotes            Indonesia in 2004; a joint project on
     Development Goals (SDGs).                            sanitation and health for low-income          sustainable agriculture including
                                                          communities by offering safe and              through the Enhancing Livelihoods
     In 2018 TRANSFORM scaled up and
                                                          affordable pit latrine emptying services      Fund; a ground-breaking report looking
     quadrupled the value of the programme
                                                          in dense informal settlements.                into labour rights in our supply chain in
     to £40 million, and by 2020 TRANSFORM
                                                                                                        Vietnam in 2013 with a follow-up report
     had supported over 50 projects in
                                                       Shift                                            in 2016; and extensive work around
     thirteen countries – including these
                                                                                                        women’s rights, including making the
     crucial projects with innovative social           Shift, the leading centre of expertise
                                                                                                        case for businesses to address unpaid
     entreprises to enhance access to water            on the UN Guiding Principles, has acted
                                                                                                        care work. Oxfam continues to be a key
     and sanitation in Africa and Asia.                as a trusted adviser to Unilever on the
                                                                                                        partner and help us bring the voices of
                                                       UN Guiding Principles on Business and
     – Kenya: working with the Malindi Water                                                           workers to our discussions.
                                                       Human Rights and on overall human
       and Sewage Company (MAWASCO)
                                                       rights issues for many years. Shift has
       to showcase innovative models for                                                                WEF
                                                       facilitated multiple workshops and
       scaling up sanitation services.
                                                       helped to develop a guide to integrate           We sit on the WEF Global Future Councils
     – Zambia: working with Southern Water            human rights into our M&A processes.             on Human Rights; Equity and Social
        and Sanitation Company Limited on                                                               Justice; Future of Work; Transparency
                                                       Most recently, they helped create
        waste management models.                                                                        and Anti-corruption. We have worked
                                                       our Business & Human Rights Training
                                                                                                        with the WEF to incorporate human
     – Nigeria: 16 Sunlight Water Centres             in 2019.
                                                                                                        rights considerations into mainstream
        providing clean water through
                                                                                                        discussions, including those of other
        solar-powered boreholes in remote              Working with UN Women to increase
                                                                                                        WEF councils.
        communities.                                   women’s safety and advance equality

                                                       We have worked on a range of initiatives
                                                                                                        While we have seen significant progress
       his project was funded with UK aid from the    with UN Women, including A Global
      UK government, however the views expressed                                                        through these collaborations, we
      do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s   Women’s Safety Framework in Rural
                                                                                                        recognise that they do not provide
      official policies.

Some of our partners                                            “Unilever is one of the
                                         (Click on logo for link)                                 most engaged
                                                                                                  companies on human
                                                                                                  rights, living wages and
                                                                                                  gender equality that
                                                                                                  I have worked with in
                                                                                                  my time at Oxfam.”
            UNICEF                           Save the Children                      GAIN

                                                                                                 Rachel Wilshaw
                                                                                                 Workers’ Rights Senior Manager,

             GAVI                                  IDH                         UN Women
                                                                                                 “Poverty eradication
                                                                                                  and universal human
                                                                                                  rights lie at the core
                                                                                                  of the Sustainable
                                                                                                  Development Goals.
    International Center for         WEConnect International                CARE International    Businesses like Unilever
      Research on Women
                                                                                                  must leverage their
                                                                                                  scale and influence to
                                                                                                  improve society and
                                                                                                  the environment. If a
                                                                                                  critical mass joins the
                               bop inc                              UNHCR                         SDG movement and we
                                                                                                  all work together to
                                                                                                  drive transformational
                                                                                                  change, it will create
the solution to every issue. There can                 of partnership and engagement, we
                                                                                                  an unstoppable force
be challenges in working in coalitions                 are committed to work in collaboration
in terms of speed, agreement on                        with multiple stakeholders, and we will    for good.”
overall vision and ambition, and the                   continue to seek innovative approaches
implementation of measures on the                      to achieve shared goals.                  Rebecca Marmot
ground. Competing organisations                                                                  Chief Sustainability Officer,
may also take individual approaches                                                              Unilever
rather than coming together on issues.
Nonetheless, we believe in the impact

                                                                                                     UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   19
Our salient human
     rights issues
     What are salient human                     In the lead up to our first human rights     On the following pages we look back
                                                report in 2015, we worked with a range       at highlights of our recent work to
     rights issues?
                                                of expert external stakeholders and          address our salient human rights issues,
                                                internal leaders to identify where, and      the challenges we’ve faced and the
     The UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs)
                                                how, our business activities could result    opportunities we see for the future. They
     define them as the human rights that
                                                in salient human rights risks. In our 2015   are a snapshot of a far wider range of
     are at risk of the most severe negative
                                                Report we gave an introduction to each       activities around the world. For more
     impacts through a company’s activities
                                                issue and how we were responding to          information on the progress we have
     or business relationships.
                                                it. In our 2017 Report, we gave progress     made on our salient issues, please go to
     Unilever’s salient issues are:             highlights of our work and outcomes,         our Salient Issues timeline – Appendix II.
                                                and linked them to the SDGs. We have         Our Supplier Audit Results 2019 can be
     – those identified and prioritised in
                                                reported annually on our progress on         found here.
        alignment with the UNGP process.
                                                our global website.
     They are not:
                                                As part of our new Compass ambition,
     – a
        n exhaustive list of all issues that   we have conducted a review of the
       exist across our business. We continue   global salient issues and conducted
       to address all human rights issues.      regional stakeholder consultations
                                                to map out relevance and impact
                                                at the regional level. As a result,
                                                comprehensive multi-year action
                                                plans are in place.

         Discrimination     wages

Working                                  Forced
 hours                                   labour
               Our salient
              human rights
                                    Freedom of

           Health &
            safety        Harassment

                                    UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   21
Our salient issues


     RESPONSIBLE SOURCING                                               Discrimination holds
     POLICY:                                                            people back and has
     #3 All workers are                                                 serious consequences for
     treated equally and                                                people’s life-chances. As
     with respect and dignity                                           the events of 2020 have
                                                                        shown, systemic injustice
     #10 All workers have                                               continues to impact
     access to fair                                                     people’s rights around
     procedures and                                                     the world.

     An inclusive world, with no                 the fundamental dignity and worth of        including through our commitments to
                                                 individuals from all identities,            spend €2 billion annually with diverse
                                                 backgrounds and walks of life, while        suppliers, and increase the number of
                                                 working to eliminate the institutional      our advertisements that include people
     Eradicating discrimination and
                                                 and unconscious barriers that limit         from diverse groups, by 2025.
     advancing diversity are vital to the
                                                 employees’ ability to achieve their full
     communities where we operate, to our                                                    To achieve this, we understand that we
                                                 potential. We are committed to removing
     wider ambition to challenge outdated                                                    must drive systemic change through
                                                 barriers and increasing inclusivity for
     cultural norms throughout our value                                                     our practices, policies and behaviours
                                                 underrepresented groups. We have
     chain – and to contributing to a more                                                   to ensure that our culture promotes
                                                 identified four Strategic Identity Groups
     prosperous and just society.                                                            psychological safety and a deep sense
                                                 (Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Persons
                                                                                             of belonging for employees across
                                                 with Disabilities and members of
                                                                                             all of our operating companies and
     Removing barriers and                       the LGBTQI+ communities) which will
                                                                                             functions. It requires accountability
     challenging harmful norms                   require global focus in order to address
                                                                                             from our most senior leaders in the
                                                 challenges of underrepresentation at
                                                                                             organisation, who can set the tone and
     We’re committed to eliminating              all levels of our organisation, career
                                                                                             lead by example with their actions, as
     discrimination of all kinds, including by   progression, perception of inclusion
                                                                                             well as the commitment of all managers
     gender, and to building a culture that      and levels of voluntary attrition. Our
                                                                                             and employees to proactively work
     empowers people in our business and         overall aim is to be a beacon of equity,
                                                                                             towards dismantling the barriers faced
     beyond. Our ambition is to establish        inclusion and diversity. That ambition
                                                                                             by underrepresented identity groups.
     equitable workplaces that recognise         extends beyond our own business,

In 2014 we launched the Opportunities
  Approximate number of workers                         for Women pillar of the Unilever
  in our extended supply chain                          Sustainable Living Plan, based on the
  potentially impacted:
                                                        tripod of rights, skills and opportunities

                                                        and underpinned by our belief that
                                                        women’s empowerment is the single
                                                        greatest enabler of human development
                                                        and economic growth.
  Top three countries where
  issues are found:                                     Our work builds on the progress we’ve
                                                        made through our USLP, in which
                                                        challenging harmful stereotypes and
                                                        other forms of discrimination have
                                                        been key elements in our work to
                                                        create fairness in the workplace and
                                                        opportunities for women – work informed
                                                        by our 2017 report, ‘Opportunities for
                                                        Women: Challenging harmful social
                                                        norms and gender stereotypes to unlock
                                                        women’s potential’. In 2020, in the US,
 When a non-compliance is found we estimate the         we committed more than $7 million to
possible number of people impacted. See Appendix
 III for details. Our suppliers put remediation plans   organisations working towards social
   in place for every non-compliance. Data source:      justice and racial equity. In support        Brands in action
USQS Global Responsible Sourcing Report NC Audit
               data 2016-YTD 2020 audits.
                                                        of our aim to be the No.1 employer of
                                                        people with disabilities, we are building    In 2019, Dove partnered with UNICEF
                                                        a culture where there is no stigma in        with a a shared vision/goal to educate
                                                        sharing a disability, where employees        10 million more young people by 2022
                                                        can have open and honest conversations       on self-esteem and body confidence to
  “The burden to end                                    regarding their abilities, and where our     help them reach their full potential. Dove
   institutionalised racism                             workplaces, systems, and processes           also created Project #ShowUs, an image
   cannot fall only on Black                            do not present obstacles. In 2018 we         library created by women, female-
                                                        signed the UN Standards of Conduct           identifying and non-binary individuals.
   and African American
                                                        for Business: Tackling Discrimination
   communities. We must                                 against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, &
                                                                                                     In 2018, Ben & Jerry’s partnered with
                                                                                                     Milość Nie Wyklucza (Love Does Not
   do more both within                                  Intersex People. In 2020, we also used
                                                                                                     Exclude Association) and Fundacja
   and outside the Unilever                             external guidance including from ILGA,
                                                                                                     Wolontariat Rowności to install a
                                                        Stonewall and Open for Business to
   ecosystem to use our                                                                              colourful water unbreakable rainbow
                                                        zone all the markets we operate in
   economic power for good                              depending on four factors: same sex
                                                                                                     light projection just in time for Warsaw’s
                                                                                                     Pride parade.
   and help tackle the root                             acts being legal; protection against
   causes of social injustice.”                         hate crime; employment protection; and       In 2019, Hindustan Unilever joined in
                                                        legality of same-sex marriages and/or        the country’s first-ever Pride campaign
                                                        civil unions. This informs how we engage     to create awareness and support
   Fabian Garcia                                        on LGBTQI+ issues in each of our markets.    colleagues who identify as being part
   President, Unilever North America                                                                 of the LGBTQI+ community.

                                                                                                            UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020     23
Equal pay for equal work
                                                 Our future direction
     We have a longstanding commitment to
     equal pay for equal work, which is one of   The events of 2020 have shown that the journey towards
     the five principles of our Framework for    social justice and gender equality is far from over. At
     Fair Compensation.                          the same time, movements such as Black Lives Matter
                                                 demonstrate the power and commitment of citizens around
     If our analysis indicates any average       the world in demanding equity and justice.
     pay differences between genders at
     a country or grade level (a ‘gender         We understand that discrimination is an intricate system
     pay gap’), we support and identify          resulting in the exclusion of people of colour from positions
     opportunities to address gaps through       of power, access to services, global decision makers,
     our diversity and inclusion initiatives.    etc. Aligned with our expressed values and standards
                                                 of leadership we believe that it is our responsibility to
     We also cascade the principles of our       understand and eliminate discrimination based on race and
     Framework to our suppliers through          ethnicity in our company and in those organisations that
     our Responsible Sourcing Policy, which      partner with us. Given the social relevance of the issues
     requires that fair wages are paid.          of racism and institutionalised discrimination, Racial and
     We have identified temporary workers        Ethnic Equity has been established as one of four Strategic
     as an area of focus both in our own         Identity Groups in our Global Equity, Inclusion and Diversity
     operations and in our extended supply       (EI&D) strategy and we have developed a strategic
     chain. In 2018 we rolled out our internal   framework to ensure visible, measurable, sustainable
     policy and process for the Sustainable      actions to impact representation, employee experience and
     Employment of Temporary Workers,            career progression of Black and Brown Talent.
     which sets out 10 Golden Standards that     The job to address women’s inequality and lack of
     include fair and equal treatment, gender    opportunity in some areas is still not done. For example
     equality, diversity and freedom of          we have made good progress in addressing the legacy of
     association. By linking this to extensive   underrepresentation of women in leadership positions
     work to collect global granular data        in our Supply Chain function, but we still have work to
     relating to the employment of temporary     do. Another challenge we face as a global business is
     workers in our factories, we’ve gained      implementing global positions on issues such as LGBTIQ+
     greater insight and understanding of        rights at the local level, where we need to remain true to
     how temporary workers are employed.         our beliefs while being sensitive to the local situation.
     In 2019, we enhanced the assessment         Working with expert organisations, sharing experiences
     process for labour agencies providing       and learning from others has helped us create clear plans
     in-sourced temporary workers, checking      in this area.
     that they are compliant with our RSP
     and using a specifically designed           The casualisation of employment and unequal working
     Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)         conditions continue to be at the heart of many labour
     and subsequent risk-rating for labour       issues in global supply chains. As we build on our internal
     agencies, followed by independent           policy on the Sustainable Employment of Temporary
     on-site assessments. In 2020, because       Workers, a focus going forward will be ensuring
     of COVID-19, these assessments were         comparable terms and conditions for temporary workers
     done remotely.                              in our extended supply chain.

Our salient issues

Fair wages

RESPONSIBLE                                                     Fair wages are a crucial
SOURCING POLICY:                                                element of raising living
#6 All workers are                                              standards and creating a
paid fair wages                                                 fairer, more inclusive world.
                                                                They also benefit the
                                                                broader economy by
                                                                stimulating consumer
                                                                spending, creating a virtuous
                                                                economic growth cycle.

Our living wage vision                       most important, and most challenging      country business to report its status
                                             contributions our company can make        against the standards of our Framework
Fair wages are the bedrock of a truly        to building a fairer and more inclusive   each year, and where appropriate,
responsible and sustainable business –       world. To achieve this vision, we will    country reports must include a
and a vital gateway to more equitable        build on the work we’ve already done      remediation plan to rectify any issues
societies.                                   to pay all our employees a living wage,   of concern.
                                             everywhere in the world – and work with
Our ambition is to improve living
                                             others to change the global systems
standards for low-paid workers                                                         Fair wages, for decent living
                                             that currently hold people’s incomes
worldwide, allowing people to
                                             and opportunities back.                   standards
participate more fully in their
communities and helping them                                                           Central to our Framework is the principle
break the cycle of poverty. Alongside        Our Framework for                         of a ‘living wage’ – that is “remuneration
programmes aimed at empowering               Fair Compensation                         received for a standard workweek by a
millions of small and medium                                                           worker in a particular place sufficient to
enterprises in our value chain for           In 2014 we created a Framework for        afford a decent standard of living for the
growth, we’ve committed to ensuring          Fair Compensation, which included our     worker and her or his family. Elements
that everyone who directly provides          commitment to be a living wage            of a decent standard of living include
goods and services to Unilever earns         employer. This outlines how we should     food, water, housing, education, health
at least a living wage or income by          deliver fair compensation by listing a    care, transportation, clothing, and other
2030. We believe it is one of the biggest,   number of standards. We require each      essential needs including provision

                                                                                              UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020     25
for unexpected events.” (Global Living      done this in the UAE, Vietnam, Rwanda
                                                           Wage Coalition)                             and India, where we are working with the
      “We will work with our
                                                                                                       FWN across 17 states.
       partners to raise
       standards so that their
                                                                                                       Expanding our vision across
       employees are paid a                                             NETWORK
                                                                                                       our value chain
       living wage and are not
       subject to forced,                                  We have continued our work with             To make our living wage and living
                                                           the independent Fair Wage Network
       compulsory, trafficked                                                                          income ambition a reality, we’ve put
                                                           (FWN) and use their global living           an action plan in place that builds on
       or child labour.”                                   wage database to monitor our own            the progress we’ve made through our
                                                           operations. Our initial assessment, in      RSP. We’re looking at where the gaps
        From our Code of Business                          2015, identified 37 countries with living   between legal minimum wages and
        Principles, updated 2020                           wage concerns, amounting to just under      living wages are the greatest, where
                                                           12,000 of our direct employees receiving    the social safety net for workers is
                                                           less than a living wage. These concerns     weakest, and where we can make the
                                                           have now been addressed.                    most impact, based on our presence
                                                                                                       and scale in local markets. We will
                                                           Building on our work with                   focus on the most vulnerable workers
                                                                                                       in manufacturing and agriculture,
                                                                                                       and we will work with our suppliers,
                                                                                                       other businesses, governments and
                                                           The payment of either the legal
                                                                                                       civil society – through our purchasing
                                                           minimum wage or the prevailing industry
       Approximate number of workers                                                                   practices, collaboration and advocacy
       in our extended supply chain                        standard (whichever is higher) has
                                                                                                       – to create systemic change and the
       potentially impacted:                               always been a mandatory requirement

                                                                                                       global adoption of living wage practices.
                                                           of our Responsible Sourcing Policy. Over
                                                           the years we’ve worked with suppliers
                                                                                                       Spotlight on Malawi
                                                           to ensure this requirement is met – but
                                                           it is not always straightforward. In some   Malawi Tea 2020 was a multi-
       Top three countries where
                                                           countries, including those under the        stakeholder partnership that aimed
       issues are found:
                                      China                Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), there       to improve the competitiveness and
                                                           are no legal minimum wages mandated         sustainability of the Malawian industry
                                                           by the government, so there is no legal     so that workers earn a living wage and
                               Indonesia                   framework. This meant we needed to          small-scale farmers earn a living income.
                                                           identify a substitute for the legal         At the end of the 5 year programme,
                                                           minimum wage as an initial wage floor       a third of the living wage gap has
                                                           or starting level.                          been closed for 50,000 tea workers.
                                                                                                       Highlighting progress but also on-going
                                                           We are working with the FWN to achieve
                                                                                                       challenges. Learnings from the Malawi
                                                           this and have conducted a study to
                                                                                                       2020 programme partnership included
                                                           identify the gap between the lowest
      When a non-compliance is found we estimate the                                                   the importance of agreement on living
     possible number of people impacted. See Appendix      wage paid by our suppliers and the
                                                                                                       wage methodologies, the important
      V for details. Our suppliers put remediation plans   value we have identified. The FWN carry
       in place for every non-compliance. Data source:                                                 link between improved product quality
        USQS Global Responsible Sourcing Report NC
                                                           out interviews with workers to better
                                                                                                       and wages, and, critically, verification
               Audit data 2016-YTD 2020 audits.            understand their expenditure and have
                                                                                                       from producers that they benefitted from

Our future direction

  Rolling out our internal Framework for Fair Compensation      of the concept, by encouraging industry and stakeholder
  across the full breadth and diversity of our global           collaboration, particularly around aligned methodologies
  operations has underlined the importance of strong            and benchmarks, and by working towards transparent and
  governance and of building internal understanding of          widely available wage data. We see the inclusion of living
  which elements contribute to a living wage.                   wage requirements in certification schemes as a positive
                                                                move, but one that needs further development.
  We’ve found it has been critical to have a clear framework,
  policy and process in place, which we continued to review     We are clear that paying a living wage is not only the right
  and strengthen. Few companies have attempted an               thing to do but also makes business sense. We need to
  ambition on this scale, and it required a rapid learning      continue to drive systemic solutions, including addressing
  process, including when it came to regional differences       purchasing practices and fair pricing models, while
  where gaps with the living wage were largest. Progress in     creating an enabling environment for fair wages, including
  some areas was slower than we wanted, for example in our      through government advocacy to raise wages above
  sales-force teams where pay structures were different.        poverty level.

  We’ve laid important foundations for our new living wage
  commitment, by building awareness and understanding

improved quality. Obtaining feedback
from workers is an area that needs to
                                             “Malawi 2020 is a good
be strengthened. Engagement with
trade unions and support for collective       example of Unilever’s new
bargaining was a vital element of this        vision for procurement –
work as was the development of an             a procurement with
innovative sustainable procurement
                                              purpose – driving impact
model. Another concern was potential
unintended consequences of focusing on        every day, everywhere, for
wage increases in one country due to its      everyone. It is critical that
effect on sourcing from other countries.      additional value is passed
A further consequence of increased
                                              onto the workers, and we
wages in Malawi was that it pushed
workers into a higher tax band.               continue to work with our
                                              suppliers to include this in
These issues underline the importance
of a multi-stakeholder approach               our contracts with them.”
– including producers, traders,
buyers, retailers, trade unions,
NGOs,development partners and                 John Mutua
governments – when working to increase        Head of Tea Procurement, Africa
wage standards sustainably in global
supply chains.

See Appendix IV for more information.

                                                                                             UNILEVER HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2020   27
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