Unilever ANZ achieves B Corp certification

Unilever Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) has become B Corp certified, joining a growing network of organisations which are committed to meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

“On any given day, millions of Aussie and Kiwi households use our products – we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to use our scale as a force for good. We’re thrilled to achieve B Corp Certification, as both a validation of the actions we’ve implemented across Australia & New Zealand, and a motivator to strive even further,” said CEO of Unilever Australia & New Zealand, Nicky Sparshott.

Unilever ANZ joins more than 460 business to achieve Certification in the region, and over 5,400 globally. The rigorous assessment process, independently administered by B Lab,  reviewed Unilever’s entire operations in Australia & New Zealand. The Certification is awarded to companies that demonstrate verifiable positive impact through policies and practices across five areas: governance, workers, communities, customers, and the environment.

Sparshott added: “Without a healthy planet and society, we cannot have a healthy business, which is why our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. To realise this purpose, we have to work collaboratively. From the suppliers who provide us essential ingredients and materials; to our team members, the partners that sell our products, and the people who enjoy them every day – we want to create a coalition of the passionate and willing, to galvanise a stronger, more inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy for all.”

Unilever ANZ’s actions under its global sustainable business strategy, The Compass, were integral to its Certification. The strategy includes fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce with gender parity across management; pioneering flexible work with a four-day work week trial in New Zealand; switching to 100% renewable electricity to power its operations; reimagining packaging to reduce plastic waste; collaborating with farmers on Regenerative Agricultural Principles; and driving strong employee engagement around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

Andrew Davies, CEO of B Lab Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand said: “When businesses of the size and scale of Unilever Australia & New Zealand certify, it shows just how much the idea of business delivering positive impact on people and planet has grown. Their Certification sends a powerful signal that will further advance change in the consumer goods sector, and our broader global economic system.”

“We need more businesses of all sizes to step up and be accountable, and B Corp Certification is one powerful way to do that. It comes with a significant burden of greater transparency and requires continuous improvement to maintain the Certification over time. It’s a credit to the team at Unilever ANZ that they have been willing and able to achieve this with such a large, complex business.”

The B Corp Certification requires ongoing disclosure for Unilever ANZ to maintain its credentials. As part of Certification process, the business was required to make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance approach to be accountable to all stakeholders. Certified businesses must also exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.

Sparshott said becoming B Corp Certified is just the beginning for Unilever ANZ.

“Through our Certification, we’re proving it’s possible to be profitable while simultaneously having a positive impact on people and the planet. Becoming a B Corp makes us a stronger business as it will help us attract talented jobseekers who are increasingly seeking out meaningful work; become a partner of choice for organisations who are prioritising ESG; and win over Australian shoppers that want to buy purposeful brands that have a positive impact.

“Unilever has been striving to make sustainable living commonplace for more than a decade. While we already hold ourselves accountable to our own ambitious targets, achieving Certification adds an extra layer of accountability and encourages us to be even more transparent. We want to share our learnings, and equally, we want to learn from other likeminded organisations along the way. We’re already planning how we can turbocharge our positive impact and look forward to sharing our journey with Australians and New Zealanders as we go.”

Mumbrella’ Calum Jaspan had the chance to speak to Sparshott about Unilever and sustainability for the Mumbrellacast last month at Mumbrella 360.



Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.