Over the years, Unilever has continuously put its unwavering commitment to sustainability at the heart of its business model. In pursuit of this goal, in 2010, Unilever launched The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), with the goal of halving the environmental footprint of the making and consumption of Unilever products by 2030, while also improving the health and livelihood of millions. For the full rundown of our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, click here.
Because we believe the choices consumers make about what they eat, where it comes from and how it’s prepared has a direct and powerful impact on their health, communities, and environment, we developed The Nutrition Score, the first transparent globally applicable method to assess the nutritional composition/quality of food and beverages using nutritional scientific insights.
We are committed to further increase science-based Highest Nutrition Standards through the reduction of sugar, salt and unhealthy fats from our products. Because we believe nutritional education is key to developing the skills and motivation needed to eat well, we also committed to educating consumers about healthy diets through nutritious recipes and clear nutritional labelling.
Unilever is tracking very well on these ambitions, as evidenced by independent organisations like ATNI ranking Unilever first, then second, in the 2016 and 2018 index.
For more information, click here to read a summary of of 10 years’ progress of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, 2010 to 2020.
We know that collaboration with others holds the key to tackling many environmental and health challenges, and we will be focusing even more on this in the years ahead. We partner with local and international organisations such as the South African government, WWF and UNICEF to bring about lasting positive change. Our transformational change initiatives will help to bring about the systems change needed to address some of the most complex social and environmental problems.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is the process of furthering learning after university and is absolutely essential in dynamic industries – specifically where the public relies heavily on the abilities of a professional. It helps maintain and update professional competence among professionals so that public interest is always protected and promoted. This ensures that the best quality service is offered to the public at all times.
Every healthcare practitioner should aim to accumulate a balance of 60 CPDs by the end of their second year of professional practice. This should ensure that they have 30 valid CPDs during any given period. The easiest way to track your points is on Unilever’s® online CDU site, available here.
Purpose underpins our business. We’re embedding it into every part of the company to help us deliver our vision to be the global leader in sustainable business. And our latest figures show it has a significant impact on our performance.
In 2018, our 28 Sustainable Living Brands – those taking action to support positive change for people and the planet – grew 69% faster than the rest of our business. That’s up from 46% in 2017. They also delivered 75% of our overall growth.
We believe these figure show clear and compelling evidence to support the claim that brands with purpose drive talkability, build penetration and reduce price elasticity. In fact, we believe this so strongly that we are prepared to commit that in the future, every Unilever brand will be a brand with purpose.
The seven brands with the highest turnover in Unilever – Dove, Knorr, Persil/Omo, Rexona, Lipton, Hellmann’s and Wall’s (known as Ola, Algida, Kibon and Langnese in different parts of the world) – are all in the Sustainable Living Brands line-up. And the number of brands on the list is growing steadily.
Knorr has partnered with WWF UK, plus leading scientists, nutritionists and agricultural experts, to compile the Future 50 Foods report, which identifies 50 often overlooked nutrient-dense plant-based foods that boost the nutritional value of our meals while reducing the environmental impact of our food supply. Aimed at reducing people’s need to constantly default to the same meals and foods on a daily basis (thus putting overwhelming pressure on these resources to keep up production, resulting in dire environmental consequences), the report outlines 50 nutritious foods that can help diversify what we eat.
Currently, the global population relies on a surprisingly small number of ingredients for our staple diet, with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) revealing that 75% of the global food supply comes from just 12 crops and 5 animal species – despite there being more than 20,000 known edible plant species worldwide. If we continue on this path, we will not only put the security of our food supplies at risk but also the security of humanity, and the standards of health to which we’ve become accustomed.
Yes, little steps can have a huge collective impact. By eating less common varieties of grains and pulses, such as bambara groundnuts, cowpeas, mung beans, millet, or vegetables like red cabbage, kale and spinach, you can help influence our farmers to increase the variety of crops they grow, which can in turn make the food system more resilient. A majority of these ingredients are indigenous to South Africa, are particularly suited to the soil, and in many instances need fewer environmental resources to grow.
The Future 50 Foods have been selected based on their high nutritional value, relative environmental impact, flavour, accessibility, acceptability and affordability. This set of criteria was informed by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO) definition of sustainable diets.
Some of the great Future 50 foods you’ll be familiar with are quinoa, lentils, super spinach, pumpkin leaves, red cabbage and wild rice. Get more information plus recipes here.
In an attempt to reduce the prevalence of diseases like hypertension, the World Health Organization set a target to reach a 30% reduction in salt intake by the year 2025. In 2016, South Africa became the world’s first nation to introduce the mandated maximum salt targets – limiting the sodium content of food products – with the second wave of regulations coming into effect in June 2019.
Along with this, a study in 2017 examining salt usage in South Africa and Ghana revealed that there was still a strong need for consumer awareness on discretionary salt intake to reduce salt overall salt consumption.
Saltiness is one of the distinct flavours that our taste buds understand and crave. It’s not entirely our fault – we were designed this way, but over the centuries we’ve become far too reliant on sodium in our foods. With high-sodium diets directly correlating to instances of hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular events, we must acknowledge that we can’t continue on this trajectory. To err on the side of caution and for optimal health, the World Health Organization recommends we stay below a limit of 5g of salt per day.
We reduce salt every time one of our existing products is renovated. New products must also meet the target to enable a salt intake of 5g per day. We improve our foods based on scientifically sound benchmarks and reduce salt levels in a number of ways. In 2018, we made good progress in lowering salt across a broad range of products and markets.
We measure the contribution of our products to salt intake in a typical diet and set benchmarks to bring them in line with the WHO-recommended levels of intake. We monitor sodium compliance of our products around the world and report progress annually with our external progress update of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.
For more than a decade, we’ve been working to improve the nutritional quality of our products as part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, with the long-term goal of meeting our Highest Nutritional Standards and maximising the goodness of our products to achieve good health and wellbeing for all. We do this by reducing nutrients of concern, such as salt and sugar, as well as lowering calories.
Studies show that by simply reducing your salt intake by as little 1g per day you could reduce your chances of a stroke by 4% and coronary heart disease by 3%. Seasoning your food with herbs and spices is a great natural and healthy way to reduce your salt intake, while still adding flavour to your meal.
One of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, tea has an abundance of natural flavonoids which are known to have positive health effects especially relating to ischemic heart disease (IHD) – heart problems caused by narrowed heart coronary arteries. Flavonoids have been known to have antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties and may reverse endothelial dysfunction.
Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables, and are responsible for their colour. Flavonoids are associated with nutrients found in plants that hold many key health benefits. Flavonoids are now considered an indispensable component in a variety of nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, medicinal and cosmetic applications. This is attributed to their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties coupled with their capacity to modulate key cellular enzyme function.
Known to have less caffeine than filter coffee, green tea contains theanine, which makes it perfect for a gentle mid-afternoon ‘pick-me-up’, with more flavonoids than three cups of fresh orange juice, two red apples and 28 cups of cooked broccoli.