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Unilever was created in year 1930 by the combination of British soap-maker Lever Brothers and Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie. This company owns a total of 25 world's consumer product brands in food and beverages, cleaning agents and personal care industries. Unilever is the largest company in the conglomerate industry therefore it's products have become part of everyday life for nearly 2 billion people. The vision of the company is "We will develop new ways of doing business with the aim of doubling the size of our company while reducing our environmental impact". The major raw materials to produce their goods, soap and margarine is palm oil and it could be imported efficiently and easy to handle in huge quantities. Unilever has become a global company of popular brands such as Bertolli, Lipton, Dove, Lux, Comfort, Sunlight and etc. It manufactures goods to consumers around 150 countries around the world.
The stakeholders for Unilever are their business partners, employees, society and environment. The company has around 19,000 business partners supplying raw materials and packaging for its operations. They are contributing 15% of the total production. Unilever has guidelines in choosing their business partners and it helps to control the quality of works and responsibilities to the society. Unilever had launched a new supplier approval process in 2004 and it encouraging rural women to become entrepreneurs by selling Unilever products is worthy of note. The rural women are selling Unilever products in 50,000 villages across 12 states in India. This will create more employment to the society. Besides, Unilever has employed 227,000 people worldwide to help them in their operations. The company has over 30% female managers in 2004 that also indicated that the company is promoting their staff based on performance rather than gender. The society is referring to the local communities and partnership with development and civil society organizations. Unilever supported around 13,000 community organizations over the globe. The company identifies 3 categories of community spend namely commercial initiatives, social investment and charitable donations. Unilever has a roughly equal proportion dedicated to each category. On 13/8/2010, Unilever announced that they will provide â‚¬1 million to help combat the devastating effects of the monsoon floods in Pakistan. This show that how the company is contributing in society development and their responsibility to the society. The company is also contributing positive impacts to society through their products. It helps the consumers to meet their basic nutrition and hygiene needs. Besides, Unilever community spends is higher than most multinational companies. The company spends 1.7% pre-tax profit in their community spending accounts. The company is contributing to the community in terms of health, education and environment. Unilever has developed an environmental strategy based on 6 goals. They are eco-efficiency, eco-innovation, sustainable supply of resources, connecting with consumers on environmental care, environmental knowledge sharing across the supply chain and embedding environmental sustainability into everyday decision-making. The company environmental efforts towards sustainability mainly in agriculture, fish and water.
Unilever is a company that focuses on environmental friendly product. Although it is an Anglo-Dutch multinational corporation that owns many consumer products' brands in worldwide but they are aware that environmental friendly product is important to the nature. Nowadays, consumers tend to use more environmental friendly product therefore by focusing in this line of product, it will bring more profits to the company and also can take the environmental responsibilities to the society. Innovation is very important to Unilever; it spends around 1 billion every year in doing research and development to explore more new ideas and technique to develop their products. With new ideas and technologies, it will help the company to produce more new products that can suit the consumer needs and friendly to the environment.
Unilever took over Helene Curtis Industries in 1996 and it strengthened their position and gave the company a powerful new and fresh image in the United States shampoo and deodorant market. The take over brought Unilever the Suave and Finesse hair care products brands and Degree deodorant brand. Unilever gave the consumers full range of consumer products and more choices of brands to choose for. The company has 3 major lines of consumer products and consists of 25 brands for the consumers to consume. Besides, the consumers will be more loyal to the company as most of the popular brands are their company brand names and even the consumers are choosing other brands than the brand they used to be, it will still bring profit to the company as the consumers are still doing business with them.
Despite Unilever is doing well in social performance to develop the growth of country, Unilever do have some negative issues that been overlook by the society. Unilever has been making statements to the elimination of animal testing, even though it is legal in certain countries. In term of ethic term, they are abusing the animal, which is not a moral action in terms social responsibility. Besides, animal is also part of the nature of environment, so that they need respect from human. The animal testing is harming the nature of the environment; this action is against their ideas of environmental friendly. Therefore, in my opinion animal testing should not to be used in order to protect the nature of environment. The company should use the idea of testing without animal such as Neutral Red Uptake Assay way in their researches.() This will avoid in sacrificing the animals and make sure the products are safe to use in our daily life.
Moreover, some statements have reported that Unilever was found to be emitting wastewater in Hefei, China. As mercury is a highly poisonous thing, therefore if the company simply dumping the chemical waste it will cause so many negative effects to the nature. In order to protect the environment nearby the factory from being harm, the factory should find a solution on how to control the waste of chemical and dispose the waste with taking environmental issue into their consideration. Besides that, Unilever has been fined for polluting California air with fumes from its AXE Deodorant Body spray for men.
Besides, Unilever is also facing problems with environmental activist in Indonesia where it is the majority source of palm oil for the brand. Green activist and consumers are commenting that the plantation business is responsible for over deforestation and peat land clearance. It will harm the nature and killing the animals as they have lost their habitat. The worst-case will caused some of the animal species become instinct. The company needs to work hard to find solutions to solve the pollution issues. They should have some engineers to make sure that the waste is dispose correctly and friendly to the environments.
Although Unilever is using natural resources like palm oil in producing their products, however some of their products do contain some chemicals that might cause cancer to the consumers. The company should educate the consumers in using their products and be responsible in their productions. They must not use the chemicals that will harm human health and also educate the consumers on the way using their products as some of the chemicals are no harmful to human if applying in small dose but will cause damage to health if applying too much.
Based on the discussion, the company should reduce the usage of animal testing in their research and development in order to secure the ecosystem and protect the environments. The usage of animal testing will harm the nature and is cruel for the animals. No doubt testing must be done before the products can be consume in the market but Unilever can use a more environmental friendly way such as Neutral Red Uptake Assay which use living cells to test on the products. This can avoid the cruelty on the animals and create a good image for the consumers. Besides, Unilever should always beware of their emitting of their waste to create a more eco-friendly environment. The company can also have a plantation of palm oil, as palm oil is the major raw materials in their production. They can control their own palm oils to avoid over deforestation and peat land clearance by the unethical suppliers. The company should maintain their efforts in consumer spending, as this will help the society and giving good impression for the consumers. The charities also help to promote their brands. Unilever is putting a lot of efforts to promote their brands and to help the stakeholders. The company should direct to a direction which the eco-friendly and society balance are met. The company should not only focus on their profitability but also to perform their responsibility to the society.
Unilever is supplying the basic living products for the consumers. The company has a big market shares of around 2 billions consumers using their products daily. Despite the huge market share that they have, the company still can control their work force efficiently as they are only employing around 227,000 staff in their whole business. The company is helping a lot of people to develop as an entrepreneur such as in India. The company is doing their fair share in community services for the society. The company is contributing back to the society in donations and some community works. The company is also doing great jobs in protect the environments but they can still improve in this area as like reducing the abusing on animal testing and managing their emitting of the waste efficiently.