Unilever opens €50m leadership development facility
Unilever’s decision to locate the new facility in Asia highlights the company’s increasing focus on developing and emerging markets, which now account for over 55 percent of its global revenue. In the past three years, Unilever has grown consistently, increasing turnover by over €10bn. Four Acres Singapore will help increase the supply of talented leaders to sustain this momentum.
Four Acres Singapore will be used to develop leaders with a ‘purpose-driven’ approach to business. This is in keeping with the stance Unilever has taken throughout its history, where it has strongly advocated for corporations and corporate leaders to actively support the broader needs of society.
Singapore Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, opened the facility, accompanied by Mr. Leo Yip, Chairman, Singapore Economic Development Board, Mr. Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer, JTC Corporation, Mr. Manohar Khiatani, President and CEO, Ascendas and Mr. Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever.
Four Acres Singapore will support Unilever’s efforts to develop tomorrow’s business leaders, said Mr. Polman.
“In an increasingly volatile and uncertain world, a new type of leader is being called for – both in Unilever and society as a whole. These leaders must be guided by values and understand the responsibility of leadership for the 21st century. We will actively seek and develop these leaders through Four Acres.
“Four Acres London has set the standard in leadership development since it was established over 60 years ago, underpinning our commitment to nurturing world class talent. The launch of Four Acres Singapore will continue this tradition, further lifting our capacity and underlining our commitment to Asia – as an increasingly important hub for talent,” said Mr. Polman.
Four Acres Singapore will deliver more than half of all of Unilever’s global leadership development programmes, as part of a single, fully global curriculum. The academic programme has been developed in partnership with some of the world’s leading academic and business institutions such as INSEAD, Harvard Business School and Singapore Management University. With the opening of the new campus, Unilever will have the capability to deliver training to around 2,800 people annually, across both locations.
“The Economic Development Board (EDB) is delighted that Unilever has chosen Singapore to establish its first global leadership development centre outside of London. Four Acres Singapore is testament to Singapore’s ‘Home for Talent’ strategy for companies to access, develop and deploy talent. We proudly welcome Unilever as our strategic partner in talent development, and pioneering tenant at Nepal Hill,” said Mr. Yip.
Mr. Png added, “Unilever Four Acres Singapore is a key project for LINK@Nepal Hill and JTC’s one-north development. We congratulate Unilever for the successful set up of this leadership development facility and we look forward to its contribution to the growing knowledge community and talent pool within one-north.”
Singapore is the logical choice for the new campus, suggested Mr. Polman, given Unilever’s significant operation in the market, including the company’s global operations hub.
“Singapore sits at the nexus of the developed and emerging world. It’s a leading hub for leadership and innovation, and a gateway to the rapidly growing Asian economies. When our future leaders come here, whichever part of the world they come from, we know they will gain exposure to new insights and perspectives.
“The launch of Four Acres Singapore provides the opportunity to take leadership development – in the service of both Unilever and the communities where we operate – to a whole new level. This is an exciting opportunity and a historic moment in the life of the company,” concluded Mr. Polman.
Notes for the editor
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Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013).
Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.
Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined nine commitments, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/ .
Unilever has been ranked number one in their sector in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2014 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the fourth year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn’s third most soughtafter employer worldwide in 2013.
For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com .
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