Scaling for impact - Singapore USLP year 4 update
Singapore townhall brings the outside in with internal and external panels
More than 250 employees from the Singapore office gathered for the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) Year 4 update townhall on 15 May 2015, together with more than a dozen external guests including top customers, academia, NGOs and embassy representatives. Unilever’s SEAA President, Peter Ter-Kulve kicked off the townhall by taking the audience through Unilever’s sustainability progress over the past four years.
He covered key achievements at a global level, as well as highlighted progress in Southeast Asian markets such as Perfect Village execution in Vietnam and the launch of Grow Asia in Indonesia to scale sustainable sourcing and eliminate deforestation.
The event also featured a Unilever panel with Sneha Sanghvi (Procurement Finance), Remco Bol (Customer Development), Ilaria Ida (Ben & Jerry’s) and Richard Kohler (Vaseline). Moderated by VP Sustainable Business and Communications David Kiu, the panel focused on the business case for sustainability, exploring how the USLP has driven growth, controlled costs, managed risk and built reputation.
Sneha shared how backward integration of raw materials helps with palm traceability, de-risking our operations while Remco explained how our Perfect Village, Neighborhood and City models have integrated USLP into market development, increasing livelihoods of small retailers. The panel continued with a focus on brand-led growth – Ben & Jerry’s as a mature model of a brand with a social purpose, and Vaseline introducing its new social mission of healing the skin of millions with the Healing Project.
The event continued with an external panel featuring Kavita Prakash-Mani (Grow Asia), Nico Stouthart (MBVermeer) and Tara Hirebet (Contagious). David began the panel by asking the panelists what they thought about Unilever’s work in sustainability and areas of improvement.
Kavita shared her experience working with Unilever on sustainable sourcing with Grow Asia and complimented Unilever’s collaborative approach and willingness to take the lead and to take action. However, she added there were opportunities to improve in terms of scale and measurement. Both Nico and Tara shared their experiences working with brands with purpose, underscoring that brands with a social purpose aligned to its core proposition resonated better with consumers.
All in all, it was a great afternoon where employees and external stakeholders had the opportunity to hear not only a global update of Unilever’s progress on the USLP, but also local stories of impact it has made on the business, and how Unilever was performing compared to other companies. It provided a sense of optimism on the progress we have made and the journey ahead.
For more on the USLP, visit here.
Unilever Singapore Pte Ltd
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