Unilever will spend €2 billion a year to improve conditions for workers throughout its supply chain – by 2025.
The company aims to ensure all 60,000 suppliers across 190 countries are paying a living wage.
Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, said, “The two biggest threats the world faces are climate change and social inequality.
“The past year has widened the social divide. Decisive and collective action is needed to help improve livelihoods…
“The actions we are committing to will make Unilever a better, stronger business; ready for the societal changes, that will only accelerate. Without a healthy society, there cannot be a healthy business.”
The right to an adequate standard of living is fundamental
Oxfam International helped Unilever devise the plan. Its Executive Director, Gabriela Bucher, said Unilever’s approach was needed widely across the private sector, and could have a great impact.
“We will work alongside Unilever… for under-represented groups, to accelerate systemic change, and shift industry laws,” she said.
A case study has been published by Oxfam about its role in supporting Unilever’s supply chain policies.
Professor John Ruggie, a member of Unilever’s Sustainability Advisory Council, said, “The right to an adequate standard of living is a fundamental human right – one that many of millions of people around the world are unable to access.
“I commend Unilever for its announcement, founded on respect for human rights.”
The announcement coincided with Unilever’s latest Human Rights report.