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Abstract

Way back in 1884, Unilever was started as a small soap making company by William Hesketh Lever with the mission ‘to make cleanliness a commonplace’. By 2010, Unilever turned out to be a leading FMCG company acquiring leadership in food, home care and personal care. However, the company started witnessing some stagnancy in its growth over the years, facing stiff competition from its rivals in the industry. In 2009, Unilever decided to grow its business double folded, aiming at the same time, to reduce its adverse impact on the environment by half. In 2010, Unilever introduced the ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ to achieve sustainable growth in the long term. The company adopted a business model that would enable it to achieve growth and lessen its environmental footprint. Unilever aimed to reduce the green house gas emission, resort to 100% sustainable sourcing of its agriculture raw material and improve health and well being of the people. The company had been making conscious attempts to achieve sustainability targets by working on its value chain and influencing consumer behavior. However, the FMCG major faced several challenges in its path to sustainable growth. The case discusses the sustainable growth strategy planned by Unilever and the various steps taken over the years. It further highlights the roadblocks in implementing the strategy.
Location:
Industry:
Other setting(s):
2010

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Abstract

Way back in 1884, Unilever was started as a small soap making company by William Hesketh Lever with the mission ‘to make cleanliness a commonplace’. By 2010, Unilever turned out to be a leading FMCG company acquiring leadership in food, home care and personal care. However, the company started witnessing some stagnancy in its growth over the years, facing stiff competition from its rivals in the industry. In 2009, Unilever decided to grow its business double folded, aiming at the same time, to reduce its adverse impact on the environment by half. In 2010, Unilever introduced the ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ to achieve sustainable growth in the long term. The company adopted a business model that would enable it to achieve growth and lessen its environmental footprint. Unilever aimed to reduce the green house gas emission, resort to 100% sustainable sourcing of its agriculture raw material and improve health and well being of the people. The company had been making conscious attempts to achieve sustainability targets by working on its value chain and influencing consumer behavior. However, the FMCG major faced several challenges in its path to sustainable growth. The case discusses the sustainable growth strategy planned by Unilever and the various steps taken over the years. It further highlights the roadblocks in implementing the strategy.

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Location:
Industry:
Other setting(s):
2010

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