LONDON — It’s not easy being green, but it certainly pays dividends, according to consumer goods giant Unilever, parent of brands ranging from Dove and Vaseline to Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum.
Unilever’s purpose-led, Sustainable Living brands are growing 69 percent faster than the rest of the business, and delivering 75 percent of overall growth. Unilever’s chief executive officer Alan Jope revealed the figures at the Deutsche Bank Global Consumer Conference in Paris. Those gains came on top of 46 percent growth in 2017.
The company has 28 Sustainable Living brands, including Dove, Knorr, Lipton, Hellmann’s and Wall’s ice cream.
The company defines these brands as those with the strong environmental or social ambition of halving their environmental footprint, and increasing their positive social impact.
Jope also said that two-thirds of consumers worldwide choose brands because of their stand on social issues, and more than 90 percent of Millennials said that, given the choice, they would switch to brands that champion a cause.
“We believe the evidence is clear and compelling that brands with purpose grow. Purpose creates relevance for a brand, it drives talk-ability, builds penetration and reduces price elasticity. In fact, we believe this so strongly that we are prepared to commit that in the future, every Unilever brand will be a brand with purpose,” he said. “Talking is not enough, it is critical that brands take action and demonstrate their commitment to making a difference.”
Jope pointed to Dove, which has helped young people around the world with self-esteem education since 2005; Vaseline, which has reached millions who are living on the front lines of poverty and disaster with skin healing programs; and Ben & Jerry’s, which campaigns for social justice and climate change.