Hindustan Unilever Limited is one of the fastest and largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) that is based in India. It was formed in 1933 but after merging with Hindustan Vanaspati Mfg. Co. Ltd. and United Traders Ltd., the name of the organization was changed to Hindustan Lever Limited in 1956. The company name was changed again in June 2007 to “Hindustan Unilever Limited”. The company is so big that it is touching the lives of every 2 out of 3 Indians. The major stake hold by Anglo-Dutch Company is around 67.28% (Purkayastha, 2013).
HUL established itself as a market leader in the consumer products by providing more than 20 categories with 700 million of the consumers using their phone. Around 18000 employees are working in the company currently whose headquarter is situated in Mumbai, India.
The mission of the company – “add vitality to life” inspired more than 16,000 employees including 1500 managers. The company was also ranked number one in the Asia-Pacific region (Young, 2017).
HUL believes that a business enterprise worth is also present in their service rendered to the society and community. Therefore, HUL always focuses on equality, health and hygiene education, women empowerment and water conservation.
HUL also launched an ambitious programme in 2001 named as “Shakti”. With the help of this programme, HUL is growing various opportunities for the rural women, which will improve their livelihood and standard of living (Majumder, 2009). This movement also includes Shakti Vani Programme based on health and hygiene education. Shakti programme has covered across 18 states in India with over 80,000 micro entrepreneurs.
The term ‘Sustainability’ is well ddescribed as the growth that satisfies the wants of today generation without negotiating the capability of future generations and this make a balance between the economic growth, environment protection and community well-being.
Sustainable development, an approach that appeared in the Brundtland Report for the first time in 1987 by giving warning of the negative environmental consequences of globalization and economic growth and various possible solutions are tried due to the problem caused by excess growth of the population and industrialization (Sachs, 2015).
Sustainable growth is among the biggest challenge that is faced by any business leader but this problem is facing by many organizations for a long time. In the past, the meaning of every organization making sense is – “time is money”.
It is necessary that a business must serve the society or community as it is giving them resources and materials used in the production and manufacturing.
Sustainable development goals are the driver of business growth and sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represents an ambitious vision, which needs to be rendered to the streets, companies and fields where people pass their daily lives (Sachs, 2015).
Against their sustainable targets, HUL has helped more than 480 million people by enriching their livelihoods with the help of training, employment and promoting human rights. Their action plan also helps in achieving health and well-being.
Considering environmental impacts of 2008, in 2015, Unilever plants sent 97% less total waster for disposal, abstracted 37% less water per tonne of production and emitted 39% less CO2 from energy (Brooks, 2011).
However, some big challenges faced by the company like many consumer products of the company are not able to reduce the environmental impact after leaving the factory. In addition, the water related with the use of their product also only fallen by 1% and the gasses as greenhouses related with consumer use of the product is risen by 6%.
In 2015, the company made UN Sustainable Goals (SDGs) which included many innovative strategies to address these problems but a change in the behaviour of consumer made it difficult for the company to take collective actions regarding the widening inequality and climate change.
Hindustan Unilever Limited focus on many areas of sustainable development like-
There are many factors, which makes the company manage the sustainable goals more efficiently. Hindustan Unilever Limited use collective action plans for achieving the sustainable development goals in an efficient manner (Randhawa and Ahuja, 2017). There strategies and plan always connected to the innovation, creativity and society.
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has shown strong growth and development under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) in 2016. All the initiatives related to USLP are aligned to HUL to one or more SDGs.
The planning and strategy made by the company are all inter-related with the goals of sustainable development. The plan is made explicitly as the focus area is diverse in many fields like -
Hindustan Unilever has a plan consisting of three big goals need to achieved targeting on environmental, social and economic aspects in the value chain. These goals need to be achieved by the year 2020 and 2030 respectively (Ahlstrom, 2010). They will continue in these areas with the help of partnership and collaborations so that to drive the biggest change and promote their SDGs.
These three major goals for the growth and sustainability show that USLP drives value for the business. Tshese goals are also showing concern towards the corporate social responsibility and corporate government, which is a compulsory activity of the business enterprise in order to sustain.
For achieving any objective or goals, an organization needs to follow a set of procedures and innovative strategies in the alignment of the goals, so that they can be achieved effectively and efficiently. Some proposed strategies are given below for the above-mentioned sustainable development goals. These are –
In any organization, after the implementation of the strategies, the management evaluate these strategies based on appropriate targets and indicators. The management of the Hindustan Unilever Limited require to take periodical survey i.e. may be in every 3 months with the public, employees and stakeholders so that appropriate result can be analysed. This will help them in gathering relevant data and information about the success of their plans and strategies (whether explicitly implemented or not) so that further improvement can be done in a proactive manner.
The management team of the HUL can also raise a survey with the help of a social poll including Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn. As due to the presence of a large number of audience in the social life, it can prove to be a cost effective and reliable approach to gather the information (Davidov, Schmidtand and Schwartz, 2008).
Some of the management approaches like the setting of KPA i.e. Key Performance Area and KPI i.e. Key Performance Indicator can be used theoretically in alignment with the targets and indicators (Yoon, Shin and Lee, 2018)
To the director,
Hindustan Unilever Limited,
September 31, 2018.
I am a third-year Harvard Business School student and want to present myself as a consultant position for Work Integrated Learning programme at your company. My learning experience with the various NGO helps me to understand the concept and approaches related to the sustainable development and growth, CSR and the importance of human rights.
According to my understanding, with the help of sustainability development, when an individual or organization meets their today needs without negotiating the requirements of the upcoming generations and thus ensure all over development in the society. The focus of sustainable development is on improving livelihood of people, reducing environment impact and sustains resources from depletion.
In my opinion, every organization needs to do something good for the community life and the society. The actual reason behind this statement is that society gives many elements (resources and people) to the organization through which they may profit and this is the duty of the company to do something well for the society.
Myself as a consultant, it will be my duty to promote high standards, transparency, effectiveness and accountability among the management of your company.
Before applying as a role of consultant, I had made some research that shows what practices are going on related to the sustainable development in your company. I can confidently say that I am happy to be a part of your company as both in the role of employee and customer i.e. as I prefer your brand over the others due to quality products made without much harming to the environment as we as your contribution towards the society.
After analysing your annual reports, it can be stated that your sustainable development goals are stand on three pillars includes improving well-being, reducing environment impact, and enhancing livelihoods. I am impressed and also would like to contribute my knowledge which I had gained in my previous NGO so that to promote more efficiency in the development of sustainable development goals. I want to present a suggestion like for such a big company as yours, to achieve the sustainable development target, it is necessary to do partnership and collaboration with the other companies an economy of scale can be achieved through joint goals and objectives. It will also lead to more growth and trust with lower risks and costs. In many organizations, the consultant role is of a follower but I want to establish myself in your company as a leader who will contribute more explicitly.
I firmly believe that I will be a good fit for your company culture. I am excited to work for your company, as it is one of the top most FMCG in my country. Thank you for your time and attention.
Adams, C.A. (2015). The international integrated reporting council: a call to action. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 27, pp.23-28.
Ahlstrom, D. (2010) Innovation and growth: How business contributes to society. Academy of management perspectives, 24(3), pp.11-24.
Brooks, J. (2011). Unilever achieves zero waste to landfill at UK sites. Available from https://www.packagingnews.co.uk/news/unilever-achieves-zero-waste-to-landfill-at-uk-sites-12-09-2011 Accessed on 31 September 2018.
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Davidov, E., Schmidt, P. and Schwartz, S.H. (2008) Bringing values back in: The adequacy of the European Social Survey to measure values in 20 countries. Public opinion quarterly, 72(3), pp.420-445.
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Gambhir, V.K., Majmudar, N., Sodhani, S. and Gupta, N. (2017) Social Return on Investment (SROI) for Hindustan Unilever’s (HUL) CSR initiative on livelihoods (Prabhat). Procedia computer science, 122, pp.556-563.
Griggs, D., Stafford-Smith, M., Gaffney, O., Rockström, J., Öhman, M.C., Shyamsundar, P., Steffen, W., Glaser, G., Kanie, N. and Noble, I. (2013) Policy: Sustainable development goals for people and planet. Nature, 495(7441), p.305.
Guerry, A.D., Polasky, S., Lubchenco, J., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Daily, G.C., Griffin, R., Ruckelshaus, M., Bateman, I.J., Duraiappah, A., Elmqvist, T. and Feldman, M.W. (2015) Natural capital and ecosystem services informing decisions: From promise to practice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(24), pp.7348-7355.
Hendry, C. (2012). Human Resource Management. New York: Routledge.
Majumder, I. (2009) " SHAKTI": A Strategic Marketing Approach of FMCG Giant, HUL-Enabling a Journey towards Business Excellence in the Era of Globalization. Indian Journal of Marketing, 39(9), pp.3-10.
Pani, P. (2018) Domex launches toilet academy. Available from https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/domex-launches-toilet-academy/article23152116.ece Accessed on 31 September 2018.
Purkayastha, D. (2013) Unilever Offers $3.2bn to Boost Stake in Indian Unit. Available from https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/unilever-increase-stakes-open-offer-indian-arm-486830 Accessed on 31 August 2018.
Randhawa, J.S. and Ahuja, I.S. (2017) 5S–a quality improvement tool for sustainable performance: literature review and directions. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 34(3), pp.334-361.
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Santamouris, M., Synnefa, A. and Karlessi, T. (2011) Using advanced cool materials in the urban built environment to mitigate heat islands and improve thermal comfort conditions. Solar Energy, 85(12), pp.3085-3102.
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Slavin, T. (2018). The FMCG giant reveals that its most sustainable brands grew 46% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70% of its sales growth last year. Available from https://www.ethicalcorp.com/sustainable-living-brands-still-fuelling-unilevers-growth Accessed on 31 September 2018.
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