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Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate responsibility,

corporate citizenship, responsible business and corporate social opportunity) is a


concept whereby organizations consider the interests of society by taking
responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, employees,
shareholders, communities and other stakeholders, as well as the environment.
This obligation is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with
legislation and sees organizations voluntarily taking further steps to improve the
quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community
and society at large.
Though the concept goes back to the early days of industrial revolution, still it is
not possible to arrive at a universal benchmark for evaluation of corporate
standards across boundaries since corporate in the developed industrialized nations
operate in an environment which is far more sophisticated than in the less
industrialized agrarian societies.
In a majority of cases corporate citizens of the developed countries are able to
comply with the corporate and social responsibility norms, however; the corporate
entities in the developing countries obviously lag far behind in terms of attaining
the level of compliance similar to those of the developed countries.
Study found thata) Corporate Responsibility Practices in the Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) are
better vis--vis the local companies.
b) Corporate Responsibility Practices in large companies are better vis--vis the
smaller companies.
c) There are sectoral variations in Corporate Responsibility Practices.

Corporate Social Responsibility of Unilever Bangladesh


Unilever's corporate mission to add vitality to life shows how clearly the
business understands 21st century-consumers and their lives.
In the 1890s, William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Bros, wrote down his ideas
for Sunlight Soap his revolutionary new product that helped popularise
cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England. It was 'to make cleanliness
commonplace; to lessen work for women; to foster health and contribute to
personal attractiveness, that life may be more enjoyable and rewarding for the
people who use our products'.
This was long before the phrase 'Corporate Mission' had been invented, but these
ideas have stayed at the heart of Unilevers business.
In a history that now crosses three centuries, Unilever's success has been
influenced by the major events of the day economic boom, depression, world
wars, changing consumer lifestyles and advances in technology. And throughout
they have created products that help people get more out of life cutting the time
spent on household chores, improving nutrition, enabling people to enjoy food and
take care of their homes, their clothes and themselves.
Today, Unilever still believes that success means acting with- 'the highest
standards of corporate behaviour towards our employees, consumers and the
societies and world in which we live'. Over the years Unilever launched or
participated in an ever-growing range of initiatives to source sustainable supplies
of raw materials, protect environments, support local communities and much
more.
The brands are helping people 'feel good, look good and get more out of life' a
sentiment close to Lord Leverhulme's heart over a hundred years ago.

Unilever Bangladesh
Over the the last four decades, Unilever Bangladesh as a fast moving Consumer
Goods company with local manufacturing facilities,has been constantly bringing
new and world-class products for the Bangladeshi people to remove the daily
drudgery of life. Over 90% of the countrys households use one or more of their
products including Household Care, Fabric Cleaning, Skin Cleansing, Skin Care,
Oral Care, Hair Care, Personal Grooming, Tea based Beverages.
Popular brands of Unilever are-Wheel, Lux, Lifebuoy, Fair & Lovely, Pond's,
Close Up, Sunsilk, Taaza, Pepsodent, Clear, Vim, Surf Excel, Rexona,
Dove, Vaseline & Lakme.
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The company has a Soap Manufacturing factory and a Personal Products Factory
located in Chittagong. Besides these, there is a tea packaging operation in
Chittagong and three manufacturing units in Dhaka, which are owned and run by
third parties exclusively dedicated to Unilever Bangladesh. Unilever wons60.75% of its shares and Government of Bangladesh wons- 39.25%.
Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) of Unilever Bangladesh
Unilever Bangladesh focuses its voluntary social initiatives in three key areas:
Health, Education and Women's Empowerment - all aimed at improving the
living standards of Bangladeshi people.
*Education

Education is important for the development of the nation and UBL hopes to bring
the light of education to those who lack the opportunity to avail it.

i)Education for all


Dhaka city is a fast paced metropolis where the rich and poor co-exist. Given the
need for income support most children of lowest income families in the capital city
miss out the opportunity to go to school.
Working with SSKS
Unilever came forward to support an institution that provides free primary
education to children of lowest income families. There exist some institutions that
provide education to these hapless children and one such organisation is Shathee
Samaj Kalyan Samity (SSKS), an NGO working for the slum residents in the
citys posh residential area- Banani.
Free evening school

Besides entrepreneurial training and other activities, SSKS runs a free evening
school for children residing in slums and was funded by an international NGO
thus far. Towards the end of 2004, the supporting organisation wrapped up its
activities from Bangladesh which left SSKS floundering for funds.
With Education as one of UBLs primary focus in CSR, UBL felt that it would be a
shame to see such a wonderful initiative, providing education to over 300
underprivileged children, close down.

In January 2005, Unilever Bangladesh initiated the sponsorship of the school'


major expenses. The sponsorship helps to cover salaries for the teachers and staff,
uniforms and books for the students, and other administrative outflows.
Getting more out of life

Moreover, given the proximity of the school to UBL's corporate office, company
managers volunteer to spend time with the children and take innovative learning
sessions. These include Origami, Good behaviour, Electricity and safety etc. The
children eagerly await such visits which inspire their creative thinking and is a
break from the everyday school work.
UBL volunteers also visits the school to demonstrate the importance of hygiene
and health. Unilever's Pepsodent Dentibus also visits the school premises to create
awareness about good oral hygiene. Pop quizzes through which the children could
win Lifebouy soaps, or a Pepsodent toothpaste with each correct answer creates
a flurry of eager hands to jumping up to answer that makes it a sight to see!
The existence of the school is a great support for the children living in Banani,
Gulshan, Badda slum areas and UBL provides support for opportunities such as
training for teachers, and sports lessons for the students. Nurturing the intellect
and development of the children coming to this school can help build a strong
example of consciencious involvement of the privileged society in support of the
needy.

ii)Scholarships for higher education


FAL(Fair and Lovely) Foundation is providing higher education scholarships for
women with the potential and passion for university education and a professional
career.
Rewarding talent

Fair and Lovely Foundation undertook many initiatives to encourage women to


become empowered with skills for economic independence in life and self
fulfillment. The scholarship program was one such initiative that supported the
dreams of talented women from economically disadvantaged families.
Bringing out the best

In the scholarship program FAL Foundation provides scholarship worth Taka


25,000 to female students to pursue 4 year under-graduate studies in the fields of
Arts, Commerce, Science , Engineering, Higher AgroScience, and Medicine.
More than 2000 applications are received each year for this scholarship program.

After a rigorous need and merit assessment and a final interview conducted by
renowned professionals from various fields, 375 females have been awaded the
scholarship to continue their higher education. The scholarships are disbursed in
instalments following submission of academic records showing good performance
every year by each awardee.
The Foundation hopes that the scholarship will help to change the destiny of these
young women seeking enlightenment and economic independence although
coming from a family background that deprives them of many opportunities in
life.

iii)Supplementary
Foundation

Education

Programme

with

Faria

Lara

In 2005 Fair & Lovely Foundation had initiated a Supplementary Education


Programme with Faria Lara Foundation.
Education Programme

In 2005 Fair & Lovely Foundation had initiated a Supplementary Education


Programme with Faria Lara Foundation to assist semi-urban female students to
acquire Spoken/Written English and Basic Computer skills after their SSC Exam.
After reviewing the success of the programme, the Foundation has decided to
continue their support. A three-month long training programme with 43 trainees is
underway in Halta Dawatala, Bamna Upozila, Borguna District.
In April 2005, UBL Chairman Sanjiv Mehta officially handed over a cheque of
Taka 5 Lakh and 10 computers to Selina Hossain, Executive Director of the Faria
Lara Foundation. Under this project 40 female SSC students from 16 secondary
institutions in the district went through a three-month training program on basic
computer skills, spoken and written English. The courses were conducted by
Certified IT professionals and English language professors. The effectiveness of
the course was evaluated by a final exam conducted by Adcomm, UBLs agency
for executing the various projects related to FAL Foundation.
In 2007 May, Fair & Lovely Foundation again re-started the programme of
providing Supplementary Education programme with Faria Lara Foundation. This
program continues in 2008 as well. 20 SSC and 20 HSC Examinees were given
the opportunity to train for three months in Borguna District.

*Women's Empowerment

UBL brings opportunities to women for education, career and economic


advancement.

iv) Fair & Lovely Foundation


When we try to improve the economic situation of a woman , we help to directly
improve the lifestyles of households.
Empowering Women

In Bangladesh, like many other developing countries, women facing the same
poverty issues as men are subject to additional social and policy biases. For this,
they remain backward in terms of education and economic independence.
Therefore their need for a guide with a sincere mission to enhance the state of the
Bangladeshi women is recognized by all quarters.
Fair & Lovely Foundation

Unilever strongly believes in the importance of empowering women in


Bangladesh, because the progress of any society will be constrained if a significant
part of its population is neglected and excluded from the benefits of development.
It is therefore necessary that women be progressively brought into the main stream
of economic activities. We believe, with economic and educational empowerment,
women can become more vocal about their rights and become stronger in
withstanding repression in any form.
Keeping this mind and womens empowerment at the forefront, Fair & Lovely
Foundation was set-up as a social initiative by Unilever Bangladesh Limited on 15
June 2004 under its leading skin care brand Fair & Lovely. The mission of the
Foundation is to "Encourage economic empowerment of Bangladeshi women
through information and resources in the areas of Education, Career and
Enterprise".
Education

Even in the twenty-first century, Bangladeshi womens economic empowerment is


looked upon as a luxury. While the economic growth of a country is dependent
directly on the level of education of its general population, it will be most
unfortunate if a significant part of it is neglected and excluded from the benefits of
development. It is this realization that has brought about the Fair & Lovely
Foundation Scholarship Programme. Any Bangladeshi female student with good
academic track record is eligible to apply for these scholarships. This programme

aims at providing women with basic and higher education, as well as training and
assistance. Supplementary scholarship programs are also ongoing in partnership
with the Faria Lara Foundation. After the successful project entitled "Uttoroney
Nari" in 2003 where 1,500 women students (at standard 10 level) received courses
on basic IT from NIIT, in 2004, Fair & Lovely Foundation tailor-made yet another
scholarship programme for women seeking higher education.
FAL Foundations Career Guidance Programme.
Education is like a beacon for the right career. It hints at what one is good at. Yet,
with so many choices that are available, it is easy to make a wrong decision. This
led to the Fair & Lovely Foundations Career Guidance Programme.
During its inception in 2004, the Fair & Lovely Foundation aired a 13-episode TV
series in Channel i. Each episode showcased one particular career encapsulating
detailed information about its prospects, means of undertaking it, and an inspiring
success story to instigate interest. Career showcased in the programme were
Law, Banking, Advertising, Defence, Graphic Designing, Engineering, Fashion
Designing, Merchandising, IT, Architecture, Journalism, Medicine and Business.
The programme received a huge response in terms of viewer enquiries and letters.
Enterprise

Small & medium enterprises are crucial to the economic development of a country
like Bangladesh. The Fair & Lovely Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme was
set up to explore the endless possibilities that lie in this sector for women. This
Programme assists both urban and rural women by providing practical knowledge
as well as business expertise.

v)Project Joyeeta
Joyeeta is a unique initiative of Unilever Bangladesh to provide sustainable
opportunities for over 2900 women in rural Bangladesh to earn their livelihood.
Joyeeta is derived from the Bengali word Joy which means Win. Joyeeta is the
embodiment of a fearless female spirit trying to better her socio-economic
condition by trying new options given her surroundings and ground realities. In
recent times Non Government Organizations (NGO)s and government bodies are
collaborating to establish self-help groups for the development of rural women
supported by micro-credit program. So, Project Joyeeta came out as a realistic
venture of Unilever Bangladesh aimed at improving the lives of rural women
bringing them into a sustainable income generation through entrepreneurial skills.
The project started in August 2003 in a nearby Thana of Manikgonj as a pilot for
six months. From an initial twenty-five Joyeetas the number has now increased to

over two thousand. The women termed as Joyeetas are given a task of selling
Unilever products and communicating the brand values in the rural households of
their village. Hence with a sizeable margin they would be able to generate
sustainable income for themselves and hence be financially empowered. These
women (Joyeetas) are serviced from the distributor through a third party agency at
a regular interval.
The success story of Joyeeta is taken even further with a similar project named
Aparajita with the support from CARE. Under this project, UBL will be able to
expand initiative to reach 20 more Upazillas of the countrys northern and eastern
districts. These Unilever led projects will continue to empower women all over the
country and give them the opportunity to dream about a better future.

vi) Urban training


In a new and exciting urban training project , FAL foundation started the
vocational training project for 500 urban women across different income
generating sectors in order to improve their economic independence.
An enabling endeavour

FAL foundation organised 8 courses which were offered to women with


entrepreneurial aspirations from across the country. The courses were conducted
by renowned personalities in respective fields such as

Food Processing by Siddiqa Kabir

Flower Arrangement by Nina Rahman of Ikebana

Cooking courses by Najma Huda

Beauty & Make-Up Course by Farzana Shakil

Tailoring and Embroidery by Singer

Block Printing and Handicrafts by DTC

Women with at least a college education and within the age group of 16 to 35 were
eligible to apply. The courses were conducted over the months of August and September
2005.
Creating a better future

450 women were chosen from the thousands of enthusiastic applicants. After
completing the 15 day training course in the area of their interest, these women
can now start up their own business and be a valuable support of other women as
well.

vii)Uttorone Nari
The Fair & Lovely Uttorone Nari Program has brought the opportunities of
computer education to girl students of economically weaker sections
In 2003, Fair & Lovely - the popular skin care cream in Bangladesh sponsored
meritorious girl students from secondary school level to computer education from
a world class computer training institute, spread out in various branches in all
districts of the country. More than 1500 girl students were nominated throughout
the country to be trained under this program.
The top 3 students from each branch were invited, along with their parents to
attend the formal award giving ceremony in Dhaka. It was a bright happy
gathering of proud parents and promising faces of young achievers.
The girls themselves were very excited at this grand gathering.The girls varied in
their aspirations to become air hostesses, computer scientists, botanists and
economists, however, they all admitted that Fair & Lovely Uttorone Nari Program
helped them to learn more about computers and its necessity in modern life.
*Health, hygiene & personal care
Creating products and lifestyles that make a positive contribution to health for people.

viii) Better health for mother and child


The health of the mother and her child is critically important for the happiness of
families and soceity and Unilever Bangladesh is actively involved in protecting
the good moments of life wherever possible.
The Maa Shishu O General Hospital was set up in 1979 and is a popular reference
in Chittagong for the treatment of mothers and infants. It treats around one and a
half lakh patients annually providing Pediatric, Obstetric, Gynecology , Blood
Transfusion, Diagnostic services etc. However due to insufficient resources it
could not cater to all the requirements of the patients - despite the executive
committees best intentions. This is where UBL came in as a sponsor and besides
financial help extended personal involvement of UBL managers in ensuring
speedy completion of the project. The new OT now has world class surgical
equipment including Life support, Anesthesia machines etc.
Unilever Bangladesh sponsored the setting up of a modern operation facility at the
Maa Shishu O General Hospital. This facility was inaugurated on May 25th, 2004.
In this endeavour, UBL has spent 6.5 Million Taka towards modernising the
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existing operating theatre and in setting up a new operating theatre together with
an advanced Intensive Care unit. This was a much needed upgrade of the hospital
which is one of the very few health care facilities in the city with a population of
2.5 million.
UBL was actively involved in this project, recognising the dire need in the region
for good health care, and an opportunity to help provide access to world-class
surgical facilities through this hospital that caters for less privileged citizens of
Chittagong.
Continued Commitment

The involvement of UBL in bringing modern surgical facilities to this hospital did
not stop at the OT. With regular assessment, new needs for equipment has led to
further investment of another 1.5 million Taka in 2005 as well. UBL is working
with the Hospital management to enhance the skills and capabilites of the hospital
staff and management as well to be able to provide better health care to the
patients. In 2007 again, a 3 month long Nurses Training Programme was
organized at the Hospital. The programme covered several skill areas and had
experts from outside the country help enhance nursing related skills. All these
activities helped improve the emergency, critical treatment and recovery facilities
for the port city residents and increased the hospitals ability to do surgery.
The company not only sponsors projects at Maa Shishu O General Hospital but
also actively supports and monitors its improvement. The management quarterly
visits the hospital to take patients feedback and meet with the administration to
review the quality of services and carry out need assessments to enhance the
services of the hospital. It is the Companys firm believe that to help bring vitality
everywhere, it must first take steps to improve the well-being in the community
that it operates in.

ix) Health awareness


Facing the major challenge of communicating to consumers across Bangladesh,
UBLs health brands Lifebouy and Pepsodent initiated health awareness
campaigns that have brought the message of healthy living to millions of people.
Bangladesh has a population of over 142 million and 80% of this population live
in rural areas. Although there has been a lot of social progress and economic
development in these areas since the countrys independence in 1971, there
remains a general ignorance about the importance of hygiene.

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Two health brands Lifebouy and Pepsodent initiated separate health awareness
campaignsLifebouy concentrating on all rural communities has a team of trained personnel
to visit neighbourhoods, market places, schools etc and communicate the
importance of a healthy lifestyle through flipcharts and leaflets. This is then
followed by demostrating the use of Lifebouy soaps which have been made
available in small packs for people of all income groups.
The Pepsodent team concentrates on schools across the country and suburban
localities to promote oral hygiene. Initiatives like the Dental Support Program and
Dental Health Awareness Week, both of which have been quantum leaps in
developing good oral hygiene practices. The Dental Support Program is a
mammoth community exercise that encompasses both direct and indirect
dissemination of the need and importance of oral hygiene. Not only does a
qualified dentist visit schools to educate school children; the Program reaches out
to countless others indirectly by training primary and secondary school teachers.
Furthermore, Unilever Bangladesh reached out to educate imams at mosques on
dental hygiene, so that they can disseminate the message to their congregations.
More than 3 million school children have been covered through this Program and
Unilever is committed to continue providing this service to the community.
Pepsodent - Bangladesh Dental Society Oral Health Day

Unilever Bangladesh and Bangladesh Dental Society (BDS) have been working
together for over a decade to promote oral health of Bangladeshi people. One of
the major activities that is carried out in partnership is the Pepsodent - Bangladesh
Dental Society Oral Health Day. In 2007, the day was organized on November
16. People called in for appointment at a stipulated time to have his or her teeth
checked by dental professionals. 300 dentists at 257 clinics in 64 districts gave
free dental check-up to 12,500 people. Unilever setup temporary dental facilities in
districts where there were no clinics available.The Day provided people with an
opportunity to be aware of the condition of their teeth and also promoted general
awareness of oral hygiene.
Dentist on wheels

Pepsodent Dentibus a mobile dental care unit complete with basic dental
treatments and specialised dentists are going around the country with free
checkups and advice. The Dentibus travels to 2 schools a day to create dental
health awareness along with providing free checkups to students. More than 1000
children per day thus come to know about better dental hygiene through this

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program. Besides this, the bus also visits various neighborhoods where a lot of
excitement is created around the free checkups.
Together, Lifebouy and Pepsodent have been instrumental in bringing the message
of a better lifestyle, free from germs and associated trauma, to millions of people
across Bangladesh.

x)Lifebouy floating hospital


Working with the Friendship charity, Unilever Bangladesh sponsored the complete
transformation of a French oil-barge into a comfortable residential boat with
proper amenities for medial procedures. Launched in 2002, the 38 metre Lifebouy
Friendship Hospital plies up and down the 'char' regions with a full team of
medical experts and a well stocked dispensary.
Facilities

The hospital boat boasts an unprecedented array of on-board facilities, including

a patient observation ward,

a gynecological and obstetrics room,

an antenatal check-up clinic

a small surgery for minor operations,

a pathological lab,

a dental surgery

Unique impact

The floating hospital really is unique and its impact across the char regions is
difficult to fully appreciate. To date, over 200,000 char-dwellers have had access
to the hospitals free health services - many of whom have never had any kind of
formal medical attention in their lives. The hospitals team of health professionals
immunised 17,500 children against common water-born illnesses and other
diseases.
Touching lives

Those who have visited the floating hospital have all commented that they felt
there was a strong sense of pride hanging in the air - the pride associated with a
company like Unilever Bangladesh which has literally touched the hearts of
millions of Bangladeshis.

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*Some other Social activities

i)

Shada moner manush-

In Bangladesh, there are people with hearts of gold, people we call Shada
Moner Manush. These people have dedicated themselves to improving the
lives of those around them, not for monetary gain or for political benefit but
because they care. Unilever Bangladesh took the initiative to uncover ten such
unsung heroes and bring them to center stage through a nationwide search
called Shada Moner Manush in 2006. In a continuation of this effort, ten
more individuals were given the title Shada Moner Manush in 2008, in due
recognition of their contribution to the community.
ii)

Lux Channel I Superstar-

Over the years, Lux has been a trusted household brand of Unilever, that has
inspired images of beauty, with confidence. In Bangladesh, Lux has been
successfully seeking out new glamour icons for the Bangladeshi cultural arena.
Over the years LCSS has made a dream come true for Bangladeshi girls. In
2007, the contest came with a twist, incorporating the new brand theme "Play
with Beauty".
iii)

Surf Excel Protibhar Lorai-

In 2005, Surf excel took to spreading the idea of "Dirt is good" more visibly to
Bangladeshi families. Through various activations, bangladeshi families got to
be familiar with the idea that it is ok for children to get dirty because for
children to develop and grow to their full potential, they must be free to
experience life for themselves. Surf excels Dirt is Good philosophy is all
about giving children the freedom to get dirty, develop and grow. The role of
the brand is to encourage mothers to let their children develop without
worrying about getting dirty because Surf excel will help them clean.
iv)

Close Up 1

On a mission to discover the hidden singing talents in Bangladesh, Closeup 1


brought the promise of instant fame and exposure for thousands of youths in
the country! Close up 1 - the popular talent hunt contest - started its journey in
2003. In previous years it had focused on creative writing, T-shirt painting,
poetry, fashion designing and photography. In 2005 , it was all about Music!
Music of all genre, time and rhythm - anything from the young singers of the
nation.

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