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Read Beyond Corporate Responsibility: Social Innovation and Sustainable

Development as Drivers of Business Growth on page 513 by Patrick Cescau, Group

Chief Executive of Unilever.
Its crazy to think, that about forty-five years ago corporate responsibility and
sustainable development was hardly present. A belief that these companies had an
obligation to its society. The whole thing started years later. Social responsibility
and environmental sustainability lye at the heart of the business. Companies
working together to make the world a better place.
We are focused on developing and emerging markets today, and Unilever is there
seeing this as an opportunity for innovation. This idea will make them very
Unilever believes in meeting everyday needs in life. This is a company all in for
cleanliness, nourishment, and for personal care. They produce products that will
benefit people in their wellbeing, their personal appearance, and help them get
more out of their everyday life.
In the article Mr. Cescau introduces two very interesting principles, The first is that
the health and prosperity of our business is directly linked to the health and
prosperity of the communities we serve. The second principle that has been
handed down is the simple notion that a successful business is a responsible
business. He tells us that the central to this is the idea that we can create social
benefits through our brands and through the impact which our business activities
have a society and still make a good return for our shareholders.
Most of the positive roles that these business play in the world go unnoticed. We
barely talk about this in the media; but thats because being ethical has become a
norm in our everyday life.
Unilever deals business in a very smart way, they find the sweet spot in the society
that they are selling to. They provide consumers with the benefits that they need
and want. They strive to maximize the social benefits and minimize their
environment impact. The decisions that are made have culture and consumers
always in mind.

Module 9 Discussion

When it comes to Mr. Cescaus sustainability position, to me Unilever continues to

follow it just like they always have done in the past. It is clear in the reading Beyond
Corporate Responsibility: that Unilever is continuously making strides to ensure that
they are not only known for their sustainability and corporate responsibility, but are
also setting the standard for what should be done by companies worldwide when it

comes to this topic. As stated by Cescau, I believe that we have come to a point
now where this agenda of sustainability and corporate responsibility is not only
central to business strategy but will increasingly become a critical driver of business
growth. This statement displays that for businesses to be successful now days;
they are going to have to incorporate a decent amount of focus on making sure they
are a business that is viewed as being a responsible and sustainable one as well.

When it comes to whether or not Unilever truly pursues the Triple Bottom Line, it
is more that clear to me that you could certainly make the argument that they do.
On the topic of their businesses in Indonesia, the majority of the cash they created
actually stays in the local economy there. According to Cescau on a report on the
impact of their supply chain, It found that some 84% of our raw and packaging
materials were sourced from local suppliers thereby creating not just jobs but
technology transfer from other Unilever factories around the world. They not only
employ 5,000 employees in their Indonesia plant, but they also support the same as
300,000 jobs across the retail and distribution chain. Another aspect that is critical
for Unilever is their ability to be able to sell their products that are made to the poor
in rural areas. They are able to reach this consumers by having representatives go
door to door in these areas and getting their product out there for these more
isolated customers to be able to purchase.

These statements go to show that in terms of the social/ethical and environmental

performance, Unilever positively effects the local economies in which their
businesses choose to operate, especially the developing nations they are involved
in, and they seem to leave these places in better shape and condition than they
were before they got there, showing the Triple Bottom Line is continuously
perused by them and always in their minds when conducting business, no matter
where they might be doing so.


Hartman, L., DesJardins, J., & McDonald, C. (2014). Philosophical Ethics and
Business. In Business ethics: Decision making for personal integrity and social
responsibility (Third ed., p. 514,515). New York, New York: The McGraw-Hill