Matthew Chapman
Nov 30, 2011

CSR departments are redundant, says Unilever's Keith Weed

GLOBAL - Brands should build corporate social responsibility (CSR) into all their working practices rather than have standalone CSR departments, according to Keith Weed, Unilever chief marketing officer.

Keith Weed
Keith Weed

Weed laid out Unilever's philosophy at the annual (UK) Marketing Society conference yesterday, as he explained how Unilever would achieve its aim of doubling the size of its business, while reducing its environmental impact

He said: "We don’t have a CSR department – if you have a CSR department, then it's an add-on," he said. "Sustainability is something we do from day to day. Employees who are engaged perform better – they need to be engaged in something and believe in something."

He stated Unilever's ambition to drive growth of the business by catering to consumers' needs, sparked by the booming global population.

Weed added: "The only sustainable growth is consumer-demanded growth. Clearly, in a resourcefully strained world we need to think about environmental and social responsibility."

Unilever would focus heavily on sanitation products because of the expected growth of urban slums.

Weed claimed the firm's factories only produced a small proportion of greenhouse gases during the lifecycle of a product.

The manufacturing of the product in factories contributed 3 per cent of greenhouse gases, whereas the collection of the raw materials contributed 26 per cent and customers using the products gave off 68 per cent of the greenhouse gases, he said.

Unilever wanted to help suppliers and customers reduce the environmental impact of products before and after they enter its factories.

This push will involve all Lipton teabags being sourced sustainibly by 2015.

This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk

Source:
Brand Republic

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