SOURCE: Unilever PLC

January 18, 2008 15:06 ET

Unilever Participates in Industry Forum at the Grocery Manufacturers Association's First Environmental Sustainability Summit

Unilever U.S. President Kevin Havelock Outlines Role of Sustainable Development as a Key Driver for Business Growth

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - January 18, 2008) - Speaking to an audience of more than 500 manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, academicians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and policy makers here, Unilever U.S. (NYSE: UL) (NYSE: UN) President Kevin Havelock outlined Unilever's on-going commitment to sustainable development and social innovation.

Havelock was among several business leaders who participated in a panel discussion focused on the opportunities and challenges involved in sustainable development at the Grocery Manufacturers Association's (GMA) first Environmental Sustainability Summit.

"At Unilever, our mission is to add vitality to life," said Havelock. "We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care helping people feel good, look good and get more out of life. As a global company, we have a responsibility to do what is good for business while simultaneously doing the right thing for society. We live our vitality mission through our brands -- such as Lipton, Hellmann's, Ben & Jerry's and Dove."

During the panel discussion, moderated by Peter Seligmann, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board and CEO, Conservation International, Havelock highlighted Unilever's history as a responsible corporate citizen dating back to 1885 and the actions the company has been focused on for more than the past decade.

Unilever's global initiatives have focused on the company's commitment to reducing its environmental impacts throughout the entire organization -- from its manufacturing processes through the lifecycle of its products. With a focus on reducing its overall carbon footprint, making water conservation a priority and implementing changes in packaging, Unilever has made significant progress. According to Havelock, "Employing metrics to track our progress is a critical measure of success." He noted, for example, that, since 1995, Unilever has cut its CO2 emissions by 30 percent in total and on a per-ton of production and more than halved the amount of water used at its manufacturing sites.

Havelock also discussed Unilever's continued commitment to drive change while growing its business by working closely with other stakeholders who share common goals. He highlighted how the company successfully partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to develop the Marine Stewardship Council, to establish a global standard for sustainable fishery management.

Havelock also talked about Unilever's recent partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, an international NGO. "As the manufacturer of Lipton Tea and the world's largest tea company -- buying about 12 percent of the world's entire black tea crop -- we are working with the Rainforest Alliance to have all of our tea certified from sustainable sources by 2015. Such actions are expected to transform the global tea industry," he said.

"Sustainable development is deeply embedded into our corporate ethic and is part of our DNA. Not only is our commitment good for business, but it serves as a catalyst to energizing our workforce and as a tool for attracting new employees to our organization," Havelock added.

The two-day GMA Environmental Sustainability Summit for the Food, Beverage and Consumer Products Industry seeks to showcase the industry's leadership in developing and implementing environmentally sustainable business practices.

Note to Editors

For more information about Unilever's Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability initiatives, please visit:

About Unilever

Unilever (NYSE: UL) (NYSE: UN), one of the world's largest consumer products companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

In the United States these brands include recognized names such as: Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Good Humor, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever in the United States employs approximately 13,000 people in more than 60 office and manufacturing sites in 24 states and Puerto Rico -- generating nearly $10 billion in sales in 2006. For more information, visit

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