Unilever

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• Unilever is an international company that sells tea, ice cream, fabric softener, as well as a wide range of foods and home and personal care products.

• Unilever is the world's largest tea supplier and the company fails to apply Fair Trade principles to the tea trade.

• Unilever has admitted to employing bribery to gain privileged market access in developing countries.

• Visit Go Green to and use your consumer power to support Fair Trade.

-- Profile Updated 03/28/2011

About Unilever


Unilever PLC is one of the world’s largest consumer products companies with annual sales of approximately $54.4 billion in 2004. It produces and markets a wide range of foods and home and personal care products. The company operates in 88 countries, employing nearly 223,000 people. Unilever PLC, Unilever N.V. and Unilever together compose the Unilever Group.

Campaigns

Stop Disposable Jobs at Lipton!

Workers at a Lipton tea factory in Pakistan are protesting the company's refusal to provide permanent…

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Workers at a Lipton tea factory in Pakistan are protesting the company's refusal to provide permanent, decent jobs for workers. The majority of workers employeed at the Unilever owned Lipton tea factory in Khanewal are subcontracted workers. Subcontraced workers recieve only 1/3 of the permanent workers' wage and cannot unionize to improve their conditions. Connect to the link to send a message to Unilever telling them you support the workers who are fighting for labor rights.

http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/Liptonteaworkers


Affiliates

There are no known affiliates associated with Unilever .

Contact Unilever


Unilever
Blackfriars
London, EN EC4P 4BQ UK

Phone: 44-171-822-5252

Web: www.unilever.com

Alerts

Environment

In late September 2006, the European Fish Processors Association (AIPCE) met in Dublin to address the growing problem of illegally…

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In late September 2006, the European Fish Processors Association (AIPCE) met in Dublin to address the growing problem of illegally harvested cod in burgers and fishsticks. The September 2006 report entitled, “The Cod Fishery in the Baltic Sea: Unsustainable and Illegal” by Greenpeace revealed that 30 percent of cod caught from the Baltic were stolen, making the recovery of sea creatures nearly impossible. The AIPCE outlined policy recommendations but the guidelines are not binding. Birds Eye and Iglo, two of the largest frozen foods brands both owned by Unilever, have made no statements to ensure their products would not contain illegally caught fish.

-- Greenpeace, 10/04/2006

Source URL: oceans.greenpeace.org/en/the-expedition/news/birds-eye-iglo-still-link...


A 2006 CERES report titled "Corporate Governance and Climate Change: Making the Connection," commissioned by Investor Responsibili…

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A 2006 CERES report titled "Corporate Governance and Climate Change: Making the Connection," commissioned by Investor Responsibility Resource Center, details a comprehensive measurement of how 100 leading global companies are responding to global warming. Through an evaluation of board oversight, management performance, public disclosure, emissions accounting, and strategic performance, to address climate change, the companies were evaluated on a 0 to 100 scale. Unilever PLC scored a total of 49 points.

-- CERES, 03/01/2006

Source URL: www.ceres.org/pub/docs/Ceres_corp_gov_and_climate_change_0306.pdf


Health and Safety

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetic released a report in March 2009 that revealed 23 out of the 28 children’s bath products they tested…

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The Campaign for Safe Cosmetic released a report in March 2009 that revealed 23 out of the 28 children’s bath products they tested contained formaldehyde, a chemical that increases skin sensitivity and irritates nasal and respiratory passages in addition to being considered a probable carcinogen by the EPA. 32 of 48 tested products contained 1,4-dioxane, which is also considered a probable human carcinogen by the EPA and a byproduct of the chemical processes used to make petroleum-based ingredients gentler to the skin. Nearly two-thirds of all tested products contained both of these harmful toxins. Brands tested in this study include Bath & Body Works (Limited Brands), Johnson & Johnson, CVS/Pharmacy, Unilever, L’Oreal, Wal-Mart, Kimberly-Clark, Target, Costco and Procter & Gamble. Organic Consumers Association has also recently released a report on brands that have sharply reduced levels of 1,4-dioxane since March 2008 that include 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods), Earth Friendly Products, Ecco Bella, Giovanni, Jason, Johnson & Johnson, Kiss My Face, Life Tree, Method, Nature’s Gate, Planet Ultra, and Seventh Generation.

-- USA Today, 03/12/2009

Source URL: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-03-12-formaldehyde_N.htm


From vinyl shower curtains to children’s toys, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic products pervade our homes and lives.…

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From vinyl shower curtains to children’s toys, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic products pervade our homes and lives. These products are dangerous to our health and environment from start to finish - in the factory, at home, and in the trash, releasing toxic chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects. The good news is safe and cost-effective alternatives exist and retailers such as Ikea have completely phased out PVC.

The following products made by Unilever contain PVC plastic in the packaging:

  • Vaseline intensive care moisturizer bath and body oil
  • Vaseline intensive care foaming crème bath - gentle breeze
  • Vaseline intensive care foaming crème bath - botanical garden
  • Vaseline intensive care foaming crème bath - peaceful orchard
  • Vaseline intensive care foaming crème bath - soft petal
  • Vaseline intensive care foaming crème bath - soft petal

-- Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ), 07/18/2006

Source URL: none available


In February, 2002 Unilever recalled 4 million teddy bears it had sent out to promote its Snuggle brand fabric softener in the US o…

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In February, 2002 Unilever recalled 4 million teddy bears it had sent out to promote its Snuggle brand fabric softener in the US over fears that small children could choke on parts of them. The recall came after the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said there had been 32 reports of the eyes and noses coming off the bears, however no injuries were reported. The bears, which were made in China, had been given away or sent to consumers between May 1997 and December 2001.

-- Financial Times, 02/20/2002

Source URL: none available


Unilever India was reported to have illegally dumped mercury waste in Kodaikanal, a heavily-populated town in India in March, 2001…

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Unilever India was reported to have illegally dumped mercury waste in Kodaikanal, a heavily-populated town in India in March, 2001. It was discovered by Greenpeace and Palni Hills Conservation Council that Hindustan Lever, a subsidiary of the company, dumped 7.4 tons of mercury contaminated glass wastes behind the factory onto the areas leading to the Pambar Shola forest. Responding to public pressure, Unilever decided to close its mercury plant in Kodaikanal, India in 2001 and send the contaminated waste to the United States for recycling. But residents, workers and environmental groups want the company to provide health remediation and financial compensation for workers, environmental clean-up, and apologize to the community. Unilever maintains that their operations have damaged neither the environment outside the factory, nor their workers' health.

-- Chemical Business Newsbase, 08/31/2001

Source URL: www.greenpeaceusa/org/media/press_releases


Labor

ActionAid protesters picketed outside the annual general meeting of Unilever in London to demand that the company sell fairly trad…

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ActionAid protesters picketed outside the annual general meeting of Unilever in London to demand that the company sell fairly traded tea. Fair trade advocates claim that Unilever is profiting from dropping tea prices while Indian workers and plantation owners are suffering. Reports have surfaced of widespread layoffs and violence on tea plantations, and in extreme cases plantation owners have been killed. As the world's single largest tea supplier, ActionAid urges Unilever to sell all of its tea according the fair trade principles.

-- BBC News, 05/11/2005

Source URL: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4537121.stm


In September 2004 more than 140 production employees at Unilever BestFoods margarine factory in Johnson City, Kansas returned to w…

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In September 2004 more than 140 production employees at Unilever BestFoods margarine factory in Johnson City, Kansas returned to work after a new contract was reached. The workers were on strike for nearly two months over wage increases and health insurance.

-- Kansas City Star, 10/05/2004

Source URL: none available


In 2002 Ben & Jerry's, a subsidiary of Unilever, laid off 52 workers at its coporate headquarters and closed 2 of its Vermont prod…

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In 2002 Ben & Jerry's, a subsidiary of Unilever, laid off 52 workers at its coporate headquarters and closed 2 of its Vermont production facilities, which cut an additional 124 jobs. The company also was moving forward with a $10 million expansion at another local factory that would add 34 jobs there.

-- Associated Press, 10/24/2002

Source URL: none available


In 2001 240 Teamsters from the Lipton plant (owned by Unilever) in the city of Independence, Kansas went on strike.…

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In 2001 240 Teamsters from the Lipton plant (owned by Unilever) in the city of Independence, Kansas went on strike. Workers objected to working 16-hour day followed by 12-hour days. Workers went back after the company agreed to use a larger pool of employees who want to work overtime. In the past, those wanting to work extra hours were restricted by departments within the plant, forcing more people to work involuntary overtime.

-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 02/17/2001

Source URL: none available


Ethics and Governance

Unilever has admitted to giving bribes, or "facilitating payments" to officials in developing nations.…

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Unilever has admitted to giving bribes, or "facilitating payments" to officials in developing nations. Although not illegal under international law these payments may be illegal under local laws. The payments are said to not be encouraged at Unilever but are tolerated in small amounts as long as they are publicly disclosed and conducted in respect to local customs.

-- New York Times, 01/11/2001

Source URL: none available


In August 2002, Unilever was ordered to pay pension to the gay partner of a deceased member of its pension fund.…

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In August 2002, Unilever was ordered to pay pension to the gay partner of a deceased member of its pension fund. It was also ordered to treat same-sex partnerships the same way as legal marriages

-- Business Day (South Africa), 08/25/2000

Source URL: none available