Thursday, June 10, 2010

Unilever works for the ‘greener good’

Unilever works for the ‘greener good’
Malaya Business Insight
June 10, 2010

The campaign to conserve the environment continues to get stronger, especially with the help of top organizations that take the advocacy to heart by implementing concrete, replicable measures.

In the business sector, Unilever Philippines has been at the forefront of environmental campaigns, working with other groups to create a lasting "green" impact.

In the recent Earth Day celebration, the multinational corporation’s Philippine office was recognized for its green projects. At the first Zero Basura Olympics—a competition that showcased the best "green" practices—it was one of two companies declared Grandmaster awardees. It was also declared the Green Technology Champion. The recognition came in light of Unilever’s pioneering effort of having shredded plastic packaging recycled into bricks and pavers that help build community homes.

"Being a global business means recognizing our bigger role in caring for the environment. This is something all of us in Unilever will not compromise," said Ali Gokcelik, vice president for Supply Chain, Unilever Philippines. "Unilever aims to bring vitality to communities with (our) products and services…so the environmental agenda is a priority all the time… We commit to ensure that our operations do not pollute and (that our operations) encourage others in the community to do the same."

The Zero Basura Olympics aims to inspire more organizations to implement comprehensive programs that will positively impact the environment. It also aims to showcase such efforts so that the public may be aware of greener alternatives and help them make greener decisions. Following the declaration of winners for the business sector, the organizers will confer awards on local governments and NGOs. The Zero Basura Olympics is a project of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, Philippine Business for the Environment, Earth Day Network Philippines, Pollution Control Association of the Philippines, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Solid Waste Management Commission.

The award affirms Unilever’s commitment to caring for the environment through comprehensive, long-range and sustained efforts. Apart from the plastic sachet project, the company has been showcasing its concern for nature through long-standing multi-sectoral partnerships in various water initiatives .

Every contribution is vital in the fight against climate change—this is the idea behind the 10 Million Movement (10MM) which Unilever supports. The advocacy hopes to encourage everyone—individuals and groups alike—to commit to doing something for the environment and register it online.

"We really feel that we are running out of time. We cannot be waiting for one project to be fully successful before you launch the other. The idea is to have a layering of projects which will hopefully address most of these environmental concerns," said Chito Macapagal, vice president for Corporate Affairs of Unilever Philippines. "Filipinos working together can actually make a difference and all we need is to focus on doing a few key things in a collective manner, regularly. That’s what the 10MM stands for."