Unilever draws up 'Five Levers for Change' strategy

Unilever: unveils consumer sustainability strategy
Unilever: unveils consumer sustainability strategy

Unilever has published its Five Levers for Change strategy which will be used by its marketers to help shape its campaigns, as the FMCG giant aims to ramp up its sustainable credentials.

The move by Unilever comes as consumers demand more transparency about the provenance and the ethical credentials of the products they buy, and the companies they buy them from.

Paul Polman, Unilever's chief executive, said: "A huge part of our environmental impacts come from how people use our products. Two-thirds of the greenhouse gas impacts across the lifecycle and about half of our water footprint is associated with consumer use.

"Inspiring consumers to adopt new sustainable products and behaviours is fundamental to achieving the goals set out in the 'Unilever Sustainability Living Plan'."

The five "levers" are a set of principles based on Unilever's previous research and insights into consumer behaviour, which the company hopes will "increase the likelihood of having an effective and lasting impact" through a series of "interventions" in consumer behaviour.

Unilever's 'Five Levers for Change' are:

  1. Make it understood – Sometimes people don't know about a behaviour and why they should do it. This Lever raises awareness and encourages acceptance.
  2. Make it easy – People are likely to take action if it's easy, but not if it requires extra effort. This Lever establishes convenience and confidence.
  3. Make it desirable –The new behaviour needs to fit with how people like to think of themselves, and how they like others to think of them. This Lever is about self and society.
  4. Make it rewarding – New behaviours need to articulate the tangible benefits that people care about. This Lever demonstrates the proof and payoff.
  5. Make it a habit – Once consumers have changed, it is important to create a strategy to help hold the behaviour in place over time. This Lever is about reinforcing and reminding.

Polman said the company was publishing its approach to changing consumer living habits because it believed "there are wider benefits from sharing our work with others".

In an interview with the Forum for the Future charity this week, Polman said Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan was being incorporated into the "core" of the business.

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @LoullaMae_ES

Watch the interview in full here.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug