HUL (Hindustan Unilever Limited) has spent INR 116 crores (the sum was INR 104 crores in 2016-17) towards various schemes of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Company has a simple but clear purpose – to make sustainable living commonplace. This purpose inspires the Company’s vision to accelerate growth in the business, while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee comprises OP Bhatt as the Chairman and Aditya Narayan, Dr. Sanjiv Misra, Kalpana Morparia, Sanjiv Mehta and Srinivas Phatak.
In line with the requirements of the Companies Act, 2013, HUL has also published the CSR Annual Report which forms part of this Annual Report. Here’s a brief overview of HUL’s projects:
Water Conservation Project
India is a water scarce region and water supply is expected to be half of its demand over the next decade, therefore Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has identified water as a key area of intervention and set-up Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF).
Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) is a not-for-profit Company that anchors water management related community development and sustainability initiatives of HUL. HUF operates the ‘Water for Public Good’ programme, with specific focus on empowering local community institutions to govern water resources and enhancing farm-based livelihoods through adoption of judicious water practices.
Through the Foundation’s water conservation and farm-based livelihoods initiatives, cumulatively, a capacity to conserve more than 450 billion litres of water has been created, over 6.5 lakhs tonnes of additional agriculture production has been generated and over 50 lakhs person days of employment has been generated. HUF has projects across nearly 2,400 villages in 57 districts with 20 partners in India.
Handwashing Behaviour Change Programme
Handwashing with soap has been cited as one of the most cost-effective solutions to improve health and hygiene. A review of several studies shows that the simple act of handwashing with soap in institutions, such as primary schools and day care centres, reduces the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases by an average of 30%.
The Company’s Lifebuoy handwashing behaviour change initiatives help in promoting the benefits of handwashing with soap at key times during the day and encouraging people to sustain good handwashing behaviour. Over 67 million people have been reached through Lifebuoy handwashing behaviour change initiatives.
Lifebuoy has partnered with PSI, Plan International, World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Gavi, Project Hope and NGO Naman Seva Samiti for scaling up the handwashing behaviour change programme. In partnership with WAGGGS, Lifebuoy has launched an initiative to empower young girls. Through this partnership, girl guides and scouts become handwashing heroes and teach the potentially lifesaving habit of handwashing with soap within their local communities.
Each handwashing hero is trained on the importance of using soap while washing hands before eating and after using the toilet. They are also equipped with the necessary skills to share these learnings with other people they know. In this way, the practice of using soap at critical occasions is spread across communities protecting people from infections.
Domex Toilet Academy
Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) is a unique market-based entrepreneurial model launched by the Company in 2014. DTA programme trains entrepreneurs and masons to help build and maintain toilets; provides access to micro-financing and creates demand for toilets in low-income households. Since its inception, the DTA has trained more than 600 micro-entrepreneurs. To date, over 2 lakhs toilets have been built, benefitting over 11 lakhs people.
Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat
The ‘Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat’ (SASB) programme is in line with the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) to promote good health and hygiene practices.
In 2017, the programme continued to promote good health and hygiene practices by stressing the need to adopt three clean habits (‘Swachh Aadat’) of washing hands five times a day, using a toilet for defecation and adopting safe drinking water practices. To spread awareness of the three clean habits, ‘A Playing Billion’ campaign film was launched that highlighted how kids miss out on the simple joys of childhood due to repeated illness and urged people to adopt the three simple hygiene habits.
A part of SASB, Swachhta Doot is a volunteering programme that enables any person to become a change agent in his / her community. It is a mobile-led WASH communication model to help create awareness on the three clean habits in communities. Till date, the Company has reached 7.5 million people through this programme.
The Company also contributes to the Village Social Transformation Mission (VSTM) through its Swachhata Curriculum. This curriculum teaches students of class 1-5 about the three habits of washing hands with soap, adopting safe drinking water practices and using clean toilets. It provides a conceptual understanding of cleanliness, germs and the clean habits to be adopted in a fun and engaging manner across a 21-day period.
The Community Hygiene Centre – Suvidha Centre – is another important project by the Company to contribute to SASB. ‘Suvidha’ is a first-of-its-kind urban water, hygiene and sanitation community centre in Azad Nagar, Ghatkopar, one of the largest slums in Mumbai.
The community centre provides drinking water, sanitation, handwashing, shower facilities and laundry services at an affordable cost. The centre uses circular economy principles to reduce water use. The centre was built in partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Pratha Samajik Sanstha, a community-based organisation.
‘Prabhat’ is HUL’s USLP-linked programme which contributes to the development of local communities around key sites including manufacturing locations. In 2017, Prabhat surpassed the ambitious target of directly impacting the lives of one million people. From its launch in December 2013 in eight locations, Project Prabhat is now live in over 30 locations across the country and directly benefits over 1.7 million people. The key focus areas are enhancing livelihoods, water conservation and health and hygiene awareness.
Under Prabhat’s livelihood initiatives, in partnership with LabourNet, TARA and Mann Deshi Foundation over 30,000 people have been successfully certified and over 21,000 have already been linked to employment opportunities till December 2017.
The water conservation initiative is spearheaded by Hindustan Unilever Foundation in partnership with reputed NGOs to create capacities in water conservation with specific focus on farm-based livelihoods. Prabhat’s water conservation programme is currently active across seven manufacturing locations.
The key focus areas are – removing open defecation, reducing infant mortality and providing safe drinking water. Prabhat also encourages HUL employees to become Swachhata Doots. Over 4,000 factory employees have become Swachhata Doots driving three clean habits.
Asha Daan is a home in Mumbai for abandoned and differently-abled children, HIV-positive and destitute people. Since the inception of Asha Daan in 1976, the Company has been looking after the maintenance of the premises. At any time, there are about 350-400 inmates at Asha Daan.
The Company runs a free mobile medical service camp ‘Sanjeevani’ for the local community near Doom Dooma factory in Assam. There are two mobile vans dedicated to the project. Each vehicle has one male and one female doctor, two nurses, a medical attendant and a driver. The vans are equipped with basic kits such as diagnostic kit, blood pressure measuring unit, medicines and a mobile stretcher. More than 3.2 lakhs patients have been treated in these service camps since its inception in 2003.
Ankur was set up in 1993 as a centre for special education for differently-abled children at Doom Dooma in Assam. Ankur has provided educational and vocational training to 352 differently-abled children.
Project Shakti is the Company’s initiative which aims to financially empower and provide livelihood opportunities to women in rural India. The Shakti Entrepreneurs are given training for familiarisation with the Company’s products and basic tenets of distribution management. The Company has a team of Rural Sales Promoters (RSPs) who coach and help Shakti Entrepreneurs in managing their business.
This includes help in business basics and troubleshooting as well as coaching in softer skills of negotiation and communication, which enable them to run their business effectively. Project Shakti has nearly 80,000 Shakti Entrepreneurs across 18 States. The programme has helped Shakti Entrepreneurs gain confidence, self-esteem, negotiating skills, communication and engagement capabilities, with supporting the development of an entrepreneurial mind-set.
Reducing GHG, Waste, Water in Manufacturing
In 2017, CO2 emissions per tonne of production reduced by 54%. There was an increase in share of renewable energy at your Company’s sites to 36%. Water usage (cubic meter per tonne of production) in manufacturing operations reduced by 55%. Total waste generated from the factories reduced by 54%. The Company maintained the status of ‘zero non-hazardous waste to landfill’ in all its factories and offices. 100% of the non-hazardous waste generated at our factories was recycled in environment friendly ways.
Reusable, Recyclable or Compostable Plastic Packaging
The USLP (Unilever Sustainable Living Plan) commits to ensure 100% of the Company’s plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. All Unilever factories and offices in over 190 countries are ‘zero non-hazardous waste to landfill’ sites. Factory generated non-hazardous waste is recycled in environment friendly ways.
In India, the Company is taking the below initiatives in this direction:
- In partnership with a specialist agency, the Company has conducted a pilot on energy recovery from waste. The Company has recovered energy from over 13,000 tonnes of waste till end of 2017.
- In partnership with NGOs, the Company has conducted pilot projects in the domain of waste collection and segregation. Till end of 2017, over 380 tonnes of plastic waste has been collected, segregated and co-processed.
In 2017, 100% of tomatoes used in Kissan ketchup continued to be sourced sustainably. The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project, which began in 2012 between HUL and Maharashtra Government for sustainable sourcing of tomatoes, has become self-sustaining. In 2017, the Company continued to provide these farmers a buy-back guarantee for their produce. The Company also offers farmers knowledge and expertise in sustainable agricultural practices. This includes the latest agricultural techniques, irrigation practices, recommendation of the right type of seeds, etc.
A total of 423 tea estates in India are trustea verified and a total of 285 tea estates in India are Rainforest Alliance certified. In 2017, over 52% of tea was sourced from sustainable sources in India. Over five lakh plantation workers (56% of them are women workers) and 40,000 smallholders are verified under the trustea code.
Fair & Lovely Foundation
The Fair & Lovely Foundation (FAL) identifies academically exceptional girls from financially challenged backgrounds and offers scholarships to deserving candidates to pursue further education. To maintain integrity and fairness, the selection is done by a panel of eminent personalities from diverse fields. Till date, over 1400 girl students have been awarded scholarships.
FAL Foundation has partnered with edX.org, a non-profit Massive Open Online Course Platform founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), NIIT and English Edge to launch a mobile education programme for women. Nearly 2 lakhs women have enrolled for this course till December 2017.
Rin Career Ready Academy
Rin Career Ready Academy aims to inspire, educate and equip the youth from modest backgrounds with English-speaking skills, office dressing and interviewing. In 2016, your Company re-launched the academy with two key new initiatives: Introduction of the ‘Tele-Conferencing’ module where students can speak to a teacher instead of an automated voice and a web course available on www.rin.in. So far, over 4.2 lakhs people have benefitted from this programme.
HUL’s work over the last several years has paved the way for setting out clear targets. However, to scale up the Company’s initiatives, partnerships are crucial to make a meaningful difference. The Company is working in partnership with Governments, NGOs, suppliers and others to help forge alliances and address big societal challenges.