Unilever to Receive the World Environment Center’s 2013 Gold Medal Award for Sustainable Development

Gold Medal Award ceremony in Washington, D.C., on May 9, 2013
May 9, 2013 9:00 AM ET
Press Release

Washington, DC, May 9, 2013 /3BL Media/ - The World Environment Center’s (WEC) 2013 Gold Medal Award for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development will be presented to Unilever CEO Mr. Paul Polman on May 9, 2013 at the 29th Annual WEC Gold Medal Gala in Washington, D.C.  Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will present the award before an audience of global sustainability leaders from business, government, non-governmental organizations, academia and other stakeholders.  Unilever is being recognized for its deep and longstanding commitment to advancing environmental sustainability and for the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which is at the center of its business model and is applied to its products, governance structure, supply chain and consumers.

In accepting the award, Unilever CEO Paul Polman said, “I am delighted that WEC has recognized Unilever with its Gold Medal. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is at the heart of our new business model for sustainable, equitable growth and, excitingly, is inspiring people inside and outside the company.”

In acknowledging Unilever’s achievements, former Administrator Jackson stated that “Unilever is a prime example of a company that recognizes the need to go beyond improving sustainability performance in its own operations in order to solve global scale problems.” 

Unilever’s Gold Medal submission was evaluated in a global competition with companies in multiple business sectors by WEC’s independent Gold Medal Jury chaired by Dr. Joel Abrams, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh.  The WEC Gold Medal Award is presented annually to a global company that has demonstrated a unique example of sustainability in business practice and is one of the most prestigious forms of recognition of a global company's ongoing commitment to sustainable development. Recent recipients of the WEC Gold Medal Award are: IBM (2012), Nestlé (2011), Wal-Mart Stores (2010), The Coca-Cola Company (2009), and Marks & Spencer (2008). 

The Gold Medal Gala will be followed on May 10 by the WEC’s Gold Medal Colloquium.   During the Colloquium, global thought leaders will discuss the topic of “How Sustainability Leadership is Evolving and What Are We Learning?” Speakers to this invitation-only forum include Kees Kruythoff, President of Unilever North America; Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer, and Chair of WEC’s Board of Directors; John W. Conover IV, Senior Vice President and President, Security Technologies, Ingersoll Rand; and Christopher Meyer, founder of Nerve LLC and author of “Standing on the Sun,” a Financial Times’ 2012 Best Business Book.

About the World Environment Center

The World Environment Center, headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices and operations in emerging and developed markets, is unique in its direct application of sustainable development strategies and practices to the business operations of global companies. WEC creates sustainable business solutions through individual projects in emerging markets; convenes leadership roundtables to shape strategic thinking across a range of sustainability topics; and honors industry excellence through the annual awarding of its Gold Medal Award. An independent non-profit organization, WEC conducts no advocacy activities.

For more information, please visit www.wec.org.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Our products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by over 2 billion people on a daily basis. We work with 173,000 colleagues around the world, and generated annual sales of €51.3 billion in 2012. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (55% in 2012). Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands such as Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s, Lux, Rama, Ponds and Axe.

Our vision is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting these goals are seven commitments underpinned by targets spanning our social, environmental and economic performance across the value chain. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/.

Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. In 2012, for the second year in a row, Unilever led the Climate Counts Company Scorecard and topped the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan / SustainAbility latest annual survey.  The company is an employer of choice in many of the countries in which it operates and is seen as a symbol for innovation and leadership development.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com


Media contact:

Casey E. Troy

Sustainability Program Manager

World Environment Center