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The Concept of Sustainability Management Sample

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The Concept of Sustainability Management in Unilever Company


Abstract 2

Introduction 3

Report Background 4

Theoretical Analysis 4

Corporate Citizenship Theoretical Approach 4

Advantages of using corporate Citizenship Approach 7

Creating a CSR Strategy 8

A Game Theory Approach 9

Business ethics In Unilever 11

Discussion 12

Comparison of the Approaches 12

Findings 12

Conclusion 13

References 14


Unilever is a British Dutch company with its headquarter in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and London, United Kingdom. It deals with various products such as beverages, food, personal care products, and cleaning agents. According to statistics, Unilever is the world’s third largest consumer goods company. It has more than 400 brans, but focuses on few of them. It was founded in 1929 by the merger the Dutch margarine producer who was called Margarine Unie. The company has expanded its diversification worldwide. The good management team has supported growth and development in the company.

The overall objective of the report is to evaluate the aspect of sustainable management that has enabled the company to achieve long-term sustainable advantage becoming one of the company in the 21st century. The world recognise the corporation as one of the most successful in 21st century, having the best management to sustain the quality of products. The management on the Unilever Company has always worked on what they want they want the company to be in future, in terms of quality of vehicles and the steps in development. They have articulated their vision in the clearest manner in such that new management team in the company will be able to understand where to take the company in the next budget period. Sustainable future management enable the company to remain the customer’s choice for a long time and to have products that bring customer back to the company, therefore, creating loyalty with the company is one of the strategy to sustain the corporation future goals.


Management is one of the most important factors that lead to development and growth in a corporation. This report will evaluate the development of Unilever Company through management. The company has stand strong because of various factors in the current century. Management is responsible for global vision of a company. This report will evaluate how management has enhanced the goals of the corporation and the strategies used to achieve the future goals of the company. Sustainability management takes the aspects from the sustainability and synthesizes the concept of management. There are two major categories of sustainability management, the environment and the economy. Sustainability management is very significant in the achieving objective of a company and helps to sustain the quality of life in a company. It is important to evaluate the factors that make management of a company effective and unique. Those factors that enable a company to stand out among other companies in the industry.

Sustainability of the Unilever is rooted in its vision. Worldwide, the company had planned to double the size of its business. It works under strategic plan of the year, which is planned by the management team. According to the chairperson of the company, their mission is to help the world to be able to cross the poverty gap. The rapid increase in the consumption of the products of the company leads to another set of challenges such as global warming, energy cost, water scarcity, pressure on sanitation and the level of food supply. Its main objective in Sri-Lanka is to ensure continuous growth as leading consumer goods. The company fight the aspect of cost on the growth and development using the adopted the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan that increase the positive aspect in social impact in an economical manner. The next section will discuss the will illustrates the conceptual approaches and analysis that helps to vividly understands the company.

Report Background

Theoretical Analysis

Two major conceptual approaches will help to understand the company and its aspect of sustainable management. These approaches, understand the company through Corporate Citizenship and the other approach is through understanding “How Unilever has maintained to be on top through revisiting crisis communication discourse” the approach is through reputation of the company. The business ethics in the Unilever is another concept that matters a lot. The game theory approach illustrates the concept a bit more clearly. It has helped people to look good, get more out of life, and feel good.

Corporate Citizenship Theoretical Approach

Corporate Citizenship as a new concept in the current business society relations is described as an extension to lineage of work in a more conceptualized role of business in any society. According to management literature, a lineage that is most notably to dominate is the notion of corporate social responsibility [CITATION Var01 \p 81 \l 1033 ]. The company has a good understanding of the nature of the world in the 21st century. Corporation Social responsibility (CSR) helps to understand the running of the company in a more vivid manner, enabling to understand how the corporation relates and is responsible to the society. The mode CSR conceptualizes key categories of responsibilities that will enable to understand the Unilever Corporation clearly. The four types of responsibilities ate the economic responsibility to be profitable, the legal responsibility to follow all the regulations that a company is supposed to abide in the industry, the ethical responsibility for doing what is appropriate, fair, and just, and the philanthropic responsibility for contributing to social, educational, and recreational purposes [CITATION Cra10 \p 47 \l 1033 ]. The theoretical concept of CSR seem the most appropriate when it comes to understanding such company because the corporation deal with providing the best products to the society. Therefore, its objectives is to make the society using its products happier every day. The society is composed of all categorises that makes the company to sustain growth, such as the law, customers, surrounding, and other companies. The aspect of CSR enable to evaluate the performance of the company towards the society in various ways and through the concept, the company gain positive reputation. The concept of CSR has gained wider and more enthusiastic acceptance in analysing such companies as Unilever. There are various ways that Commitments to Corporate Citizenship has evaluated Unilever Company. With an aim of being a corporate citizen respected internally, the Unilever Corporation conducts a wide range of philanthropic activities throughout the world [CITATION Ste082 \p 67 \l 1033 ]. These activities touches the most sensitive and major areas in the society such as education, the environment, culture, and the arts.

According to the chairperson of the company, “Unilever’s Corporate Purpose leaves no chance for ambiguity regarding its commitment to corporate social responsibility. It is evident that for the Unilever to succeed, it requires the highest standards of corporate behaviour towards the employees, customers, and the society.” CSR in Unilever includes a broad range of interactions with societies where the branches of the company are situated. Some of these responsibilities enable a company to increase its tributaries among many people. It is a multinational company with operating companies and factories in all continents of the world apart from Antarctica. It is organised in four main divisions: personal care, where it deals with production and sale of skin care and hair products and oral care products, Refreshment, where it deals with production and sale of ice cream, tea-based beverages and nutritionally enhanced staples that are sold in developing markets. Therefore, it works like another form of advertising since it helps the company to be known a recognised by a wider group of people and other companies that can work together. These entire aspects enable the organisation to cross over and sustain future goals of the organization, which is to make the company among the best in the whole world. There is added advantage for company to collaborate or to help the society develop its most crucial needs such as education [CITATION Bib01 \p 58 \l 1033 ]. When Unilever funds some communities through education, its brands develop to be recognised. Some sports are funded by the Unilever, this branding both its name and the product. Society recognised those companies that give back to the society. Good relationship with the society results to more sales, positive reputation, and good profits. Various major events such as economic boom, depression, and changing the lifestyle of consumers that help people to get more out of life. Following law is an important aspect for a company, when it abides to law of the land, it becomes friendly to the society. Unilever is allowed to work in all countries because of good conduct in terms of observing the ethical conditions stipulated in different countries. Ethical standards evaluate the products that a company provide to the customers and ensure the prescription of the products go in hand with the product. For decades, Unilever products have been associated with durability, quality, and cost effective. It is the responsibility of the management team to enhance the growth and development of the company in the most ethical manner applicable. Unilever has healthy ways of competing with other corporations in the industry. Management ensure the company implement the latest technology mechanism to upgrade the services and products in order to grasp wider market than other companies do. The employs various ways to create its brand over the other organisations [CITATION Var01 \p 49 \l 1033 ]. It has branches almost in every country even in Africa, thus, attracting any new market worldwide. In order to sustain its future goals, the management ensure they reach the maximum possible number of customers in the world. Reaching a customer does not only mean selling a Unilever’s product to a customer but making an individual wants the product because that person will take the positive message about the product to another person who is a potential buyer [CITATION Law07 \p 34 \l 1033 ]. Strategies of the manager reflect the mind-set of the times. Therefore, it has been a challenge for the evolution of sustainable management practices for various reasons. These are, sustainable norms are continually evolving. Most of the things are changing because of technology, for example, those things that were unthinkable previously ate now standard practices. In addition, in order to practice a sustainable management, an individual has to be a critical thinker, not only in the short term, but also in the long-term aspect. In the conception of management, sustainable management behaviour is a reflection of how accepted conceptions of behaviour are defined. The concept of corporate citizenship is widely applicable to those companies that provide products to the society [CITATION Ste082 \p 48 \l 1033 ]. Citizenship in this content means membership in a bounded political community, this is following the idea that implies that corporations are legal entities having rights and obligations, in effect, ‘citizens’ of states within which they operate. The superficially of the current reception on the notion of “citizenship” in the management literature on CC appears to be largely a result of an impercipient importing of terminology literature on corporation citizenship that seem to have a large outcome without consideration for its theoretical underpinnings [CITATION Bib01 \p 71 \l 1033 ]. The conceptual theory of corporation citizens is the most applicable concept in evaluating how the company such as Unilever practise social rights and civil rights. Social rights entails the rights that provide an individual with the freedom of choice, while civil rights entails freedom regarding to protect an individual from being abused in any manner by the manufacturer.

Advantages of using corporate Citizenship Approach

The approach has taken the world of business by a storm to another level. For decades, it was not possible for a corporation to brand its name, but the approach has made it easier. Governments, non-profits, and business work have used the approaches together in order to stretch the market forces to more people. The aspect eventually results to more profit, gain recognition, and having the work that the world appreciates. Currently, the CSR has become standard operating procedure for many organisations [CITATION Par00 \p 158 \l 1033 ]. The approach favours all the major body of an organisation such as employees, shareholders, and customers. Therefore, everyone appreciates the organisation that implements CSR strategy in its operation. The approach is the most proven financial benefits and effective strategy in the areas of human resources. Unilever, having proven to be committed to corporate social responsibility, employees and customers approach it with loyalty and respect. This approach is applicable and of benefit in recruiting and retaining top talented employees an aspect, that has positive implications in a corporation [CITATION Fre04 \p 48 \l 1033 ]. According to statistics by the IBM institute for business value, more that 70% of business leaders are focusing on corporate social responsibility activities in order to have new revenue streams.

Creating a CSR Strategy

Unilever management has long known that in order to achieve the goals of the company, they need to strategies in such a way that everyone is in the organization headed in the appropriate direction at stipulated appropriate time. Unilever in some countries has used the approach as a marketing strategy where it is treated and managed as a core business strategy like talent management [CITATION Fis12 \p 78 \l 1033 ]. Creating the strategy in the company is a bit difficult, unless the management is well informed about the future of the company and have relevant knowledge about the existing market aspect. The CSR has enable the company to certainly attract and retain appropriate talents in the organisation. Unilever has been able to open up new markets for its products. The aspect helps to understand the services of the company from the main users of the products. It is well illustrated that majority of the customers that have been in touched with the product of the company speaks well about the company. CSR strategy has enabled the company to adapt modern concepts applicable in 21st century [CITATION Dru05 \p 47 \l 1033 ]. The approach has enabled the Unilever Company to develop a clear performance metrics for measuring the impact of the approach. These metrics are internal for example, reputation improvements, gains in market share, decreased operational expenditure, and brand reception. The management in the Unilever is proud to speak about its CSR branding. Through the strategy, Unilever has understood what the customers wants [CITATION Cra10 \p 29 \l 1033 ]. Customers do not only just need a transaction, but also a relationship the concept of relationship with the customer has enable the company to remain among the top in provision of care products to public in various countries. Unilever can be understood through other approaches apart from Corporate Citizenship through CSR. In the next section will discuss the corporate reputation and social media fro game theory approach.

A Game Theory Approach

At times the Unilever Company take a responsibility of passing about its information to people have never been in touch with its products through such strategies like using mass media. Unilever value the corporate reputation as any other asset for the firm. Currently, companies are taking their reputation very significant and they can do what is required in order to have positive impact to the society. Unilever has employed media to in creating awareness about its products and existence [CITATION Par00 \p 125 \l 1033 ]. Social media is a theoretical approach in corporation reputation to spread and improve the organisation’s reputation in the current generation. In this aspect of Unilever, the aim is to propose a Game Theory approach having both a finite and an infinite horizon. The strategy helps to understand the impact of social media on the reputation of the firm. In the 21st century, media has taken a wider array to spread the message. Social media such twitter are being very significant to major companies in the world in spreading the information about the new products and the changes in the products to the public. Twitter is just one of the many examples that Unilever has implemented in spreading the information about its welfare and new. According to researchers, reputation is one of the major assets that a company should invest on in order to continue developing [CITATION Cra03 \p 68 \l 1033 ].

Theoretical concept of the game theory in this context is to help in representing the reputation concept of the Unilever Company. Social Medias have been designed in such a way that they can spread message to many people with a single click. For example, Unilever has its own website where those who have a taste on its products share their experience in the website. Unilever has its own website in the internet since it is a giant and a multinational corporation having more than 200,000 staff and operating in more than 100 countries in the world. The company being one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies that owns many products such as product brands in foods, persona care and home products, people have developed the knowledge about the company [CITATION Fis12 \p 97 \l 1033 ]. The company pass information to the public using these social Medias and its main websites. It does not only highlights about its products, but also about what it takes to be a great company in the 21st century. Its corporate values that can be found in the websites are customer, consumer, and community focus, teamwork in the company. How to uphold integrity, sharing of joy with the unfortunate, excelling and making things happen. Social media update the public about the great mission of the company each day. Unilever established its mission “to add vitality to life of people” through vitality, the company aims at meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene an personal care having brands, which assist people to look good, feel safe, and get more from life.

The company has been involved through social and environmental project that have given the company to be aired in the media. The strategy looks like a high standard of advertising, since many learn about the existence of the company and it is of assistance to the community. The company earned respect all over the world because of giving back to the community. Social media has been used as a research ground where many customers who have used its products respond their experiences [CITATION Cra10 \p 84 \l 1033 ]. The aim of the company is to focus on the big stores and main markets. The response of the customers is judged through the media feedback, an aspect that result to high trends in the main market and big stores as well as shops. Unilever has no store chain for providing products directly to the customer’s premises. One of the evidences about the customer’s feedback is the introduction of Unilever Corporation in Pakistan [CITATION Car04 \p 89 \l 1033 ]. Customers and retailers have been satisfied by the products of Unilever, giving positive feedback through all forms of social media. The company advantage of the media in informing the customers and shop owners regarding the changes in price and introduction of new products. When a company is known through online all over the world, it takes great precaution to protect its brands in order to avoid a single mistake that might affect the reputation negatively.

Business ethics In Unilever

Unilever Company has various ethics that need to be followed in achieving its objectives. Labour rights in the company’s supply and chain foster the activities of the company to abide to the good practices. Many multinational companies have poor condition for their workers in the value chains, despite the often-good intentions of senior management [CITATION Bru00 \p 54 \l 1033 ]. Unilever has policies for reviewing the ethical aspects on human subjects to ensure the research is conducted to the highest ethical standards. The policy ensure that the ethics reviews are carried out on all research on humans. The company has a major body that controls the standard to be complied with by the workers. A global Unilever committee, which is called the Central Ethical compliance Group, helps to guide and monitor how the company follows the ethical standards. (CECG) is responsible for ensuring that the products from the company are in appropriate standards and employees follow the ethical standards when manufacturing its products. Currently, technology has shed light on major developments in the competitive intelligence and the ethical point of view, industrial espionage that can be assessed through three major aspects [CITATION Ant01 \p 29 \l 1033 ]. These are the tactics used in the acquisition of information, the privacy of the information concerned, and the consequences for the public interests from the deployment of information through intelligence information gatherers. Unilever Company has been guided by doing what has positive impact to the society. Ethically, doing is the best way of developing society. Ethics in business have controlled the products’ quality and the competition that exist between Unilever and its rivals. High quality standards are associated with multinational companies and respect to the instructions and description of the products given to the products ensures high performance in ethics. Working professionally and having healthy completion with other companies is abiding to the rules and laws [CITATION Ack01 \p 21 \l 1033 ]. The company charge fairly on its products, thus, they do not exploit the consumers in any way possible. Therefore, Unilever’s management ensure their employees are in safe condition while working.


Comparison of the Approaches

The two approaches have a common goal, to make the Unilever Company be ranked as the best in the 21st century. Corporate Citizenship that uses CSR express internal operation of the company more than social media approach. CSR help to understand the relationship existing between the employee, stakeholders, and the customers, while the social media highlights how the reputation of the company is built and how customers respond to its products. Business ethics focus to develop the company to uphold high standards as required by the law and the by the public. A company hold high standards in terms of products, service, and treatment of its employees [CITATION Abe04 \p 61 \l 1033 ].


Ethics in business guide the employees against being exploited by the manufacturing company. It is confirmed that both theoretical approaches have exposed the company to the world. The parent company of Unilever has a global CSR strategy and issues a global report. Unilever in Indonesia has a special department that deals with CSR issues. Unilever has the aspect of monitoring the social web in order reach their customers’ expectations. It has more than 200 monitoring tools for accessing the “actual customers’ opinions, complaints, and disturbing questions.” Therefore, the two approaches has enable the public know more the Unilever.


The company has followed the code of conducts in all professional ways in order to ensure ethics are uploaded. Business ethics is of the approach that helps to rank a company in terms of multinational level. Unilever was established in 1929 through a merger that occurred between Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie and British soap-maker Lever Sunlight. The theoretical approach of Corporate Citizenship through CSR strategy has enabled the company to extend its information to many countries. Unilever through business ethics can perform its business in any country. The strategy has enable the company to run smoothly with good relation with its stakeholders. Social media through a game theoretical co0ncept has enable the company to reach its information to the public and to monitor the crucial feedback that determines how the customers perceives the products of the company. Through these approaches, the company has been able to apply appropriate strategies to foster its reputation in the industry. Therefore, sustainable management is the key item in controlling the reputation of the company.


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