Championing Sustainability and Responsible Capitalism: Paul Polman at Unilever

Case Code: LDEN109
Case Length: 15 Pages
Period: 2009-2016
Pub Date: 2016
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization : Unilever
Industry : Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Countries : Europe; US; Global
Themes: Responsible Leadership, Corporate Sustainability, Business Ethics
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts

About unilever

The history of Unilever dates back to 1884, when William Hesketh Lever and his brother formed Lever & Co. They introduced Sunlight which contained copra or pine kernel oil, which helped it lather more easily than traditional soaps made of animal fats. Sunlight was the world’s first packaged, branded laundry soap. In 1890, Lever & Co became a limited company – Lever Brothers Ltd (Lever Brothers). Sunlight was a huge success and by the mid-1890s, the Lever Brothers was selling nearly 40,000 tons of Sunlight soap a year in the UK. They also expanded into Europe, America, and the British colonies with factories, export businesses, and plantations. In 1894, Lever Brothers created an affordable new product – Lifebuoy soap. In the same year, the company became a public company

Meanwhile, in the late 19th century, the Netherlands-based Jurgens and Van den Bergh, two family businesses of butter merchants with thriving export trades to the UK, became interested in a new product, margarine, made from beef fat and milk, which could be mass-produced as an affordable substitute for butter...

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