50 years of Doing Well by Doing Good
It all started with soap, that basic necessity to ensure hygiene. The production of Lux soap began in Bangladesh in 1963 in the Unilever Kalurghat Factory (KGF) in Chittagong. Back then KGF also housed the head office of the company which 50 years down the road would create great brands, great business leaders and a great place in the homes and hearts of the people of Bangladesh.
Unilever started with the simple moto of “Doing Well by Doing Good”. William Lever, one of the founding directors of the company, began producing affordable soap for the common people of England to address the then rampant issue of cholera. He was also a pioneer of the philosophy of ‘Employee Welfare’, creating a village to house his employees. That village, Port Sunlight, still stands today upholding the values of Unilever.
Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) too trekked a similar path. The Company aided the common people of Bangladesh to look good, feel good and get more out of life with its 18 brands. For example, Sunsilk helps you feel happier because your hair looks great; Surf Excel, encourages parents to allow their children to experience more of life and Taaza gives young women the freedom to explore their potentials.
Over these last 50 years UBL made its way into the homes of almost every Bangladeshi. Today 98% of Bangladeshi households use atleast one UBL brand. But with such acceptance came bigger responsibilities and UBL has never shied away from the responsibility towards its consumers, the society and its employees.
At UBL there is no random CSR. Giving back to the society is strictly guided by the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) which works to improve health and hygiene, reduce environmental footprint of the products and enhance the livelihood of people. The Company has been working tirelessly with the Government of Bangladesh and multiple NGO partners to bring the USLP to life in Bangladesh.
Project Laserbeam, a Euro 7 million project at Shatkhira, for example has improved the lives of 1.4 million people in the last 5 years. Project Everyone, currently the biggest Save the Children project, is receiving Euro 3 million from Unilever to address child malnutrition.
Lifebuoy, one of the biggest brands of UBL, runs a hospital to provide access to healthcare to the people living in char areas and through its livelihood initiatives, the Company has already empowered thousands of youth and women. The Company has also put in place aggressive changes in the production and formulation of its products to reduce the environmental footprint of both making and using UBL brands.
UBL has built itself into one of the most respected companies of the country over the past 50 years through the help of the people who make up the Company.UBL is a community shaped and led by its people, who operate creatively within a framework of shared values and business goals.
Hence it gives great priority to the professional fulfillment, work/life balance and development of the people in this community. Through this, the Company has established itself as a school where business leaders are bred and today boasts of having UBL alumni in the top ranks of most Bangladeshi companies.
The past 50 years have seen UBL pioneer products, processes and people development initiatives. This pioneering spirit is what guides the Company in always striving to do good by doing well and it will allow UBL to continue contributing to the vitality of the environment and the communities in which it operates.