Unilever pledges dedication to diversity with €2bn cash injection for business owners

The beauty maker will offer the funds to businesses that are managed by women, under-represented racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities and those from the LGBTQI+ community

Consumer goods giant Unilever has said it will spend €2bn every year on small and medium-sized companies that supply its business.

In a bid to diversify its supply chain, the funds will be offered to businesses that are owned and managed by women, under-represented racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities and those from the LGBTQI+ community.

Additionally, the Ren Skincare owner will support these businesses with a new Supplier Development Programme, giving workers access to skills, financing and networking opportunities.

The group is also encouraging diversity among its suppliers with their respective partners.

On top of its dedication to inclusivity, Unilever has set out new commitments to improve the living standards of low-paid workers.

Alan Jope’s firm has said any person that directly provides goods and services to Unilever’s brands will be given a living wage or income by 2030, at least.

Specific focus will be put on the most vulnerable workers, especially those in manufacturing and agriculture.

“The two biggest threats that the world currently faces are climate change and social inequality,” said Jope, who received a CEW Achiever Award in December last year.

“The past year has undoubtedly widened the social divide, and decisive and collective action is needed to build a society that helps to improve livelihoods, embraces diversity, nurtures talent and offers opportunities for everyone.”

He continued: “We believe that actions we are committing to will make Unilever a better, stronger business, ready for the huge societal changes we are experiencing today, changes that will only accelerate.

“Without a healthy society, there cannot be a healthy business.”

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