You and 2.5 billion other people likely used one of Unilever’s products today. Unilever is the powerhouse behind more than a thousand household brand names sold globally, including Lipton, Breyer’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Vaseline, and Suave.
In 2013 Unilever launched “Project Sunlight” for “a bright future” – a slick, feel good campaign to convince couples that the solution to the world’s crises is to bring more children into the world. Watch this video the company produced, and carefully examine the family planning messaging in the mommy-blogs the company sponsors.
Unilever claims to support the UN’s global goals and sustainable development. Why then does it encourage would-be parents to ignore environmental and other concerns when planning their families? The company relies on unsustainable population growth and higher fertility rates to sell its products, including its worldwide line of baby products under brands like Dove.
Population growth and the consumerism that comes with it is one of the main drivers of climate change, pollution, inequality and other societal crises. South Africa is weeks away from running out of drinkable water. Our world’s problems require sustainable solutions and a collective approach to sustainable development. That starts with with smarter family planning for smaller, more sustainable families; not the reckless pronatalism being promoted by Unilever to create more consumers for their products.
Rather than encouraging parents to ignore their concerns and just have kids, Unilever must exercise its corporate responsibility to encourage sustainable family planning.
A truly “bright future” means a fair start for every child through smaller, more sustainable families.
Tweet Unilever CEO Paul Polman at @PaulPolman and politely suggest the following:
Please promote smaller, more sustainable families as part of your #brightfuture campaign.