#Series 30
“Sustainability & business?-how corporations address this issue and what WE can do about it?”

VIDEO: Opening (Part 1)

The opening video is about 34 minutes. It starts with my welcome & introduction of the session. Then I tried to engage the participants with the question “What comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘sustainability?’” for a few minutes and asked the participants to share their response to their neighbors.
(The above took the first 2 min. or so, then you can skip to go to Mr. Guarneri’s presentation which starts at about 5 minutes into the video)
Mr. Fulvio Guarneri, CEO of Unilever Japan, started with his self-introduction (being Italian with extensive overseas experience of his tenure at Unilever). He gave an overview of the company, emphasizing the fact that 2 billion consumers use their products every day and thus the company has the big responsibility. He explained the company’s values by going back the origin of the company which almost started as a social entrepreneur.
He then discussed the following:

  1. Big challenges we face today such as issues around food (obesity on one end and famine on the other), lack of water, and increasing inequality in the world.
  2. Vision of doubling the business (as a profit company), while increasing the social impact and reducing the environmental footprint.
  3. USLP (Unilever Sustainable Living Plan) Unilever developed in 2010 as a business model with three pillars -Health & Well living, Reducing Environmental Footprint and Enhancing Livelihood. Many brands of Unilever are linked to any of these three pillars.
  4. Need for collaboration with partners in the supply chain and with broader sector partners (sometimes, even with the competitors), as well as their efforts to engage the consumers.
  5. Three big specific goals and their progress up to today in achieving these goals.

He emphasized that sustainability is a business model at Unilever by stating the business case for sustainability, against the notion that “good” deed on the part of the companies increases cost etc. He also mentioned that consumers react quite favorably to the sustainable efforts by the companies.
His summary included that sustainability is a business model at Unilever, linked with many brands, the way the business is operated, and the values they believe in, as they are very interested in making the world better. He emphasized that sustainability can be profitable, even for the small companies.
After 20 min. of presentation, he took some questions from the floor. Questions included the use of renewable energy, the relationship with shareholders, and how to balance the three pillars with diverse product/brand portfolio. (Woman is a good target for many of their initiatives)
After the presentation & Q & A, I explained the topic for breakout sessions. “How can we as consumers enhance the sustainability?”

Unfortunately, we were not able to record the presentation of the report back of 8 groups due to technical difficulty. Our apologies.

VIDEO: After session (Part 2)

After session video is about 7.5 minutes in total.
The video of “After session” consists of four parts. The first two are with Mr. T. Kitajima of Unilever, the first in Japanese and the second in English. He shared with us the objective of hosting this session and his reactions to the session. He also shared with us the broad product portfolio of Unilever each related to the sustainability.

The third and the fourth is with Ms. Matsumoto of IBM Japan-the third in Japanese and the fourth in English. It was her first time to participate in Davos Experience in Tokyo and she shared her own objective and her reaction to the session. Some new findings about the sustainability- how broad it is beyond environment (including women issues) and significance of sustainability in our own life.

VIDEO: After interview #1 (Part 3)

This is the interview I conducted at KMD three days after the session at Unilever. I conducted the two interviews with KMD students to get their reactions.
The first was with Alice and little over 1.5 minutes.
She liked the breakout session for brainstorming. She also liked the diversity of participants and new findings and ideas coming from the diversity of the backgrounds such as the reality of sustainability as issue for business, and education as one of the solutions for sustainability. She also found the new aspect of the company Unilever.

VIDEO: After interview #2 (Part 4)

The second of the interviews at KMD three days after the session at Unilever was with Hamad who shared his reactions to the session. He liked the mixture of global context and company context. He also liked the mix of participants—Japanese and non-Japanese as well as business people with students

#Session 30 “Davos Experience in Tokyo” series
October 9, 2015
“Sustainability & business?-how corporations address this issue and what WE can do about it?”

We often hear the term “sustainability” and yet, “sustainability” is used in many different ways in a variety of context. The unit of analysis, for example, ranges from sustainability of the earth, human race, industry, business model, to competitive advantage of single business, just to name a few.
The issues focused are also varied. Some people perceive sustainability as resource issue such as water, electricity, foodstuff and energy among others. With some extreme weather we face today, some associate it more with climate change and CO2 gas. Yet others perceive sustainability as the viability and durability of business and/or competitive advantage. No matter how it is defined, there is no question that “sustainability” is critical for us all.

At session #30 of Davos Experience in Tokyo series held at Unilever Japan in Nakameguro, we will address the issue of sustainability. Why at Unilever? It is because Unilever is one of the best known global companies for its efforts for sustainability. Mr. Paul Polman, global CEO of Unilever, is even called “Mr. Sustainability”. You may have heard of “Unilever Sustainable Living Plan,” which was established in 2010.
Their purpose is “to make sustainable living commonplace” as they perceive sustainability is integral part to how they do business and sustainable growth is the only acceptable growth model.
Their vision is to double the size of their business, reduce their environmental footprint, and increase their positive social impact.

Unilever is in unique position as it operates in some 190 countries throughout the world AND on any given day, two billion people use their products ranging from personal care, household care and foods, “to look good, feel good and get more out of life.” Their reach both in geographical and product spaces, is enormous.

On October 9, we will hear what is behind Unilever’s vision, how they have tried to address the issue of sustainability and what the engines/drivers are to accomplish this vision. They include not only the use of resources such as water, electricity etc. but also sustainability of people.
Then we will identify and explore what WE can do as consumers and individuals to join the initiatives to promote broadly defined “sustainability.” As always, we want to develop creative and innovative, AND actionable ideas so that we can start acting now. Join us on Friday, October 9, at Unilever Japan office.

「ビジネスとサステナビリティは両立できる? ~企業と私たちができることを考えよう~」



第30回の「ダボスの経験を東京で」では「サステナビリティ」と言えば、なくては語れない企業であるユニリーバと一緒に中目黒にあるユニリーバ・ジャパンのオフィスにて開催します。「サステナビリティ」に対して最も注力しているグローバルカンパニーの一つであるユニリーバ。そのグローバルのCEOであるポール・ポールマンはMr. Sustainabilityの異名を持つほどです。

ユニリーバは190ヶ国でビジネスを展開しており、パーソナルケア、食品、リフレッシュメントなど多岐にわたる製品は毎日20億人の人々に使われており、地理的・製品的にも大きな影響を与えられる世界的にも数少ない企業です。変化する世界に対し、従来の経済システムが通用しないと考え2010年に“Unilever Sustainable Living Plan”を策定しました。「よりよい明日を創るために」というビジョンのもと、環境負担を減らし、社会に貢献しながらビジネスの規模を2倍にすることを目指しています。




Posted in ARCHIVES.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>