Unilever’s living wage pledge is ahead of the competitive CSR curve, says GlobalData

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Following todays (21 January 2021) that Unilever had committed to a 2030 pledge to ensure the living wage for all supply-chain workers worldwide; Lucy Ambler, consumer analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view: “Tight supermarket competition has resulted in Unilever’s positioning here, which aims to meet growing demands for corporate social responsibility. In 2020, social activism was key. In fact, in a survey by GlobalData, *176% of global consumers noted they consider how ethical, environmentally friendly or socially responsible the products they buy are – so it is clear this shapes how consumers are consciously choosing what brands to support.

“Across the globe, widespread economic downturn and a significant employment slump is presenting key challenges for ‘luxury’ or ‘branded’ products, with *252% of global consumers noting they are on a ‘tight budget’ when doing their weekly shop. Unilever holding itself accountable in this way, and pledging to tackle social inequalities within its business, will not only positively present its company values to the public – improving its competitive advantage – but will also mount pressure onto other FTSE 100 companies to follow in their footsteps.

“Consumers’ evolving lifestyles are now being reactively shaped by way of gradual social, economic and demographic forces, so it is key for companies such as Unilever to position themselves at the forefront of this CSR movement in order to remain transparent and trustworthy.”

*Combined Responses: ‘always’, ‘often’ or ‘somewhat influences my product choice’ responses from GlobalData’s Bi-weekly COVID-19 Recovery Tracker – Week 11 (published December 9th 2020) – Global

*Combined Responses: ‘strongly agree’, or ‘somewhat agree’ responses from GlobalData’s Bi-weekly COVID-19 Recovery Tracker – Week 11 (published December 9th 2020) – Global