Lazaridis MBA Students Learn Sustainable Practices from Unilever Expert

Lazaridis Sustainable Unilever

MBA students at the Wilfrid Laurier University Toronto recently had the opportunity to hear from Catherine McVitty, Specialist in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Unilever, on creating sustainable business practices.

Businesses have an important role to play in the discussions of climate change and its impacts currently happening throughout the world. Creating products and practices that reduce long-term harm is becoming a central goal for businesses, especially as an increasing number of consumers choose to patronize sustainable brands. In fact, a recent study from Unilever finds that a third of customers are purchasing from sustainable brands.

Find Out Why Unilever is One of Our Favorite MBA Recruiters

In July, Lazaridis MBA students studying environmental management had the chance to hear directly from McVitty on Unilever’s approach to creating a sustainability living plan. With the goal of improving health and well-being while still reducing environmental impact by half, Unilever has been named the World’s most purposeful brand by the Fit for Purpose index.

McVitty discussed a number of topics, such as the growth in sustainable living brands that is helping Unilever thrive. With a 50 percent increase in sustainable living brands above other brands, Unilever also focuses on sustainable sourcing—engaging entrepreneurs, micro farmers, and other minority populations in developing countries. The company helps to educate their suppliers in creating sustainable practices and offers additional benefits to those that comply.

McVitty also discussed the necessity of a brand communicating with its customers as a holistic approach to reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Over 60 percent of Unilever’s carbon footprint is created through customer use and disposal of their products, taking most of the company control factor out of the equation. But according to McVitty, consumer awareness can be a proactive way to ensure that customers are being conscious. Making sure to advertise sustainable practices and let consumers know that the materials are recyclable can help a brand both reduce its carbon footprint and keep customers happy.

Read more about McVitty’s lessons here.


About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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