Unilever to Invest 1 Billion Euros in Projects Fighting Climate Change

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. drastically / ˈdræs tɪk li / (adv) – in a very sudden or extreme manner

    Many customers have been complaining because the restaurant’s prices drastically increased.

  2. carbon footprint / ˈkɑr bən ˈfʊtˌprɪnt / (n) – the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by activities

    I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint by riding a bike instead of driving a car.

  3. transparency / trænsˈpɛər ən si / (n) – the state of being open and easy to see or understand

    The organization provided a list of all donations for transparency.

  4. holistic / hoʊˈlɪs tɪk / (adj) – describing something that is treated as a whole instead of individual parts

    The teacher applies a holistic approach to teaching; she focuses on her students’ emotional and social development in addition to academic development.

  5. simultaneously / ˌsaɪ məlˈteɪ ni əs li / (adv) – in a manner that is happening or existing at the same time

    The basketball game is being shown simultaneously on two channels.


Read the text below.

Unilever has pledged to invest €1 billion (around ¥121 billion) in a new climate change fund and reduce carbon emissions from its products.

The multinational company explained that the new fund will finance projects to combat climate change for the next 10 years. Some of the environmental projects include tree planting, wildlife protection, and water conservation. According to the company, these initiatives are its response to the United Nations’ call for urgent actions to battle climate change.

Aside from announcing its climate change fund, Unilever also promised that it will drastically reduce its carbon emissions by 2039. To achieve this, the company plans to use less electricity at its offices and reduce the amount of plastic in its products’ packaging.

According to Unilever, partnerships with suppliers who are also committed to reducing their carbon emissions will be prioritized. The company has already required its suppliers to declare the carbon footprint of their products and services.

In addition, the company said that in the future, the carbon footprint of its products will be displayed on all packaging. In line with this plan, the company will use the latest tracking technology to effectively monitor its products and improve its supply chain’s transparency.

Unilever CEO Alan Jope stressed that the company will be employing a holistic strategy to help solve the climate crisis rather than only focusing on reducing carbon emissions. He believes that there are many issues related to the environmental crisis that need to be addressed simultaneously, and he acknowledged the company’s responsibility to act on these issues.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Unilever’s goal to drastically reduce its carbon emissions by 2039 is realistic? Why or why not?
• Do you think all companies should have a climate change fund? Explain.

Discussion B

• In your opinion, what climate change programs should companies implement in your country (e.g. banning the use of plastic packaging)? Discuss.
• What kind of eco-friendly practices can individual consumers adopt (e.g. avoiding waste, recycling materials)? Discuss.