InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Consumer Staples
London, United Kingdom
Brands and Associated Companies:
Dove, Lipton, Knorr, Flora
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Unilever appears to support ambitious action on climate change and has actively and positively supported various strands of climate-related regulation. The company appears to support the energy transition, including the phase-out of coal and the removal of fossil fuel subsidies.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Unilever’s top-line messaging is supportive of ambitious action on climate change. In its 2021 Annual Report, published in December 2021, Unilever committed to ensuring that its lobbying on public policy relevant to climate change is aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Unilever strongly supports US participation in the Paris Agreement, and in its corporate communications in November 2021 it called for greater ambition at COP 26 . In September 2021, Unilever signed an open letter calling for the G20 to ensure the world achieves 1.5°C, in addition to advocating for climate regulations. Unilever directly advocated for legislated net-zero by 2050 targets in the US through a joint call to action from over 300 US businesses in May 2020, in addition to supporting Australia’s Climate Change Bill in November 2020.

Engagement with Climate-related Regulations: Unilever appears to support ambitious GHG emission targets. In August 2022, Unilever signed a joint letter where it directly advocated for the US Environmental Protection Agency to grant California waivers requested under its “Heavy Duty Program” designed to reduce GHG emissions in the heavy-duty sector and accelerate the transition towards zero-emissions HDVs in the US. In August 2022, Unilever also signed a joint letter calling on the US Congress to pass the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, these provisions will aim at transitioning the energy mix. In April 2021 Unilever directly advocated for the US president to set an ambitious 2030 GHG emission target in an open letter. In its 2021 CDP response, Unilever states that it advocated for strengthening of efficiency targets in both the EU and the US. In September 2020, Unilever reportedly maintained its continued support for the EU’s 2030 GHG target of 55% according to an article published by Euractiv. The company also advocated to keep in place CO2 emission targets for vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic in a joint letter to EU policymakers in April 2020.

Unilever appears to have actively supported multiple strands of climate change related regulations and policies, including in the land-use sector. Whilst engagement is limited between 2021-22 there is notable engagement in 2020. In June 2022, Alan Jope, the CEO of Unilever signed a joint letter stating strong support for more ambitious EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) reform. In the first quarter of 2020, Unilever signed joint letters to policymakers advocating for regional cap and trade schemes in the US, specifically on the Pacific Coast and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in Virginia. In an open letter to the governor of California in December 2020, the company directly advocated for policymakers in California to support ambitious energy efficiency policies to decarbonize the buildings sector. Unilever stated support for renewable energy legislation in the US on its corporate website in 2020. It signed a joint letter to leaders of Congress that Strongly supporting renewable energy legislation advocated to policymakers] to support the renewable energy sector in the COVID-19 recovery.

Unilever appears to have limited but positive engagement with land-use and policy and regulations. In October 2021 it stated general support for the implementation for the Sustainable Food Systems Legislation, advocating for greater investment in plant- based proteins. On its corporate website, accessed in August 2022, Unilever appears to broadly support transitioning diets in line with the IPCC. Unilever appears to engage with the issue of forest protection through its operations and voluntary actions. For instance, on its corporate website, accessed in August 2022, it highlights the efforts it will make to remove deforestation from its supply chain. InfluenceMap did not find any evidence of Unilever engaging on EU policy to remove deforestation from its supply chains.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Unilever appears to support the energy transition. The company signed a joint letter to the G20 which demanded coal phase-out plans by 2030 in advanced economies and by 2040 for other economies in October 2021. In March 2021 it was reported in the Wall Street Journal that Unilever shifted its strategy to focus on directly lobbying governments to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and decarbonize energy. In

September 2020, on Unilever’s corporate website, the company supported the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and the phase out of coal in the energy mix. Unilever advocated for the electrification of transportation in its 2021 CDP declaration, and in a joint letter to EU policymakers in April 2020 .

Industry Association Governance: Unilever currently has limited disclosure on its corporate website regarding industry associations, and for the most part has not detailed the positions they have taken on climate change, nor its influence over these positions. The company has not publicly disclosed a review of its industry association alignment on climate change , although notable memberships include CLG and CBI, which have engaged positively with climate change policy, and VNO NCW which have mixed engagement on climate policy. There is, however, more detailed disclosure in Unilever’s 2021 CDP Climate Change response.

Unilever has previously taken an active approach to addressing potential misalignments, with its CEO in 2019 writing an open letter to the company's industry associations asking them to confirm alignment of their climate positions with those of Unilever and the 1.5°C ambition set out in the Paris Agreement.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically.

This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.