InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization 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 UN Paris Agreement. In September 2021, Unilever signed an open letter calling for the G20 to ensure the world achieves 1.5°C. On its corporate website, accessed in August 2022, Unilever recognized that mitigating climate change through land-use techniques is part of the solution. The company supported the EU’s Green Deal and 2050 net-zero target in a joint letter in December 2022, and it supported increasing the ambition of US climate policy in a joint letter in May 2022. In a joint letter in November 2022 the CEO Alan Jope called for governments to set Paris-aligned Nationally Determined Contributions before COP27.

Engagement with Climate-related Regulations: Unilever appears to have actively supported multiple climate change related regulations and policies. In June 2022, Alan Jope, the CEO of Unilever signed a joint letter stating strong support for a more ambitious EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) reform. In April 2021 in an open letter, Unilever directly advocated for the US President to set an ambitious 2030 GHG emission target. Its 2021 CDP response stated that it advocated for the strengthening of efficiency targets in both the EU and the US, and in a November 2022 joint letter the CEO supported incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies on both the supply and demand side, and clear standards and frameworks for renewable energy power purchase agreements. In March 2023, Unilever signed a joint letter advocating for EU states to adopt a stringent EU zero-emissions 2035 CO2 target for cars and vans without an e-fuels loophole.

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 of 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. InfluenceMap did not detect evidence of Unilever engaging on EU policy to remove deforestation from its supply chains, nor on the protection of forests through legislation.

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 a November 2022 joint letter the CEO advocated for the removal of fossil fuel subsidies. 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. Unilever actively supported the decarbonization of transport in 2022, for example, it supported legislation such as the Advanced Clean Cars II Standard and the Advanced Clean Truck rule in joint letters to US policymakers in January, June, July, August and December 2022. In the EU, the company strongly supported the phase out of fossil-powered heavy-duty vehicles by 2035 and supported binding ambitious infrastructure targets from mid-decade in a December 2022 joint letter.

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. Notable memberships include CLG and CBI, which have engaged positively with climate change policy, and VNO NCW which has mixed engagement on climate policy. 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 Q1 2023.

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.