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Unilever Ghana Limited says it aims to inspire its consumers to adopt new, sustainable behavior that will prolong their lives and the company’s business.
This is in line with its social responsibility activitie, under its sustainable-living plan to grow the business profitably while reducing the environmental impact of its activities, said Mr. David Mureithi, Managing Director for West Africa.
Part of this plan involves the campaign for regular handwashing and brushing of teeth (at least twice a day), and brainstorming with health experts and policymakers on ways to improve health conditions and outcomes in the country.
“The Unilever sustainable living plan commits us to ambitious targets over the next decade. We intend to help more than a billion people take action to improve their health; to have the environmental footprint of our products; and to source 100% of our agricultural raw material sustainably,” he said.
He expressed the belief that business and brands have a powerful role to play in creating sustainable living. “Brands are more than simply products; they embody values and aspirations, and they can inspire and enable change.”
Mr. Mureithi said to achieve success in Unilever’s crusade on sustainable living requires the up-scaling of human resources at all levels to facilitate realisation of the benefits.
“A sustainable development logically requires a sustainable manpower base to ensure continuity. For this reason, we train and develop graduates for leadership positions; and many of these have gone on to hold senior positions in Unilever and beyond,” he said.
Unilever Ghana has a graduate-recruitment programme to absorb fresh graduates from various universities, with the aim of facilitating development of African talent to sustain profitable growth of the business in the country.
He pointed out that Unilever’s intake from the national service programme has been expanded to 50 personnel across all its core functions.
Up to 50 undergraduates also get the opportunity to do three-month internships as part of the requirements for graduation, to ensure that they finish with a rounded appreciation of their courses of study.
“Our development programme gives them exposure to real-life sustainable business-operation management, and equips them to be ready for the job-market or to start their own businesses,” he added.
At the end of the training period, Unilever aims to retain and convert 20-30 percent of the national service personnel who excel to full-time employees.
“This is our way of supporting capacity-building and skills-enhancement for the Ghanaian job market,” Mr. Mureithi stated.