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Action AGM Unilever

Unilever is making enormous profits, in stark contrast to their contribution to the climate crisis. The international food, beauty and cleaning supply company has a climate plan full of empty promises and no concrete action plan. It is time that they are held accountable for their role in putting a liveable planet at risk.

On May 3rd, Unilever is hosting their Annual General Meeting in London. Historically, it has been the shareholders who have shot down any concrete sustainability plans. We from Friends of the Earth the Netherlands, together with Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland and our other London based allies, are organizing a peaceful protest before the Annual General Meeting. By working with people from different countries we want to show Unilever that this issue stretches across borders.

On May 4th, we will be hosting a community day for our London based allies. We believe that it’s important to also learn from each other and celebrate our respective victories.

The Unilever campaign:

In 2021, Friends of the Earth the Netherlands won a landmark court case against Royal Dutch Shell. The judge ruled that Shell is responsible for reducing their carbon emissions in their entire supply chain in line with the Paris Accords. Based on this case, we set up a list of 28 other companies that have a similar role to Shell and thus are able to dictate terms to their entire supply chain. We have started a campaign against these companies to get them to reduce their carbon emissions in line with the Paris Accords and the court verdict.

This year, Friends of the Earth the Netherlands is attending the Annual General Meetings of Ahold Delhaize, Rabobank and ING in the Netherlands with more than a hundred supporters. On top of that, as Young Friends of the Earth, we are focused on Unilever’s AGM in London. Unilever spends a large portion of their marketing budget on presenting themselves as a green and sustainable company. In reality they are responsible for massive amounts of carbon emission, land grabs, human rights abuses and plastic pollution.

The total emission of Unilever’s roughly 400 brands totals more than 61 megaton of CO2 per year. This is more than the emissions of most countries. Much of this emission is tied to palm oil production. In order to meet Unilever’s palm oil demands, land is stolen from local populations and forest are burned to the ground, which leads to massive carbon emissions and the destruction of ecosystems. Unilever uses the RSPO certification to show that their palm oil is sustainably produced. In reality this is not a reliable certification. On top of that, they are one of the leading producers of plastic. Much of their non-recyclable plastic ends up in ecosystems across the world, polluting our environment.

It is time for Unilever to be held accountable for the damage they are doing to our planet. On May 3rd, we are asking Unilever’s board and shareholders what they will be doing to ensure a sustainable future. We would love your support to show Unilever that we stand in solidarity across borders.

You are more than welcome to join!