The Finalists: Unilever Global Development Award
The Unilever Global Development Award supported by Business Fights Poverty, identifies business programmes that are demonstrating a positive impact in addressing global poverty as captured in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Addressing these challenges is vital to achieving the transformative change needed to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future for all.
The MDGs have been remarkably successful in focusing the attention of governments, civil society and businesses and mobilising these bodies resources in order to address the major gaps in global and human development. By the end of 2015, the world will have met some of MDGs key targets. Poverty will have been halved and the world will get close to providing primary education for all children. Achievement of the health goals, however, remains challenging, despite substantial progress made since 2000.
As the UN completes its drafting of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be launched in September 2015, the Finalists in this year’s Unilever Global Development Award supported by Business Fights Poverty provide an inspiring set of examples, coming from business large and small, across a broad spectrum of industry and covering a breath of development issues.
Amongst the Finalist entries there is a strong emphasis on education, training, entrepreneurship and building the capabilities of individuals. These are key enablers to help address global poverty and global development. At the same time they are also enablers that support strong sustainable business development.
The Finalists in this year’s Award, also reflect a great deal of innovation. New approaches to savings, financial inclusion, to modular construction, life insurance, a sustainable and replicable business model for solar lights in order to eradicate harmful alternatives, innovative solutions to sanitation and waste and affirmative action are just some of the innovations displayed by these programmes. The range is inspiring and demonstrates what can be achieved.
The Unilever Global Development Award Finalists have directly benefited11 million people, with over 136 indirectly benefiting. All of the Finalists’ programmes target MDG 1, the eradication of poverty, and two-thirds of the businesses addressed health delivery. At least half of the finalists promote gender equality and empowerment of women. A third of the entries are focused on education, over half the entries centre on environmental sustainability, and two thirds of the programmes are based on global partnerships for development.
The Unilever Global Development Award recognises those companies that are demonstrating a positive impact on the global challenges facing our society. According to the Millennium Development Goals Report 2014, results show that concentrated efforts to achieve MDG targets by national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are working to lift people out of extreme poverty and improve their futures. This Award reinforces this message and has identified and highlighted some exceptional business approaches to key global development challenges.
The Unilever Global Development Award supported by Business Fights Poverty has identified some inspirational and innovative programmes. These programmes are replicable and scalable, are helping to address some of the world’s most intractable challenges and have the potential to achieve truly transformative change.