The Finalists: Unilever Global Development Award

By Sue Adkins, International Director, Business in the Community

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.

The Unilever Global Development Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty, Finalists, 2015: AllLife – The AllLife business model
AllLife, a South African provider of insurance to people with HIV, has pioneered an approach that proves it is possible to insure the “uninsurable”, and to do so in a financially and socially sustainable way. Read more…
Barclays – Banking on Change
Barclays has formed partnerships with international NGOs CARE International and Plan UK to give poor people, especially the young, in Africa and Asia access to basic financial services for the first time, and the skills to save and manage their money effectively. Read more…
KEF Holdings – Promoting Regional Schools to International Standards through Multiple Interventions (PRISM)
KEF spearheaded PRISM, a public-private partnership (PPP) that transformed a 120-year-old, dilapidated secondary school in Kerala, India, in just ten months. Read more…
SunnyMoney – The SunnyMoney Way
The largest distributor of solar lights in Africa is working to cultivate a sustainable market so that other players will enter the game, with the long-term aim of eradicating the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020. Read more…
Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) – EkoLakay social business
SOIL provides affordable, ecologically sustainable household sanitation services to Haiti’s most impoverished urban neighbourhoods. Read more…
Tata Consultancy Services – TCS Affirmative Action Employment Training
TCS Affirmative Action Employment Training has increased the employment prospects of women and young people in India’s most marginalised communities, the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST). Read more…
The Unilever Global Development Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty, Shortlisted, 2015: Barclays – Building Young Futures
This partnership between Barclays and UNICEF tackles youth unemployment by giving young people the skills, knowledge and confidence to set up their own small business or find a job. Read more…
BASF SE – BASF & BioAnalyt Development Partnership for Edible Oil Fortification
BASF, in partnership with BioAnalyt, helped to reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies in people at risk in over 40 developing countries. Read more…
Marshalls plc – Marshalls in India
Marshalls’ supply chain programme in India has made a positive impact on its suppliers and improved the lives of quarry workers and their families. It has also launched Fairstone, an ethically sourced range of natural stone, and partnered with Unicef to support the drive to effect systemic change in the industry. Read more…
PepsiCo, Inc – Access to Safe Water
PepsiCo works with partners to provide under-served communities with access to clean, safe water, and advocates for new approaches to global water challenges. Read more…
Pollinate Energy India – Pollinate Energy Business Model
Pollinate Energy improved the lives of India’s urban poor by providing access to sustainable technology through microfinance, using a network of local distributors, termed ‘Pollinators’. Read more…
The Co-operative Group – The Co-operative Fairbourne Springs
The Co-operative is the only retailer to launch an own-brand ethical bottled water, in partnership with The One Foundation, raising funds for clean water and sanitation projects across sub-Saharan Africa. Read more…

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