Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is something that Unilever has embraced in their worldwide office remodeling. I find this absolutely super cool and I wish that more corporations in this country and around the world would embrace it as well.
Their offices are open and bright, and no one who works there has a dedicated office – it’s truly an open office community with a bunch of alcoves, meeting areas, meeting rooms, and board rooms.
I was invited in several times to consult on a brand that Unilever seeks to revamp. On my 3rd visit, as I was looking around (not snooping!), I spotted a display shelf with all the products Unilever owns/represents and I thought: Wait a second, why don’t they own/represent more organic and/or sustainable products? And why aren’t they making an effort to cut down on product packaging and plastic use? For that matter, why aren’t they changing their product formulations in order to make them less harmful to people and the planet? I had a lot of questions.
I couldn’t help it, my head was spinning: Is this all a “brain wash,” or are they just holding on until they get this battleship turned around so that they can eventually own only 100% organic and sustainable brands?
It was awkward thinking about this as I was hired to help them re-position one of their legacy brands! I was also a bit confused. Clearly, they mean well, but at the end of the day, they also have to sell products to keep the battleship afloat.
There is no instant fix as Unilever really doesn’t have the means to change anything that isn’t broken (at least from the corporate point of view). Money is flowing in and they keep their employees happy, providing them with flexible hours, environmentally friendly offices, and opportunities to travel and work abroad. Who wants this to change? No one!
Fixing the product formulations and the packaging would drastically change the dollar amount on their bottom line, not to mention the cost in time and manpower! Then, there is the geauxmaids.com home cleaning re-branding, re-marketing, and re-positioning work, including crafting the brand’s manifesto! The to-do list is lengthy and expensive.
My suggestion is to start small: one by one, begin to kill the current unhealthy brands while investing in start-up brands with healthy and environmentally conscious products. This is the way to remain a corporate leader, by caring for our children’s future as well as the planet’s!