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Dr. René Lammers VP R&D Unilever Europe October 30, 2007 Consumer Confidence A downstream user perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. René Lammers VP R&D Unilever Europe October 30, 2007 Consumer Confidence A downstream user perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. René Lammers VP R&D Unilever Europe October 30, 2007 Consumer Confidence A downstream user perspective

2 Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch company with operations in over 100 countries

3 We make around 400 brands covering food, household & personal care products

4 and are present in half the households on the planet Our brands are sold in nearly every country

5 Consumers Unilever understands consumer behaviour 160 million times a day consumers are buying a Unilever product Our business depends on our ability to keep trust

6 Current Context

7 Drivers of Change Step change in even in the US due to: Extreme weather (hurricanes) Al Gore Business initiatives (GE, GM, Wal*Mart) US states pushing the agenda European initiatives eg cutting GHG by 20% by 2020, targets for biofuels IPCC finds unequivocal evidence that global warming is due to human activity Increasing pressure on the worlds resources due to population and economic growth Environmental degradation - depletion of aquifers, water pollution, desertification Huge increase in demands from consumers, retailers and governments or business to tackle environmental degradation through: green labelling green taxes carbon reduction/trading cutting resource use (energy, water) in production and consumption use of sustainable raw materials reducing packaging waste Offering great opportunities to those who take the lead, and big risks to those who dont Business Implications Environmental concern goes mainstream Big Themes

8 Drivers of Change Pressures from NGOs and society Retailers are going green and demanding action from suppliers Employees expect their companies to do more New expectations of industry leadership International institutions and governments are failing to halt environmental degradation But business is increasingly seen as part of the solution Respond to increasing demands on business to do more for: the environment Millennium Development Goals creating jobs upgrading skills of employees and suppliers/customers sustainable and Fair Trade sourcing of agricultural raw materials effective/transparent human rights policy … particularly where responses are good for profit too Work with national governments and international agencies to reach workable agreements on regulations Celebrate and communicate ethical and environmental successes Business Implications Growing demands on business Big Themes

9 Drivers of Change Relative certainties of the cold war have been replaced by the rise of a multi- polar world Terrorism scare stories on chemicals Rich-poor gap Nuclear proliferation Migration Loss of jobs Middle East unstable Commodity shocks eg oil Risk of pandemics eg bird flu importance of brands as guarantees of quality and safety Communicate and get credit for environmental and social activities Opportunity to build reputation for managing a crisis and staying the course Creating social value with less environmental impact Business Implications Pervasive insecurity Big Themes

10 external scan consumer trends 2007 I care about my world, my society, my environment… I worry about my safety, security and privacy

11 Current Context In summary: –The world is moving and changing –Business is adapting to change through innovation – we are driven by consumers and under pressure from customers

12 Consumer Confidence Scare stories are undermining consumer trust – Media, some NGOs and politicians fuel chemophobia Need to increase and strengthen TRUST through responsible communication to consumers. Trust leads to competitiveness – we need the right regulatory framework where innovation is promoted and supported Consumer confidence is the engine of our business

13 FMCG: driver for sustainable solutions We respond to consumer demands with our brands and more sustainable products (formulations, packaging…) As downstream users, we also stimulate innovation upstream As part of the chemical industry we should be seen as a provider of sustainable solutions – but we need to move even quicker! Innovation is central to enhance competitiveness – we also need regulatory support in providing public/consumer/customer confidence

14 Feeling Safe Need positive legislative framework to motivate and protect trendsetters against unfair competition from free-riders But if consumers will be safe they also need to FEEL safe Regulators need to support us in creating a framework where chemophobia is reduced, innovation opportunities strengthened and where relevant communication to consumers based on risk and not hazard is promoted

15 Examples Nanotechnology : what if consumer resistance will lead us to not using this tremendous potential? –business has a key role to play to ensure human and environmental safety –regulators need to create the framework (legislative and political) to ensure the potential thrives –need full stakeholder engagement in a public debate

16 Small examples bringing big benefits Large Bottles (3L) ml dose/wash Smaller Bottles (~1L) ml dose/wash At the same cost/wash

17 Environmental Benefits Reduced amount of trucks ………………………..350 (Fuel savings) Reduced packaging ……………………………… % less plastic Reduction in number of bottles ……………….8,5 Million (2712 km) Reduction of liquid volume sold …………………17.5 Million Litre Reduction in water usage………………………….50-60% Less detergent in the environment ……………..17,500 tons Carton weight reduction………………………… tons Reduced garbage trucks…………………………..200 In Europe

18 Feeling Safe? Need to ensure consumer acceptance of innovation. These formulations will possibly have severe GHS labels because of concentration Will this enhance consumer confidence or communicate the environmental benefit?

19 Consumer Confidence? consumer relevant information is critical

20 Beyond Europe We fully support initiatives that aim at improving the sustainability of European businesses. But as a global company, we want regulations to be consistent at a global level Global consistency is critical for competitiveness –to operate globally as a business –all our consumers should have similar levels of protection

21 In Summary The world is changing fast As a FMCG we must adapt quickly Need innovation support upstream and partnering with regulators to reach common goals Must build on current initiatives to enhance consumer confidence

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