SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
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R Sotamaa, Chief Legal Officer and Group Secretary
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This document may contain forward-looking statements, including ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as ‘will’, ‘aim’, ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘intends’, ‘looks’, ‘believes’, ‘vision’, or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements also include, but are not limited to, statements and information regarding the Unilever Group’s (the ‘Group’) emissions reduction targets and other climate change related matters (including actions, potential impacts and risks associated therewith). These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance or outcomes. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever’s global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever’s ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever’s investment choices in its portfolio management; the effect of climate change on Unilever’s business; Unilever’s ability to find sustainable solutions to its plastic packaging; significant changes or deterioration in customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain and distribution; increases or volatility in the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic, social and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. A number of these risks have increased as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
This document also contains data on the Group’s Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Scope 1 and 2 emissions data is relatively easy to gather as it relates to emissions from the Group’s own activities and supplied heat, power and cooling. Scope 3 emissions relate to other organisations’ emissions and is therefore subject to a range of uncertainties, including that data used to model lifecycle footprints is typically industry-standard data rather than relating to individual suppliers; lifecycle models such as the Group’s cover many but not all products and markets; and international standards and protocols governing emissions calculations and categorisations evolve, as do accepted norms regarding terminology such as carbon neutral and net zero. As value chain emissions data improves, shifting over time from generic modelled data to more specific data, the data reported in this document is likely to evolve.
Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group’s filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 and the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2021.
Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Purpose-led, future-fit
Making sustainable living commonplace We make household brands used by 3.4 billion consumers every day. We are 148,000 people working in factories, labs, offices and homes around the world. We are determined to prove that our purpose-led, future-fit business model delivers superior performance. We are Unilever.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – IN TR O D U C IN G U N ILEV ER 1Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 In this report Strategic Report Pages 2-13 Pages 14-66 Introducing Unilever Review of the year 2 At a glance 15 Shareholders 4 Chair's introduction 18 Our people 6 Chief Executive Officer's review 20 Consumers 8 Our strategy 25 Customers 12 Our business model 27 Suppliers & business partners 29 Planet & society 32 Our performance 36 Financial review 44 Our risks 51 Additional non-financial information - Climate change disclosures - Other non-financial disclosures Governance Report Financial Statements Pages 67-104 Pages 105-198 Running a responsible and effective business Our full financial results and notes for the year 68 Corporate governance 106 Statement of Directors' responsibilities 78 Report of the Audit Committee 107 Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm 80 Report of the Corporate Responsibility Committee 114 Consolidated financial statements 82 Report of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee 118 Notes to the consolidated financial statements 176 Group Companies 84 Directors' Remuneration Report 187 Shareholder information 188 Additional Information for US Listing Purposes Online About this Annual Report You can find more information about Unilever online at Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 www.unilever.com This document is made up of the Strategic Report, the Governance Report, the Financial Statements and Notes, and Additional Information for US Listing Purposes. The Unilever Group consists of Unilever PLC (PLC) together with the companies it controls. The terms 'Unilever', the 'Group', 'we', 'our' and 'us' refer to the Unilever Group. Our Strategic Report on pages 2 to 66, contains information about us, how we create value and how we run our business. It includes our strategy, business model, market outlook and key performance indicators, as well as our approach to sustainability and risk. The Strategic Report is only part of the Annual Report and Accounts 2021. The Strategic Report has been approved by the Board and signed on its behalf by Ritva Sotamaa – Group Secretary. Our Governance Report on pages 67 to 104 contains detailed corporate governance information, our Committee reports and how we remunerate our Directors. Our Financial Statements and Notes are on pages 105 to 175. Pages 1 to 187 constitute the Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021, which we may also refer to as ‘this Annual Report and Accounts' throughout this document. The Directors' Report of PLC on pages 67 to 83, 106 (Statement of Directors' responsibilities), 136 (Dividends on ordinary capital), 149 to 155 (Treasury Risk Management), 175 (Post balance sheet events) and 186 (Branch disclosure) has been approved by the PLC Board and signed on its behalf by Ritva Sotamaa – Group Secretary. Pages 188 to 198 are included as Additional Information for US Listing Purposes. The Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 (and the Additional Information for US Listing Purposes) along with other relevant documents can be downloaded at www.unilever.com/ara2021/downloads For more on our sustainability commitments www.unilever.com/planet-and-society
2 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 A truly global business Our brands are available in around 190 countries 3.4bn people use our products every day(a) 58% of turnover in emerging markets Strong brands with purpose Our 400+ brands are on a mission to offer superior products while doing good for people and planet 13 brands with turnover of over €1bn in 2021 13 of the top 50 consumer goods brands(b) Read more about our brands and consumers on pages 20 to 24 Powered by our people Our purposeful and inclusive culture attracts the best talent in our markets 52/48 gender balance management (female/male)(c) 148,000 employees 92% of our leaders in markets are local(d) Read more about our people on pages 18 to 19 At a glance Using our scale for good Our leading sustainability agenda is delivering significant impact 64% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions since 2015 53% of our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable €445m spend with diverse businesses owned by under- represented groups Read more about planet & society on pages 29 to 31 (a) Based on a Europanel 2021 project (in partnership with Kantar & GfK). Includes consumers who use at least one Unilever product every day. (b) Based on market penetration and consumer interactions (Kantar Brand Footprint report 2021). (c) Based on a total management population of 16,787 Unilever employees. (d) Leaders defined as all managers up to senior management reporting to ULE.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – IN TR O D U C IN G U N ILEV ER 3Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 2021 financial highlights Turnover Operating margin Dividends paid €52.4bn 2020: €50.7bn 16.6% 2020: 16.4% €4.5bn 2020: €4.3bn Underlying sales growth(a) Underlying operating margin(a) Free cash flow(a) 4.5% 2020: 1.9% 18.4% 2020: 18.5% €6.4bn 2020: €7.7bn For more detail, see our Financial review on pages 36 to 43 (a) Underlying sales growth, underlying operating margin and free cash flow are non-GAAP measures. For further information about these measures, and the reasons why we believe they are important for an understanding of the performance of the business, please refer to our commentary on non-GAAP measures on pages 39 to 43. Beauty & Personal Care Turnover €21.9bn What we stand for: To be the most positive beauty business in the world for people and the planet Our largest categories: Skin cleansing, Hair care, Deodorants, Skin care Foods & Refreshment Turnover €20.0bn What we stand for: To be a world-class force for good in food Our largest categories: Ice cream, Savoury, Dressings, Tea Home Care Turnover €10.6bn What we stand for: Making people's homes a better world, and our world a better home Our largest categories: Fabric solutions, Home and hygiene Read more about our Divisions on pages 20 to 24
4 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Chair's introduction Performance Unilever’s operating performance improved in 2021, with the company recording its fastest year-on-year underlying sales growth for nine years, at 4.5%. Underlying operating profit also increased, by 2.9%. This represented a good outcome in what were unusually difficult trading conditions. Spiralling cost inflation presented the biggest challenge and impacted underlying operating margin, which was down 10bps, although the company’s determined response in landing customer price increases certainly helped to limit the impact. This ability to raise prices in a tough, inflationary environment is testament to the strength and quality of Unilever’s brands. Unilever’s business is benefiting from the focus and investment being put behind its five Compass strategic choices – see pages 8 to 9. The Board was particularly encouraged to see Unilever’s top 13 brands – each with a turnover in excess of €1 billion – grow in aggregate last year by 6.4%, well above the company average. These brands account for 50% of Unilever’s total turnover. The focus behind key long-term growth markets is also driving improved results, with strong performances last year in the US, India and China. Together, these markets now represent 36% of Unilever’s turnover. The good operating performance in 2021 was the main driver of earnings growth, with earnings per share (EPS) up by 5.5%. Following the completion of the programme to buy back shares with an aggregate market value equivalent to €3 billion, the company announced a further €3 billion programme of share buybacks, which we expect to see completed over 2022 and 2023. Portfolio The Board is convinced that the continued evolution of Unilever’s portfolio into higher growth spaces is key to accelerating the company’s long-term growth profile and in delivering enhanced value to shareholders. To that end, unifying the Group’s legal structure in 2020 was an important milestone in allowing the Board to consider a wider range of strategic options, including scope for larger and more transformative acquisitions. It was in this context that the Board viewed a possible acquisition of GSK Consumer Health as one route to accelerate Unilever’s presence in a very attractive part of the market. However, while there was some recognition among shareholders of the strategic merits of pursuing such a move, many voiced their strong opposition to the size and timing of such a deal. Consequently, and having listened closely to shareholder concerns, the Board and management of the company have made clear that we do not intend to pursue similar large-scale acquisitions in the foreseeable future. Instead, the focus will be on improving Unilever’s value creation through accelerated organic growth – driven by the five Compass strategic choices. We will also continue to strengthen the portfolio through the kind of bolt-on acquisitions that have enabled Unilever to build fast-growing businesses in Prestige beauty and Functional nutrition. As part of strengthening the portfolio, last year we announced the sale of Unilever’s Tea business, for €4.5 billion, which is expected to complete in the second half of 2022. Selective disposals of brands and assets will continue to play a role going forwards. The Board also expects the new organisation to support growth over the coming years. Having reviewed the changes, the Board is confident they will help make Unilever a simpler, faster and more accountable business, and at lower cost. Board composition and succession During the year, the Board appointed Adrian Hennah and Ruby Lu as independent Non-Executive Directors, both appointments took effect from 1 November 2021. Adrian joined the Board after a long and successful executive career, most recently in the consumer goods sector. Adrian’s extensive financial experience, gained from CFO positions with leading UK-based businesses, together with his deep industry knowledge, is a major asset to the Board. The Board will also benefit enormously from Ruby Lu’s appointment. Ruby is a venture capitalist with a long and successful track record of investing in start-up businesses in China and the US, markets she knows very well. Following the 2021 AGM, Youngme Moon stood down from her role as Senior Independent Director (SID). I want to thank Youngme for the valuable contribution she made in that role. Equally, I am delighted that Andrea Jung was appointed to succeed Youngme as SID. Andrea also took over as Chair of the Compensation Committee, in February 2021, when Vittorio Colao stepped down from the Board to join the Italian government as Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – IN TR O D U C IN G U N ILEV ER 5Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 The 2022 AGM will mark the retirement of both Laura Cha and John Rishton as Non-Executive Directors having both served for nine years. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank them for their much-valued contribution to Unilever. Corporate Governance Tackling climate change is a key priority for the Group and we were pleased to put our Climate Transition Action Plan (CTAP) to shareholders for an advisory vote at the 2021 AGM. The plan sets out our climate strategy, defines our net zero and emission reduction goals, and sets out the actions we intend to take to meet them. The plan also describes how the company is integrating climate change considerations into its products and brands, as well as the role that advocacy and partnership can play in meeting goals. This was the first time a global company of our size voluntarily put its climate transition plans before a shareholder vote, and we were delighted to see it receive overwhelming backing, with over 99% of shareholders voting in favour. Work remains to be done but we do believe that the CTAP can help Unilever make an important contribution to tackling climate change while growing our brands. Read more about our progress in the CTAP Progress Report on pages 51 to 56. Regular Board evaluation is an important element in maintaining high standards of corporate governance and Board effectiveness. In 2021, the Board conducted a thorough internal evaluation exercise. The results, which were reviewed at the November 2021 Board meeting, confirmed that the Board continues to perform effectively and with a high degree of Director engagement. In addition to our six planned Board meetings, three additional meetings were held in 2021 to consider the Group’s portfolio and the growth opportunities within it. Non-Executive Directors also attended 14 virtual employee engagement events during the year across a wide range of the workforce. In addition, Andrea Jung attended a global town hall webcast in July 2021, providing an opportunity for all employees to engage with one of our Board members. The evaluation and Board engagements also re-affirmed the Board’s focus on growth and portfolio strategy evolution as keys to unlocking value in Unilever. Further detail on the evaluation process this year, together with the Board’s remit, operations and the topics regularly discussed by the Board can be found in the Governance section on pages 67 to 83. Remuneration During 2021, we continued to consult with shareholders on our Remuneration Policy and were pleased at the 2021 AGM to receive your strong support for the implementation of a reward framework based on a new Performance Share Plan, delinked from the annual bonus. The new Policy seeks to improve the overall effectiveness of Unilever’s incentives by helping drive sustainable long-term growth and enabling the Compensation Committee to set stretching but achievable performance targets over realistic timeframes. Further information on the Policy can be found on page 84. Looking ahead Trading conditions will undoubtedly be challenging throughout 2022 as the world continues to come through the effects of the Covid pandemic and all the consequent economic aftershocks – and in particular, extraordinarily high levels of cost inflation. Unilever is well prepared to meet these challenges through a combination of customer prices and the delivery of cost savings, which will help to mitigate inflationary impacts on the business. Moreover, the company enters 2022 with good momentum, and with a clear set of strategic choices that the Board is confident will help deliver another positive year of top-line growth for Unilever. Against a particularly challenging backdrop, Unilever delivered a good set of results for 2021. This could not have been achieved without the efforts of the 148,000 people who make up this great company, some of whom it was a privilege to spend time with over the last year, albeit in most cases virtually. Their hard work, ingenuity and integrity have once again shone through and on behalf of the Board, I want to thank them for everything they have done, and continue to do, for Unilever. I also want to thank and acknowledge our shareholders and other stakeholders for their continued support. "Unilever’s business is undoubtedly benefiting from the focus and investment being put behind its five Compass strategic choices." Nils Andersen Chair Section 172 statement Under Section 172 of the UK Companies Act 2006 (‘Section 172’) directors must act in the way that they consider, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of their company. In doing so, our Directors must have regard to stakeholders and the other matters set out in Section 172. Pages 63 and 69 to 71 comprise our Section 172 statement. Page 63 of our Strategic Report identifies our key stakeholders and provides examples of how the business engaged them during 2021, with cross references to the stakeholder review section for more detail. Pages 69 to 71 of our Governance Report details how our Directors have taken steps to understand the needs and priorities of these stakeholders when setting Unilever’s strategy and taking decisions concerning the business, including by direct engagement or via their delegated committees and forums. The relevance of each stakeholder group may vary depending on the matter at hand.
6 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Chief Executive Officer's review Context 2021 was another turbulent year for the world economy and for global markets. Output rebounded strongly, if unevenly, after the sharp Covid-related declines of 2020. However, surging demand, triggered by significant fiscal and monetary stimulus, gave rise to widespread labour shortages, supply bottlenecks and soaring energy costs, stoking significant inflationary pressures. For Unilever, this steep rise in input cost inflation was one of the defining features of the year, impacting each of our product categories. Performance 2021 Against this challenging backdrop, we delivered a strong set of results in 2021. Underlying sales growth of 4.5% represented Unilever’s fastest year-on-year growth in nine years, well into the upper end of our 3-5% multi-year framework. We responded to rising input costs with pricing actions, delivering underlying price growth of 2.9% for the year. While never easy, raising customer prices in response to inflationary pressures is vital and necessary if we are to preserve our ability to invest in Unilever’s brands. Underlying volume growth for the full year was 1.6%. Growth was broad-based, with each of our three global Divisions – Beauty & Personal Care, Foods & Refreshment and Home Care – performing well. Growth was also competitive. We ended the year with 53% of the business winning market share by value, a second consecutive year of competitive growth and a marked improvement in our competitive performance from just a few years ago. While top-line growth remains the number one priority, margin progression is also an important component of value creation. Underlying operating margin for the year was 18.4%, down 10bps on the previous year. Although pricing stepped up, it wasn’t enough to fully offset the impact of inflation across our raw materials, packaging and distribution costs. Free Cash Flow remained strong at €6.4 billion, albeit down year-on-year versus a record delivery in 2020, when the business was focused on delivering cash in a period of huge uncertainty. For 2021, we declared a 3% increase to the full- year dividend, taking the dividend for the year to €4.5 billion. Overall, we made good progress in 2021. Unilever’s growth momentum is building. We stepped up pricing significantly in a heavily inflationary environment while delivering strong earnings and maintaining our restored competitiveness. Our five strategic choices One of the most encouraging aspects of our growth in 2021 was the extent to which it followed the five Compass strategic choices we called out a year ago. These choices sit at the heart of our strategy for value creation – see pages 8 to 9. The first of these is winning with brands and innovation, ensuring that our top brands deliver superior performance. Today, we have 13 brands with sales in excess of €1 billion. Together they make up over half of our total turnover. Last year, they grew in aggregate by 6.4%. This included some particularly strong individual performances. Dove, for example, grew by 8%, its best performance in eight years; Hellmann’s grew 11%; and our Ice Cream brands Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s each grew 7%. Behind the success of these brands is product superiority and great innovation and we continue to step up our performance in both areas. Product superiority in tests versus Unilever’s competition is now over 70% of tested turnover, up from less than 50% in 2019, and our focus on driving bigger, better and more impactful innovation delivered over €1 billion of incremental turnover in 2021, double the delivery in 2020. It is no surprise or coincidence that our top-performing brands also happen to be those with the most clearly defined – and powerfully articulated – commitment to purpose as a driver of brand growth. As well as focusing on winning with our biggest and strongest brands, we have also chosen to prioritise investment in the key growth markets for the future, including most notably the US, India and China. All three countries delivered strong and competitive growth in 2021. The US, for example, grew almost 4% on top of a record growth year in 2020, while India and China grew well into double-digits, albeit against weaker comparators. Other markets also performed well, but not all. Indonesia, for example, a key geography for Unilever, struggled last year and was down by 7.4%. We are fully focused on restoring growth in this, our sixth-largest market. Our next strategic choice is to invest in the capabilities needed to lead in channels of the future. Today, that means winning in eCommerce, and in 2021 we delivered another strong year, on the back of record growth in 2020. In total, the eCommerce business was up 44% with growth coming from all the main sub-channels – pure-play, omnichannel, and business-to- business (eB2B). In just five years, this channel has gone from 2% of our turnover to 13% in 2021. Developing Unilever’s portfolio into the higher growth spaces of Hygiene, Skin care, Prestige beauty, Functional nutrition and Plant-based foods is another strategic choice. It is also one that made a meaningful contribution to performance in 2021. While organic growth is our first priority, acquisitions also play an important role. Indeed, since 2017, 93% of M&A capital has gone into either Prestige beauty, Functional nutrition or Skin care and other areas of Beauty & Personal Care. By contrast, 98% of disposals by turnover were in slower growth food segments such as Spreads and more recently Tea. The benefits of this portfolio rotation were very apparent last year – which including eketerra will be equivalent to 17% of our "We made good progress in 2021 and our growth momentum is building." Alan Jope Chief Executive Officer
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – IN TR O D U C IN G U N ILEV ER 7Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 of delivering an improvement in underlying operating margin, having chosen – in the face of spiralling inflation – to continue investing in advertising, R&D and other long-term drivers of growth. We will continue to take this approach in 2022, when we expect input cost inflation to ratchet up still further. This means that we expect our underlying operating margin will be down in 2022, although we anticipate that the effect of pricing action and well-established savings programmes to help reverse this decline over the course of 2023 and 2024. Importantly, we have entered 2022 with good growth momentum and with our biggest brands, our most important markets, and our priority channel all performing strongly. The five strategic choices that we have put in place will guide us in the years ahead, and are having a positive and demonstrable impact on performance. The introduction of a new operating model during the year will help accelerate our progress still further. Stakeholders Together with our world-leading brands, our biggest strength remains the dedication and professionalism of our employees around the world, plus the millions more who make up Unilever’s extended family across the value chain. To all of them, I offer my sincere appreciation for their hard work and commitment over a year characterised by many challenges but also a lot of progress. We remain fully wedded to Unilever’s multi-stakeholder model and I want to thank all of those with whom we have partnered over the last year, and all those whose needs and interests we are committed to serving. We deliberately cite the planet as one of our stakeholders and in the year of COP26, it was a source of particular pride to see Unilever – in its words and actions – living up to its ambitious climate commitments. Finally, I want to thank and acknowledge our shareholders for their continued support of our business. We are working hard to repay that support and are fully focused on delivering long- term value for shareholders in line with our 4G growth model. 2021 turnover since 2017. Prestige beauty, for example, now a €1 billion business, grew over 20%. Functional nutrition, which includes Horlicks in South Asia as well as our largely US-based Vitamins, Supplements & Minerals (VMS) business, grew 22% in 2021 and now enjoys leadership positions across its portfolio. Together, Functional nutrition and Prestige beauty contributed 60bps to our underlying sales growth last year. We will go on building Unilever’s portfolio in this way, while recognising that not all acquisitions have performed equally well. Dollar Shave Club, for example, has not delivered in the way that we had hoped or expected, mainly due to changes in the economics of the direct-to-consumer model. In considering the evolution of our portfolio, Consumer Health and Wellbeing undoubtedly represents an attractive space. It is also one in which we are increasingly well positioned. Last year, after a long period of careful review, the Board concluded that moving Unilever’s portfolio even more decisively into this area would position the company for faster growth in the coming decades. This is what lay behind confidential discussions with GSK and Pfizer about the possible acquisition of GSK Consumer Health. We listened carefully to shareholders in the wake of those discussions becoming public and heard the message that many did not support a deal on this scale at this time. We remain resolved in the direction of our portfolio evolution, but we have made clear that we do not intend to pursue similar large-scale acquisitions in the foreseeable future. Instead, we will continue to accelerate Unilever’s growth through a rigorous focus on organic growth and by continuing to strengthen the portfolio through bolt-on acquisitions and selective disposals. Guided by our five Compass strategic choices, we are fully committed to stepping up the growth of our existing business. We will be aided significantly in this process by our fifth strategic choice – building a purpose-led, future-fit organisation and growth culture. Having operated for some time under a relatively heavy matrix structure, with three global Divisions and 15 regional performance management units, we are now modernising Unilever’s organisation with the introduction – from 1 July 2022 – of five Business Groups with full, end-to-end responsibility for setting strategy and for delivering results. The five Business Groups – Beauty and Wellbeing; Personal Care; Home Care; Nutrition; and Ice Cream – will have the power to drive performance by responding more quickly and directly to the consumer and channel dynamics that are unique to their Business Group. This is a big change for Unilever, one that we are confident will result in a simpler, faster and more agile way of operating, with more focused and expert categories and with greater empowerment and accountability flowing through the business. We are alive to the risks of a change management programme on this scale and have put in place a number of mitigating measures, including the creation of a well-resourced Transformation Office to oversee the detailed delivery of the programme in line with ambitious but achievable timescales. Outlook – 4G Growth Our overarching goal remains the delivery of 4G growth – that is, growth which is consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible. All four are key to our long-term value creation model. On profitable growth, in 2021 we fell short
8 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Our strategy The Unilever Compass is our strategy to deliver growth that is consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible. Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business. We will demonstrate how our purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance, consistently delivering financial results in the top third of our industry. Our strategic choices and actions will help us fulfil our purpose and vision Develop our portfolio into high growth spaces Hygiene Pages 15-16, 20, 24, 37 Skin care Pages 15-16, 20-21, 37 Prestige beauty Pages 15-16, 21, 36-37 Functional nutrition Pages 15-16, 36-37 Plant-based foods Pages 15, 22, 37 Win with our brands as a force for good, powered by purpose and innovation Improve the health of the planet Pages 21, 23, 29-30 Improve people's health, confidence and wellbeing Pages 20-21, 31 Contribute to a fairer, more socially inclusive world Pages 21, 30 Win with differentiated science and technology Pages 15, 20-24 Accelerate in USA, India, China and key growth markets Build further scale in USA, India and China Pages 16, 36-37 Leverage emerging market strength Pages 16, 36-37 Lead in the channels of the future Accelerate pure-play and omnichannel eCommerce Pages 16, 25-26 Develop eB2B business platforms Pages 16, 26 Drive category leadership through shopper insight Pages 25-26 Build a purpose-led, future-fit organisation and growth culture Unlock capacity through agility and digital transformation Pages 17-18 Be a beacon for diversity, inclusion and value-based leadership Page 19 Build capability through lifelong learning Page 19
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – IN TR O D U C IN G U N ILEV ER 9Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Operational excellence through the 5 Growth Fundamentals 1 Purposeful brands 2 Improved penetration 3 Impactful innovation 4 Design for channel 5 Fuel for growth Our growth creates value through a multi-stakeholder model Our Multi-year Financial Framework Shareholders See pages 15-17 Our people See pages 18-19 Consumers See pages 20-24 Customers See pages 25-26 Suppliers & business partners See pages 27-28 Planet & society See pages 29-31 Competitive growth Cash generation Profit growth Savings Restructuring investment Return on invested capital Net debt
10 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Our strategy continued Our Compass sustainability commitments will help us deliver our purpose and vision. Win with our brands as a force for good, powered by purpose and innovation Improve the health of the planet Improve people’s health, confidence and wellbeing Respect human rights Respect and promote human rights and the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles, and ensure compliance with our Responsible Sourcing Policy Pages 28, 31 Climate action Pages 28, 29, 34, 51-56 Protect and regenerate nature Pages 21, 23, 30, 34, 51 Waste-free world Pages 21-23, 29, 34, 52-53 Positive nutrition Pages 22, 31, 34-35 Net zero emissions across our value chain by 2039 Deforestation-free supply chain in palm oil, paper and board, tea, soy and cocoa by 2023 Halve greenhouse gas impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2030 Help protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030 Zero emissions in our operations by 2030 100% sustainable sourcing of our key agricultural crops Replace fossil fuel- derived carbon with renewable or recycled carbon in all our cleaning and laundry product formulations by 2030 Empower farmers and smallholders to protect and regenerate farm environments Communicate a carbon footprint for every product we sell Implement water stewardship programmes in 100 locations in water- stressed areas by 2030 Supported by our €1 billion Climate & Nature Fund 100% of our ingredients will be biodegradable by 2030 €1 billion annual sales from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives by 2025-2027 Double the number of products sold that deliver positive nutrition by 2025 70% of our portfolio to meet WHO-aligned nutritional standards by 2022 95% of packaged ice cream to contain no more than 22g total sugar per serving by 2025 85% of our Foods portfolio to help consumers reduce their salt intake to no more than 5g per day by 2022 95% of packaged ice cream to contain no more than 250 kcal per serving by 2025 50% virgin plastic reduction by 2025, including an absolute reduction of 100,000 tonnes 25% recycled plastic by 2025 Collect and process more plastic than we sell by 2025 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025 Maintain zero non- hazardous waste to landfill in our factories Halve food waste in our operations by 2025
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – IN TR O D U C IN G U N ILEV ER 11Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Win with our brands as a force for good, powered by purpose and innovation Improve people’s health, confidence and wellbeing Contribute to a fairer and more socially inclusive world Our responsible business fundamentals Business integrity Safety at work Employee wellbeing Product safety and quality Responsible innovation Responsible advertising and marketing Safeguarding data Engaging with stakeholders Responsible taxpayer Committed to transparency Health and wellbeing Pages 21, 31, 35 Equity, diversity and inclusion Pages 28, 30, 35 Raise living standards Pages 30, 35 Future of work Pages 19, 30, 35 Take action through our brands to improve health and wellbeing and advance equity and inclusion, reaching 1 billion people per year by 2030. We will focus on: ▪ Gender equity ▪ Race and ethnicity equity ▪ Body confidence and self-esteem ▪ Mental wellbeing ▪ Hand hygiene ▪ Sanitation ▪ Oral health ▪ Skin health and healing Achieve an equitable and inclusive culture by eliminating any bias and discrimination in our practices and policies Accelerate diverse representation at all levels of leadership 5% of our workforce to be made up of people with disabilities by 2025 Spend €2 billion annually with diverse businesses worldwide by 2025 Increase representation of diverse groups in our advertising Help equip 10 million young people with essential skills by 2030 Pioneer new models to provide our employees with flexible employment options by 2030 Reskill or upskill our employees with future-fit skills by 2025 Ensure that everyone who directly provides goods and services to Unilever will earn at least a living wage or income by 2030 Help 5 million small and medium-sized enterprises grow their business by 2025
12 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 21 7 8 6 Our business model Building on our relationships and resources, our business model allows us to create sustained value for our key stakeholders. What we depend on... Consumer insights We track changing consumer sentiment through our 37 People Data Centres around the world, combining social listening with traditional consumer research. What we do... Innovation Our marketing and R&D teams use these insights plus the best ideas and thinking from specialists outside Unilever to develop our brands and products. We spent €847 million on R&D in 2021. Consumer use 3.4 billion people use our products every day. Sales We use many channels to make our brands available to consumers in around 190 countries wherever and whenever they shop. Marketing We're one of the largest advertisers globally, based on media spend. Our purposeful and inclusive brands connect with consumers. All underpinned by the management of our principal risks Pages 46 to 50 Relationships Purposeful people Our 148,000 talented people give their skills and time in Unilever offices, factories, R&D laboratories and tea estates – increasingly working in more flexible and agile ways. Pages 18-19 Trusted suppliers Around 53,000 supplier partners in 150 countries source materials and provide critical services for us. Pages 27-28 Committed partners Our relationships with governments, customers, NGOs and other organisations around the world help us to increase our impact. Pages 25-31 Resources Input materials We use thousands of tonnes of agricultural raw materials, packaging materials and chemicals for our products. Pages 29-30, 141 Financial resources Capital from our financial stakeholders allows us to invest for the long term. Pages 144-148 Intangible assets The strength of our 400+ brands, our R&D capabilities and intellectual property such as patents and trade marks set us apart. Pages 136-138, 172 Owned and leased assets We occupy around 280 factories, 270 offices and 450 logistics warehouses globally. Pages 138-141
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – IN TR O D U C IN G U N ILEV ER 13Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 3 5 4 What we do... Sourcing Each year we buy raw materials and packaging materials worth €21 billion to make our products, as well as €14 billion in services (including media) to help our business run. Manufacturing Our factories and third- party manufacturers turn materials into the products we sell. Logistics A global network of logistics warehouses deliver our products to millions of retail outlets. The value we create for... Shareholders We aim to deliver consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible growth. Pages 15-17 Our people We aim to reward people fairly for the work they do, while helping them find their purpose so they become the best they can be at Unilever. Pages 18-19 Consumers We aim to provide superior-quality products and purposeful brands that take action on the issues that matter to people and planet. Pages 20-24 Customers We partner with large and small retailers around the world to grow our business and theirs. Pages 25-26 Suppliers & business partners We partner with thousands of suppliers to help innovate our products and support mutual and sustainable growth. Pages 27-28 Planet & society We aim to improve the health of the planet while contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world. Pages 29-31 Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals
Review of the year Here we describe the value we created for our stakeholders in 2021, our performance and how we’re managing the key risks to our business. Review of the year 15 Shareholders 18 Our people 20 Consumers 25 Customers 27 Suppliers & business partners 29 Planet & society 32 Our performance 36 Financial review 44 Our risks 51 Additional non-financial information - Climate change disclosures - Other non-financial disclosures
Shareholders We're delivering competitive growth by focusing on our strategic choices. 2021 was an unpredictable and challenging year, with cost inflation and continued disruption from Covid-19. As Covid rates spiked and restrictions were imposed and then eased in different countries at different times, we worked to manage disruption to our supply chains, building on our experience from 2020. Our performance in 2021 We delivered underlying sales growth of 4.5% in 2021. Our growth was broad-based, with all three Divisions growing. We achieved this while maintaining our competitiveness with 53% of our business winning share. While our pricing and savings programmes helped to offset some of the impact of mounting input costs, our underlying operating margin was down 10bps at 18.4%. Free cash flow remained healthy at €6.4 billion, albeit down from record levels last year. For more details on our performance see the Financial review on pages 36 to 43. Five strategic choices for growth In early 2021, we set out in detail the Unilever Compass strategy to deliver our vision. The five clear, sharpened choices we have made in our Compass strategy – portfolio, brands, markets, channels and culture – along with the continued delivery of our 5 Growth Fundamentals, have been playing an important role in building momentum across the business. Developing our portfolio into high growth spaces Our investments in high growth spaces continued in 2021. As well as our established businesses in hygiene and skin care where we continue to drive science-based innovation (see pages 20 to 24), we’re building sizeable new businesses in areas such as Prestige beauty, Functional nutrition and Plant-based foods, which are contributing to our growth. Our Prestige beauty business, now including the digitally-led cruelty-free Paula’s Choice brand which we acquired in 2021, delivered strong double-digit growth in 2021 and reached €1 billion turnover if we include a full year of Paula’s Choice.(a) Functional nutrition is another area of focus for our portfolio transformation into high growth spaces. It includes Horlicks and our Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements (VMS) brands such as Olly, Liquid I.V., and Onnit, a leading brand in the fast-growing area of nootropics, acquired in 2021. Functional nutrition grew double-digit in 2021 and reached €1.5 billion turnover if we include a full year of Onnit.(a) We're also expanding our plant-based portfolio to meet growing consumer demand – see page 22. In November 2021, we announced that we had entered into an agreement to sell our global Tea business, now known as ekaterra, to CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII for €4.5 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis. The transaction excludes Unilever’s tea business in India, Nepal and Indonesia as well as the Pepsi Lipton ready-to-drink tea joint ventures and associated distribution businesses. We expect to complete this transaction in the second half of 2022, subject to receiving regulatory approvals and completing works council consultation processes. Once we dispose of eketerra, our portfolio rotation will be equivalent to 17% of our 2021 turnover since 2017.(b) Winning with our brands as a force for good, powered by purpose and innovation We hold clear global leadership positions in seven categories; and in a further two, we lead in terms of volume sold but not yet value. We’ve stepped up our investments in science and technology to strengthen the quality and efficacy of our products – 95% of the turnover we've tested was equal or better than the main competitor product, with 71% winning outright. (c) Insights from testing help us improve product performance through innovation. Focusing our R&D activities on fewer and bigger projects is also bringing innovations to market faster. In total, our innovation programme helped to deliver €1 billion in incremental turnover in 2021 – double that of 2020. See pages 20 to 24 for more on our brands and innovation. "We're focused on driving faster growth from our strong portfolio of brands and markets." Alan Jope Chief Executive Officer STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 15Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
Our focus on winning with brands and innovation saw our 13 €1 billion brands – also among our most purposeful – grow in aggregate by over 6% in 2021. These brands now make up half of our total turnover. See pages 20 to 24 for more on brands with purpose and how we're building our marketing capability. Accelerating in USA, India, China and key growth markets Around 36% of our turnover is from three markets: the US, India and China. Having a strong brand and category presence here is key to our future growth, as these countries are predicted to account for well over half of global economic growth by 2030. To strengthen and expand our business in these priority markets, we’re growing our core brands, transforming our portfolio to capitalise on high growth opportunities and growing our digital and eCommerce channel presence. US The US is our largest market and we grew 3.7% in 2021 against a very strong prior year comparator. Delivering breakthrough technology innovations through our purposeful brands such as Dove, and scaling our recently acquired brands such as Olly and SheaMoisture, has helped to drive the growth of our US business. Data-driven customer partnerships are also unlocking further opportunities, such as exclusive bath range launches with two US retailers. Our US business continues to benefit from our portfolio transformation into higher growth areas such as Functional nutrition and Prestige beauty – building on the strength of brands such as Liquid I.V. and Living Proof. The growth of eCommerce in the US continued in 2021 – enabled by an increased focus on innovations designed for channel and strengthened digital capabilities. India Our Hindustan Unilever (HUL) business is India’s largest FMCG company. We delivered a strong all-round performance, growing at 13.4%. We’re growing our core brands by focusing on superior products and purpose. Surf excel, for instance, continued to build relevance through our iconic ‘Dirt is Good’ campaign and delivered strong performance. And Lifebuoy strengthened our market leadership as the number one soap brand in India, building on its hygiene credentials (see page 31). HUL has a strong track record of building scale in new categories through market development, by moving consumers to new products with added benefits – such as liquid detergents, functional tea with wellness benefits and body wash. Brands such as Surf excel, Dove and TRESemmé are responding to the needs of consumers and leading premiumisation. The newly formed Premium Beauty Business unit within HUL will strengthen our presence in the fast-growing masstige beauty segment. The premium portfolio performed well in 2021. We made significant progress on the integration of the Horlicks portfolio. Our focus now is on building category relevance and growing penetration – through innovations in the high science range, such as Diabetes Plus, as well as a step up in marketing and communications, home visits to promote products and the introduction of affordable packs. Our eCommerce sales in India saw double-digit growth in 2021. We're also reaching more small retail stores through digital channels – our eB2B app Shikhar is now used by over 700,000 retailers. Through direct-to-consumer platforms, we’re expanding our digital footprint further. The iconic beauty brand Lakme, for instance, is the most followed Indian beauty brand on Instagram with around 30% of its sales in 2021 through digital channels. China China has grown into our third-largest market by fulfilling diverse and constantly changing consumer needs – doubling in size over the last decade. We grew by 14.3% in 2021. Our success in China is built on our core brands – including Knorr, OMO, Dove and CLEAR – which are combining product superiority and brand purpose to expand penetration and sales. Transforming the portfolio is also key to unlocking future growth opportunities, such as in personal and home hygiene and masstige, and by premiumising brands such as Vaseline which has evolved from a basic body care range to cover whole body expert skin healing. We’re also expanding our Prestige beauty and VMS offerings with a selective roll-out of brands such as SmartyPants. Sales through eCommerce in China grew double-digit in 2021. Further eCommerce growth is expected as penetration increases in lower-tier cities. Partnerships with eCommerce platforms such as JD.com and Alibaba (see page 25) and expanding reach to newer channels such as live streaming and social commerce, will continue this upward trend. Leading in the channels of the future We’re increasingly designing products and organising our business for eCommerce by working with partners such as Amazon and Alibaba as well as large retailers who are expanding their footprint across a range of digital commerce channels. Our eCommerce sales grew by 44% in 2021 and accounted for 13% of our total turnover – we see no sign of this shift reversing (see page 37 for a definition of eCommerce sales). We sell around 50% of our Prestige beauty products, for example, through eCommerce channels, including direct to consumer. See page 25 for more. With our innovation and merchandising strategies firmly rooted in shopper insights, we'll continue to adapt at speed to trends, such as consumers wanting quick and delicious food delivered to their door. Our Ice Cream Now platform for instant ice cream delivery, for example, grew by 60% in 2021. We’re also increasingly using digital sales platforms with our customers, both large and small. See page 26 for more on our eB2B growth. Shareholders continued 16 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
Building a purpose-led, future-fit organisation and growth culture We believe that when employees are clear on their purpose in life and how this connects to the work they do, they’re more engaged and willing to go the extra mile. Working with purpose is at the heart of our culture – see page 19. This also helps us attract the very best people, as evidenced by our status as number one FMCG employer of choice for graduates and early career talent in over 50 markets. More agile application of technology alongside simpler ways of working will help us stay one step ahead of consumer trends. We’re continuing to speed up our ways of working, building our eCommerce capabilities and automating back- office processes – see pages 19 and 25 for examples. We’re also reskilling and upskilling our people, and embracing hybrid ways of work to prepare for the future of work – see pages 18 to 19. In January 2022 we announced changes to our organisational model to make us a simpler, more category-focused business – see pages 6 to 7 for more. (a) Prestige beauty and Functional nutrition turnover for 2021 calculated as if Paula's Choice and Onnit respectively, had been acquired on 1 January 2021. (b) Portfolio rotation is the 2021 turnover from any acquisitions completed since 2017 (including a full year of turnover for 2021 acquisitions) plus the last twelve months' of turnover from our disposals since 2017 (including eketerra) as a percentage of our 2021 turnover. (c) Based on tests of our top products in 60 countries over the past three years to benchmark product superiority (turnover weighted). STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 17Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
Our people Our people are the heartbeat of Unilever – when they thrive, our business thrives. This year reinforced the importance of being a safe, inclusive and supportive place to work for our 148,000 employees. Around 90,000 people took part in our UniVoice employee survey this year. We sustained very high engagement levels – 82% in offices and 83% in factories – which places us in the top quartile for employee engagement compared to industry benchmarks. Protecting health, safety and wellbeing Alongside safety at work, supporting our people’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing has never been more important. Supporting our people through the pandemic We’ve continued to help our people protect themselves from the virus by working to remove barriers to testing and encouraging vaccinations to keep our workplaces as safe and productive as possible. We ensured that thousands of our employees received medical care through our own facilities and healthcare resources, telehealth options or connections to community resources, and supported the colleagues and families of those we sadly lost to Covid. We continued promoting healthy living and working for all our employees. To help people get the medical support they need, for example we now offer triage services in India and the UK. We launched a new digital tool in four countries that helps people identify their risk of type 2 diabetes, followed by a 12-month programme to reduce those risks. Participants in our Brazil and Mexico pilots have reported improvements to their quality of life and sleep, as well as less stress and time off work due to ill health. We also intensified our focus on mental health, introducing online training in ten languages to help our people understand the impact of Covid on their mental health. More people used our Employee Assistance Programme this year, and our global network of mental health champions more than doubled to around 4,000 people. Our teams are using a new tool to assess their energy levels and better support each other. Due to these and other initiatives, the percentage of our people who feel Unilever cares about their wellbeing is rising: 85% in offices (81% in 2020) and 83% in factories (70% in 2019). Safety at work We continue to prioritise the safety of our people and contractors in everyday work situations – from using mechanical equipment to staying safe on the roads. Our 2021 UniVoice survey showed that over 90% of employees feel that Unilever is committed to their safety. We rolled out a new incident management tool which connects our sites around the world on a single digital platform. We also increased resources to ensure appropriate oversight for safety. Our Total Recordable Frequency Rate (TRFR) improved from 0.63 to 0.55 accidents per million hours worked (1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021), partly related to fewer accidents at Unilever offices due to continued working from home. Sadly however, fatalities continued to rise. In the reporting period, three contractors and four employees lost their lives. Two contractors were fatally electrocuted at one of our sites in Pakistan in one event; and a contractor in Hungary lost their life in a construction incident. Two employees were struck by lightning in separate incidents in Kenya and Tanzania. And two employees were involved in a fatal car accident in India. When fatalities occur, our first priority is to support the emotional and physical needs of the families and team members of the individuals involved. We work with local law enforcement, communities and regulators to fully investigate the root cause and determine further preventative measures. See our website for more on safety at work New ways of working The world of work is changing. Our 2021 employee survey showed that around three-quarters of our people believe we have become simpler, faster and more agile in the last 12 months. Covid-19 has been a catalyst to expand flexible and more inclusive ways of working. We’re rethinking how we work as an employer. The fact that the satisfaction and connection levels of new employees have risen since our last pre-Covid survey is testament to the effectiveness of our evolved ways of working. So we’ve moved to a hybrid model for our office-based employees. This means thinking about work as what people do, not where they do it – with our offices as collaboration spaces and people able to work where they’ll be most effective. Our global guiding principles for hybrid working state that we expect our employees to spend at least 40% of their time in the office. We’re also pioneering new ways of working which both unlock capacity and help individuals find a meaningful and balanced way of working. Our AI-powered internal talent marketplace, Flex, allows us to match the skills needed for projects to people, regardless of where they sit in the organisation. It helped us reprioritise more than 110,000 hours to around 1,350 critical projects in 2021. In addition we have flexible working options like job-sharing or paid learning sabbaticals. Our people now have the option to work as a contractor on a project-by-project basis through the 'U-Work' programme in seven countries. This gives them the flexibility associated with contract roles and they are paid a monthly retainer fee with a core set of benefits. 18 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
No1 FMCG employer of choice for graduates and early career talent in over 50 markets Skills for the future We’re creating a culture of learning across Unilever, upskilling and reskilling our people for jobs of the future. Our employees accessed the Degreed learning platform over 4.2 million times during 2021. In our latest employee survey, 83% of our people in offices and 77% of our people in factories said they believe Unilever gives them a chance to upgrade their skills for a successful future. In 2021, we focused on building critical digital commerce skills throughout our business, including an eCommerce accelerator hub and bootcamp for our customer development teams and enhancing digital access in our factories to ensure our people have future-fit capabilities. Our Future of Work in Manufacturing programme gave frontline workers access to technology that enables shared learning on the job and better processes and communications. This is an important step towards our factories becoming the efficient digital workplaces we’ll need for our future growth. Our ultimate goal is for no one to be left behind as the world of work continues to change. In December 2021, we held our first Future of Work conference to share our progress and learnings and build alliances with forward-thinking companies. We’re also aiming to help equip 10 million young people with essential skills for jobs by 2030 – see page 30 for more. See our website for more on the future of work Nurturing our growth culture We see a human, purposeful and accountable culture that is rooted in our values as essential to our purpose-led and future-fit organisation. Using our future-fit plans, our people are shaping development and career plans based on their purpose – we've made a good start by upskilling or reskilling 7% of our people in 2021. We now have statistical evidence from ongoing research led by the London School of Economics of the link between purpose and intrinsic motivation, based on data from 3,500 employees across 14 countries. Equity, diversity and inclusion We also want to be a workplace in which everyone feels they belong and are able to thrive. This means creating an inclusive culture free from the barriers that limit people in reaching their true potential. We've identified four equity, diversity and inclusion priorities – gender, race and ethnicity, people with disabilities and LGBTQI+ communities. This is where we will put our global focus to address under-representation and overcome possible challenges in career progression and to foster a greater sense of inclusion. We’re building the capabilities of our business leaders and HR practitioners to support equity advocacy, diversity awareness and psychological safety in their teams. We’re working to build a better understanding of the diversity of our workforce in order to identify specific community needs. For example, we've conducted a cultural assessment and focus groups with over 2,000 employees in Brazil, India and the UK to explore attitudes and barriers around disability inclusion in Unilever. Our LGBTQI+ employee network has increased to over 1,000 members, and we're continuing to expand it to increase advocacy for human rights and safe havens for this community. Our race and ethnicity strategy is focused on four markets (Brazil, South Africa, the UK and US). These are leading our work to make our recruitment practices more equitable by increasing the representation of black and brown people, building more inclusive and equitable cultures, and expanding local partnerships and advocacy. Our gender balance at management level changed slightly in 2021, with women now accounting for 52% of all management employees. Our work continues to increase the representation of women, particularly at senior levels. This year, we reintroduced a tool that uses a mix of behavioural science and data to raise awareness of senior leaders’ hiring patterns and unconscious bias in decision-making. See page 64 for our gender balance statistics. See our website for more on equity, diversity and inclusion Working with integrity Our focus is on growth in line with our values, not on growth at any cost. We review our Code of Business Principles and Code Policies every year to ensure they reflect the current operating context and the latest legal requirements. In 2021, we further strengthened our Code Policies on data security and fraud. Our zero-tolerance approach to bribery continues to be supported through mandatory training and initiatives delivered to all employees. We train our people every year to prevent compliance breaches, and they’re able to report in confidence any concerns around business integrity through our 24/7 Speak Up platform. In 2021, we continued to simplify and improve the whistleblowing process for users through expansion of local hotlines and interpreting services. On our website, we report the number of Code cases and subsequent actions for each of our five Code themes including countering corruption – covering amongst other things anti- bribery and avoiding conflicts of interest. This year, across all areas of our Code of Business Principles, we received 1,275 Code reports, closed 1,246 reports (including some from prior years) and confirmed 694 reports as breaches, which led to 369 people leaving the business. Our data on Code breaches provides insights into issues and where they happen so that we can prevent behaviours that lead to them. See our website for more on business integrity STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 19Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
Consumers Our brands are evolving to meet the changing needs of consumers all over the world. Value and values With some countries emerging from lockdown and others living with Covid-related restrictions in 2021, many of the consumer trends we saw last year continued. Consumers are thinking more carefully about everything from what they put in, and on, their bodies to what they use to clean their homes with. Shoppers also continue to be increasingly discerning – looking for highly effective products, with ingredients that are good for them and good for the environment. There is now compelling evidence that brands with purpose grow. Our own research shows a strong correlation between brand purpose and brand attractiveness – referred to as brand power – which in turn drives market share and growth. Other independent research from Kantar shows that the category of most sustainable shoppers who are highly concerned about the environment, is now around 1 in 5 of the global adult population – with the potential to reach 1 in 3 by 2024. Even as some countries relaxed restrictions and people started to spend more time out of the home, online shopping and the demand for convenience stayed strong – e-everything is here to stay. Many people chose to stay home even when they had other options – continuing to cook at home instead of eating out, for example. The varying impact of the pandemic has also led to some shoppers treating themselves to more premium products while others are increasingly cost-conscious, looking for the best-performing products they can afford. Despite the price increases brought about by commodity inflation, we continued to offer value for everyone. To capitalise on these consumer trends, we’re building our marketing capability to support the growth of our brands. We're particularly focused on digital marketing which now makes up to 40% of our media spend. And we’re harnessing new AI-powered innovation tools to spot trends early and test new product concepts. Against this dynamic backdrop, our three Divisions worked to anticipate and meet consumers’ needs with their products and purpose-led brands. Beauty & Personal Care We want to be the most positive beauty business in the world for people and the planet. We believe in beauty that not only does less harm, but also does more good – beauty that’s both inclusive and sustainable. To achieve our new Positive Beauty vision, we’re using our scale to create positive change and drive growth through our big brands, impactful innovation and portfolio transformation. Growing our core brands Dove grew strongly this year reaching €5 billion turnover, supported by renovation of its core products, such as Dove Care & Protect which is now available in 50 countries with clinically proven, superior moisturisation. Dove also launched the premium Hair Therapy range, combining expert hair care solutions with skin care-inspired ingredients. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of hygiene, and our brands continued to meet this need, despite the slowdown in the sale of hand sanitisers which affected the growth of Lifebuoy and Suave. Lifebuoy’s handwashing campaigns continued to raise awareness and contributed to a large increase in brand power – a measure of brand attractiveness – and its ranking as the third most chosen FMCG brand in the world by Kantar. Lux relaunched its core soap bars and body washes with superior benefits, such as long-lasting fragrance. Rexona relaunched its core deodorant range with 72-hour non-stop protection against sweat and body odour. And our male grooming brand Axe refreshed its identity to celebrate and represent all types of attraction, in addition to a major reformulation that fights odour instead of masking it. Impactful innovation We’re anticipating future consumer needs by focusing our innovations on fewer projects with bigger impact. This year, we’ve scaled our industry-leading pro-lipid technology which helps to nourish skin from within. Developed by our dermatology scientists, it's now available across our biggest skin care brands such as Dove, Vaseline, and Pond’s. In focus Saying no to normal As part of our commitment to challenging narrow beauty ideals, we’re eliminating the use of the word ‘normal’ across all our Beauty & Personal Care products and communications, globally. We'll end any digital alteration to change a person’s body shape, size, proportion or skin colour across all advertising material, and increase the number of advertisements portraying people from diverse groups. Our brands are already putting this commitment into action. Dove’s Reverse Selfie campaign launched in 2021 to highlight the effect retouching apps have on girls’ self-esteem. And Sunsilk released a music video in Turkey featuring inspiring women who are breaking the mould. 20 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
With over 100 patents on the human microbiome, a number of our product innovations in 2021 focused on enhancing the body’s own repair and defences by using natural ingredients. For example, our reformulated Dove Body Wash uses a gentle formulation to support a healthy skin microbiome. We’re also dialling up our innovation partnerships to anticipate future consumer needs. The digital Uni-Excubator we launched in 2020 in China has been giving start-ups unique access to our insights and expertise in areas such as technology, sustainability and distribution networks. In return we've harnessed their skills and agility to help our brands grow. We're partnering with Alibaba’s Tmall platform which is hosting the Uni-Excubator’s flagship store, Uni-Topia Planet, showcasing exclusive new beauty and personal care products and driving sales through its channel. Portfolio transformation We're building a sizeable Prestige beauty business, a key part of our strategy to evolve our portfolio into high growth spaces. Prestige is growing fast, with turnover of €1 billion in 2021 if we include a full year of Paula’s Choice, a digitally led, cruelty- free skin care brand. The growth of Prestige was supported by new innovations from Dermalogica, REN – and Hourglass with a breakthrough red lipstick that offers consumers a vegan alternative to the red pigment traditionally made from crushed beetles. Skin care grew single-digit in 2021. Potential in the category is high, but there is more we need to do to fully capitalise on the opportunity. By targeting our top markets with breakthrough innovations such as pro-lipids, as well as locally relevant brand purpose activities, we’re already seeing strong growth of brands such as Vaseline which performed strongly in 2021, supported by a number of premium innovations across skin brightening, therapeutics and hydration. Good growth also came from brands such as Pond's which continues to offer more premium ranges. We continued to expand our presence across eCommerce channels – eCommerce sales accounted for 16% of our Beauty & Personal Care turnover in 2021. We're also looking at digital commerce and capitalising on this growth in a number of ways. For example, through our new Positive Beauty Growth Platform which aims to partner with start-ups and scale-ups from around the world on cutting-edge projects. Our initial invitation for pitches focused on the emerging channel of social commerce – from livestream shopping to gaming. We’re now working with the shortlisted applicants to partner with our brands. People positive We know that consumers want health and beauty products which they feel represent them. So we’re focused on growing our global portfolio of brands that are inclusive and care for all skin, hair and body types, championing the diversity of beauty. As well as saying ‘no to normal’, our Beauty & Personal Care brands are using their power to serve more diverse communities and break down stereotypes and prejudice. As hair can be a source of discrimination for people from different races and ethnicities, we’re working to help people make the most of all hair types. By pinpointing the proteins that differ in curly and straight hair, we were able to launch one of the first product ranges – Nexxus Curl Define in the US – which caters to each hair type's specific needs. In line with its purpose to give people the confidence to move more, Degree piloted the world’s first prototype deodorant designed to be easier for people with disabilities to use. Alongside this, to get audiences thinking differently about sportspeople, the brand also released short films featuring diverse athletes defying stereotypes. See page 30 for more on how Beauty & Personal Care brands worked to improve health and wellbeing and advance equity and inclusion in 2021. Planet positive We’re committed to doing less harm and more good for the natural world by protecting and regenerating 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the effect of the products they buy on the environment – and especially plastic pollution. Towards our goal to use less, better and no plastic, our oral care ranges, starting with France in 2021, began rolling out recyclable toothpaste tubes. And Dove launched 'buy once, refill for life' aluminium deodorant sticks. For more on plastic, see page 29. "Positive Beauty isn’t just about doing the right thing for the planet, it’s also helping to grow our business too." Sunny Jain President, Beauty & Personal Care €5bn Dove grew high single-digit in 2021 and reached another turnover milestone STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 21Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
in all 55 markets, both in foodservice and retail. The latest addition to its meat alternatives is the Patty on the Back burger, a breakthrough plant-based burger. Not only is the burger lower in calories and fat than meat, it’s higher in fibre and iron and has similar salt levels. Our plant-based ice cream range continued to grow with brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, Breyers, Cornetto, Carte D’Or and Swedish Glace offering non-dairy options. With Magnum’s Vegan Sea Salt Caramel winning a PETA Vegan Food Award in 2021, all the brand’s vegan flavours are now award- winning. Certified vegan non-dairy now makes up over 25% of Ben & Jerry’s pint flavours in the US. We’re also using cutting-edge food science to find alternative proteins and new ways to cook without meat. In Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, we launched Rinde Más, a blend of herbs, spices, vegetables and protein that gives cooks an affordable way to reduce the meat in their dishes. We’ve also begun working with food-tech company ENOUGH to develop new plant-based products based on mycoprotein – from a process that uses 93% less water, 97% less feed and 97% less carbon than meat. We were again named by investor network FAIRR as a pioneer in sustainable protein research and innovation and ranked number one in its protein transition index for 2021. See our website for more on plant-based foods Growing our channel footprint We’re finding new ways to make our brands available to consumers, wherever they are. Sales through eCommerce continue to grow, and accounted for 9% of our Foods & Refreshment turnover in 2021. Our Ice Cream Now business caters to the rise of 'in-home' eating, by quickly delivering our brands to consumers in 35 countries, growing 60% in 2021. And our out-of-home professional foodservices business, Unilever Food Solutions (UFS), grew double-digit in 2021 despite the ongoing impact of restrictions. UFS is now working with cloud kitchens – commercial kitchens that prepare and cook food purely for delivery – such as Casper, a cloud kitchen pioneer in Belgium, where we provide a range of products from our Vegetarian Butcher portfolio, as well as specific ingredients and flavours. "We’re improving the health of the planet by changing what’s on our plates." Hanneke Faber President, Foods & Refreshment As part of our support for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics, we’ve continued to work alongside regulatory authorities, NGOs and like-minded companies to share science and advocate the use of non-animal approaches for safety testing. Requests for new animal tests in Europe threaten the European Union’s ban on animal testing for cosmetics. Dove and our other 27 PETA-approved brands united with The Body Shop and animal protection organisations to campaign to save cruelty-free cosmetics. Regulatory changes in China have allowed for the import of more cosmetic products without the requirement for animal testing, meaning more consumers will be able to enjoy our beauty products. Foods & Refreshment We're on a mission to be a world-class force for good in food. Our brands continue to provide great-tasting, nutritious and sustainable foods for consumers all over the world – using our world-class innovation and brand purpose to inspire change. Irresistible innovation During 2021 we continued to grow our core brands. Knorr, our biggest Foods & Refreshment brand grew high single- digit, supported by bigger innovations and a clear purpose. It launched its first zero salt bouillon in Europe – now available in ten markets, offering cooks unique blends of vegetables, herbs and spices, while supporting our goal to reduce salt intake. Its purpose to ‘reinvent food for humanity’, inspired the inaugural Eat for Good day, which aims to empower 'Eativists' who want to make a difference to the world through their food choices, as well as building brand awareness. And the ‘future- proof your recipe’ platform on Recipedia, where consumers can share Future 50 Foods recipe ideas, is expanding to other countries after a successful launch in Mexico. Hellmann’s, the world’s number one mayonnaise, grew double-digit for the second year in succession. Continuing its mission to inspire 100 million people to waste less food, its 2021 Superbowl campaign led to increased brand awareness and a boost in sales. And Hellmann’s vegan mayonnaise, now available in 33 markets, launched three new flavours – Baconnaise, Chipotle and Garlic. While varying levels of restrictions around the world affected our sales of out-of-home ice cream in 2021, our ice cream brands grew mid-single digit – as Ben & Jerry’s (now a €1 billion brand), Wall's and Magnum continued to offer much- loved favourites and new flavours, such as Magnum's Double Gold Caramel Billionaire – available in 35 markets. Not only an indulgent ice cream, it comes in 100% recycled plastic tubs developed with advanced recycling technology which is now being rolled out to other brands. Expanding our plant-based portfolio We continued to step up our plant-based offerings through a number of our brands. Our plant-based meat and dairy replacement business saw strong double-digit growth in 2021 in pursuit of €1 billion annual sales by 2025-2027. This was primarily driven by The Vegetarian Butcher, which is growing Consumers continued 22 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
Home Care We're making people’s homes a better world, and our world a better home. As we work to make the lives of the people who buy our products easier, cleaner and safer, we’re also leading our industry towards a cleaner future through the power of science and innovation. Our relentless focus on meeting consumer needs with superior products has fuelled the steady and competitive growth of many of our brands. Powering growth through Clean Future We know people want to clean their homes and clothes without damaging the planet. We’re making good progress in transforming some of the world's most well-known household brands to disinfect, clean, freshen up and remove stains better than ever while lowering their carbon emissions and waste, in line with our ‘Clean Future’ strategy. Our biggest Home Care brand, Dirt is Good (also known as OMO, Surf Excel, Persil or Skip) is key to our Clean Future ambitions – and leads the transformation of our entire Home Care business. It launched a successful new liquid range that uses plant-based stain removers without compromising on performance. It’s suitable for low-temperature washing, with a lower GHG impact than laundry powders, and is packaged in mostly recycled plastic bottles. To help reduce its use of plastic packaging, Dirt is Good also rolled out a six times concentrated OMO dilute-at-home laundry liquid in our biggest laundry market, Latin America. It quickly became a top-seller in Argentina and Brazil. Not only does this make the brand affordable to more consumers, it also uses around 70% less plastic than a conventional 3-litre bottle, and is now more biodegradable. Dirt is Good grew mid single-digit in 2021 and increased its global brand power score, also winning WARC and Effie awards for the effective communication of its brand purpose to consumers. For more on our Clean Future innovations, see pages 31 and 52. Sunlight, one of our €1 billion brands, started to roll out a new plant-based formulation for its hand dishwash products across the world. With biodegradable active ingredients, it’s also proven to deliver a superior cleaning experience. In 2021, we entered a multi-year partnership with Arzeda to design new enzymes for our laundry and cleaning products, including OMO, Surf and Sunlight. Applying the latest advances in digital biology, the new enzymes have the potential to significantly reduce the number of ingredients we use, while delivering superior products, new cleaning benefits and a lower environmental footprint. See our website for more on our Clean Future strategy In focus Knorr: building a greener food future Our largest food brand continues to take bold and innovative steps towards healthier eating and a healthier planet. Through its new zero salt bouillon, its promotion of Future 50 Foods – a collection of nutritious and sustainable plant-based foods – and its new World Eat for Good day, the brand is encouraging people to swap out traditional ingredients for healthier ones. And now, through its new Grown for Good initiative, Knorr will create 50 regenerative agriculture projects to transform how its key ingredients are grown. The first three projects are looking at water preservation and soil health with key suppliers of tomatoes, rice and vegetables. Knorr grew high single-digit in 2021. A world-class force for good in food As one of the biggest consumer goods companies in the world, with a large Foods & Refreshment portfolio, we want to use our scale and reach to transform the food system – from the fields and farms where ingredients are grown, to the packaging that keeps food fresh. Our brands are working to protect and preserve natural habitats in the places their ingredients are produced. Knorr continues its work with farmers and growers through a new series of 50 projects. Part of our Climate & Nature Fund, it aims to establish regenerative agriculture sourcing for 80% of its key raw materials over five years. One project, for example, is using satellite data and digital sensors to help tomato farmers in the south of Spain optimise their water use and improve soil health through cover cropping. In Côte d’Ivoire, where the cocoa used by Magnum is grown by Rainforest Alliance farmers, the brand has planted 465,000 native trees and is working with farmers to tackle deforestation. For more on nature see pages 30 and 52. We’re meeting consumer demand for more sustainable packaging by using less, better or no plastic. Many of our foods brands already use 100% recycled plastic, such as Hellmann’s and Bango. And we’re now making progress in finding better ways to overcome technical challenges with sachets that are hard to recycle, for example by bringing out groundbreaking paper-based recyclable pouches for our Colman’s range in the UK. For more on plastic see page 29. STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 23Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
Responding to fast-changing hygiene habits People’s hygiene habits continued to evolve during the year, and with this came unpredictable and challenging market conditions for our cleaning and disinfecting brands. In this context, we decided to evolve and expand our portfolio to continue to meet consumers’ existing and future needs. Our leading toilet-cleaning brand Domestos now offers around-the-house disinfection with a range of sprays, foams, cleaning liquids and wipes – making these available to consumers in our top 30 markets. Lifebuoy home disinfectants, delivering 24 hours of disinfection with 100% natural cleaning ingredients, are now available in the UK, Germany, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. And in Indonesia we rolled out a new antibacterial Sunlight washing-up liquid that can be used without water and rinsing. Our air purification brand Blueair enjoyed a particularly strong year in 2021. Its latest innovation, HealthProtect, which provides protection against viruses and bacteria, supported a record year of growth for Blueair. The brand also made great strides in its Freedom to Breathe campaign which supports children’s right to clean air, after the Committee of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child acknowledged children’s right to clean air. Value through more convenient formats and channels Our Home Care brands have a long track record of helping consumers access more convenient formats which offer superior benefits and create more value in the market. Our market development activities have accelerated liquid detergent growth to double-digit in most of our key developing and emerging markets. And we’re moving consumers from laundry liquids to laundry capsules, so that they get the right dose of detergent every time. Our capsules business enjoyed strong growth, gaining share in most markets. And our OMO capsules became the second most popular laundry capsules in China, ranking first in offline channels. As more people turned to online shopping to conveniently buy their cleaning and laundry products during the pandemic, we’ve renewed our focus on growing our home care digital commerce business. We’ve also invested in a digital capability team, including a dedicated unit in the UK to create and launch ‘design for eCommerce’ innovations. Sales through eCommerce accounted for 16% of our Home Care turnover in 2021. We continue to focus on taking unproductive costs out of our business. Our 5S programme delivered €190 million of savings, helping us to invest in future shopping channels, product formats, media, consumer needs and sustainable innovation. "We’re radically transforming some of the most popular cleaning and laundry brands in the world to deliver great cleaning experiences with lower environmental impact." Peter ter Kulve President, Home Care Consumers continued 24 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
We work with our many retail partners to help them grow sustainably alongside Unilever. Customers Our products reach the hands of consumers through millions of retail outlets in around 190 countries. Our customer partners range from large traditional stores to online-only retailers, and from small family-owned shops to value retailers. As our gateway to the people who buy and use our products, these customer partners are critical to our success. A shifting retail landscape Our customers had to adapt throughout the year to changes in people’s buying habits as Covid-related restrictions came and went and shopping patterns shifted in different ways at different times around the world. One consistency was the ongoing growth of online retail – with consumers shopping more and more online and new groups of shoppers, such as older age groups, joining them. During the year, global supply chain and logistics challenges made it harder for retailers to predict product availability. So we focused on offering more proactive planning and strategic support and establishing new ways to help our partners of all sizes grow. Partnering for growth We survey our customers using the Advantage Group Survey to understand our strengths and where we need to improve. This year across the 34 markets we surveyed, we continued to improve customer satisfaction. We were told that customers value the quality of our consumer insights and that we’re improving in our service and supply. We were also rated leaders in sustainability. Based on these findings, we continue to improve our capabilities for closer collaboration, smoother processes, more powerful insights and solid business planning and execution. For instance, we're transforming our core business processes across functions by using technology and data to create a superior customer experience. Digital acceleration Despite the recent surge in digital commerce, only around a third of the world’s population shop online – which represents a huge opportunity for growth. We’re seeing the rise of new models like social commerce, where people shop through social media platforms, and quick commerce, where people expect to receive their orders in less than an hour. And we’re seeing continued growth through some of our biggest eCommerce partners, Amazon and Alibaba. Our eCommerce sales grew by 44% in 2021 and now represent 13% of our turnover. We’re investing significantly in our ability to fulfil online customer orders and our own technology, skills and capabilities in digital commerce. Our aim is to be the digital commerce partner of choice, helping our customers grow in the channels of the future. The power of our brands and marketing, our inclusive content and design, the strength of our supply chain and our focus on sustainability allows us to form unique partnerships. We’re a launch partner for Amazon as they expand into new markets – most recently Egypt and Poland where our products were available on the day of launch. As one of a select group of manufacturers in Amazon’s Tier 1 Global Vendor Program, we work closely together on retail, supply chain, media and sustainability initiatives around the world. Our offering under their Climate Pledge Friendly programme continues to expand, with over 700 items in the programme in 2021. More than half of these are certified as compact by design – lighter products that use less water and packaging, so need less energy to deliver and use. Our Amazon US Climate Pledge Friendly selection online accounted for 7% of our US eCommerce turnover in 2021 – and this will continue to be a key focus for the future. We partner with Alibaba across 13 markets. In China, our collaboration goes beyond core commerce into digital transformation across the value chain: from suppliers to marketing to consumer recycling. In March 2021, we launched a joint innovation centre in Hangzhou, China to quickly test, refine and scale product innovations. Our strategic partnership with Alibaba’s Lazada platform has helped our products reach consumers across South East Asia since 2017. We also see huge potential in Europe through AliExpress, Alibaba’s new local marketplace. STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 25Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
"In this rapidly changing environment, we are partnering with our customers big and small, digital and physical, to drive shopper loyalty and conversion." Keith Higgins Chief Customer Development Officer Strategic growth for large retail partners Most of our large retail partners are evolving from traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ stores to selling across a blend of channels (omnichannel), with digital commerce playing a significant role. This change in business model requires new ways of thinking about and reaching consumers. The shift has led to challenges around product distribution, availability, visibility and promotion for many of our large retail customers. In 2021, we ran pilots of location-based analytics in the US, UK and Netherlands allowing us to track how our products were performing store by store to help customers meet these challenges. We also launched a strategic growth initiative for our large retail customers. Through the Partners4Growth programme, we’re harnessing insights and foresights from our advanced shopper data analytics to help our customers create growth plans and make sure they have the right products in the right places at the right time. After piloting this approach to mutual growth with Walmart, Carrefour, Target and Ahold- Delhaize Benelux, we plan to expand to other key customers and ultimately bring all of the elements of our collaboration together in an integrated digital platform. Closer collaboration and insight-driven initiatives like these with our most valuable customers, alongside a focus on our biggest purpose-led brands, are helping us to further accelerate mutual growth. Helping small retailers become future-fit We believe that by helping smaller retailers engage with the digital economy, we can help them build more resilient and profitable businesses that also grow our sales. In 2021, we expanded our e-business-to-business (eB2B) platforms co-created and owned by Unilever, such as Shikhar in India, Compra Agora in Brazil and GoToko in Indonesia, to help small retailers meet the changing needs of today’s shoppers. We've added thousands of new customers each month to reach half of the 4.7 million small stores in the Asia, Latin America and Africa markets we directly serve. They also offer many of our smaller customers access to things like extended payment terms and cashless payments that help them keep their shelves stocked and increase their profits. We’re working with external researchers to independently assess the impact of three of our initiatives providing small- scale retailers in our value chain with access to finance, technology and training. These include Jaza Duka in Kenya, Siparis Direkt in Turkey and Kabisig Summits in the Philippines. The studies found that 68% of participants reported that their business grew as a result of being in the programmes. As the retail world moves more and more online, we’ll continue to invest in digital and financial inclusion for our small retailers everywhere. See page 30 for more on how we’re creating economic opportunities throughout our retail value chain. Selling with purpose With sustainability an important consideration in many consumers’ buying decisions, we’re working with our customers to deliver on our strategic priorities – such as climate action and health and wellbeing – while engaging consumers on these important issues. One example is our continued partnership with Alibaba to create China’s first large-scale closed-loop system of recycling machines. These use artificial intelligence to sort plastic packaging so that it can be fast- tracked for reuse – and consumers get ‘green points’ for their deposits, which they can use to plant trees or protect land. Another is the Hygiene 101 sale in the Philippines with Lazada, Shopee and Grab, where popular brands such as Lifebuoy handwash and Domex cleaner were sold with hygiene tips and vouchers to help spread good habits. This was part of a bigger campaign in partnership with the Philippine Public Health Association to create better hygiene behaviours. We’re also bringing our brands’ purposes to life in retail outlets. Through in-store campaigns and materials, we've now reached over 8 million points of sale display units. In focus Empowering small retailers through apps We’re expanding our e-business-to-business (eB2B) platforms to give our small retail customers a safe, non-contact way of interacting with us at convenient times to place orders, track stock and shipments, and see prices and promotions. Not only does this create a better experience for our customers, it helps them increase sales – our digitally enrolled customers grew by 4% more than offline-only stores in 2021. And we can use the data from these apps to predict sales, manage inventory, offer insight-based advice to retailers and improve our customer experience. Customers continued 26 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
Suppliers & business partners We’re working more closely with our many suppliers and partners around the world to deliver our strategy. Our supplier ecosystem includes millions of people around the world – from large multinationals to start-ups and small local producers who provide us with goods and services such as raw materials, logistics, advertising, professional services and much more. We also work with a range of business partners, including industry peers, innovation agencies, universities and joint ventures, to help unlock growth and find solutions that benefit our stakeholders. Stronger together Covid-related restrictions continued to challenge supply chains in 2021, with lockdowns affecting our suppliers’ businesses in many parts of the world. Commodities, packaging and transport all experienced high levels of inflation. There were shortages of agricultural raw materials, such as tomatoes, soybean oil and rapeseed oil, caused by extreme weather conditions. And globally, supply chains and services were put under pressure due to labour shortages. Meanwhile, consumer demand rebounded in many areas, calling for deeper collaboration, agility and innovation with our network of partners to secure supplies and stay resilient. To overcome these challenges, we spread production of products across our manufacturing network and held inventory closer to the consumer to ensure availability. We also enhanced our procurement approach: partnering with scoutbee, for example, to bring AI into our supplier discovery process to quicken, streamline and strengthen our search for partners – giving us a more resilient network. Partnerships fit for the future Our ongoing success rests on working with many innovative and purposeful businesses and offering them a great experience. We know that while our suppliers value our sustainability ambitions and the relationships they have with us, they want Unilever to be quicker, simpler and easier to work with. In 2021, we improved our partner experience through a new integrated supplier helpdesk with a single point of contact and faster query resolution times. We’ll be rolling out the helpdesk globally in 2022. We continue to invest in technology to enhance our supply chain, with digital transformation allowing us to re-engineer production lines and apply automation and AI to be more responsive and resilient. We developed an award-winning Covid-19 dashboard which uses real-time data and machine learning to monitor and predict trends down to site level. This helped us identify and manage risks in our operations. We’ve also created a version of the dashboard to share with our supply chain partners. Our Virtual Ocean Control Tower also proved indispensable in mitigating the effects of the Suez Canal blockage in 2021, giving us real-time visibility of sea cargo location, container details and estimated time of arrival. This helps our logistics, planning and procurement teams minimise delays and makes our cross-border supply chain more efficient and resilient. Increases in speed and agility must not, of course, come at the expense of product quality. So we also introduced a new digital process for addressing quality defects with our raw ingredient and packaging supply partners. This is allowing us to better track, analyse and manage quality issues, and we’ll be rolling this out to all factories and supply partners in 2022. We know we need to bring more collaborative technology to our relationships with our suppliers, and are working to increase the speed and scale of platforms and processes like this one."Through purpose-led partnerships, we’re innovating and finding new opportunities to accelerate growth and scale industry transformation." Reginaldo Ecclissato Chief Business Operations Officer STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 27Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
From strategy to action Our direct suppliers are the gateway to the millions of people in our wider supply chain. So they’re critical to building a more inclusive world, slowing climate change, and protecting natural resources. We simply can’t do these things without them. We’ve started to turn our strategy into action by working with our partners on pilots, roadmaps, capability building and information sharing. At the very end of 2020, we launched our Partner with Purpose programme to help us find innovative and impactful ways to deliver on our ambitious commitments with our supply partners and generate mutual growth. Throughout 2021, we held a series of global and market- specific virtual events to share our strategy and commitments and recognise supplier contributions. In August, we launched our Partner Promise Programme to encourage suppliers to begin their own sustainability journeys, initially in three critical areas: climate, supplier diversity and living wage. Reducing emissions through our supply chain In 2020, we set out our ambition to achieve net zero emissions across our value chain by 2039.(a) This is a collective challenge, and an urgent one. Our suppliers bring critical climate action innovations to us. Through our partnership with Neste, for example, we’re exploring new sources of renewable and recycled carbon for our cleaning product formulations. In June, we joined forces with Coca-Cola and Colgate-Palmolive in AB InBev’s 100+ accelerator to push sustainable innovation in climate, water, packaging and sustainable agriculture in supply chains. We began five pilots to test innovations in sustainable packaging, water and energy – for example, converting food waste into animal feed in East Africa and repurposing brewery grains for packaging materials in China. We also take part in groups with similar ambitions, such as Transform to Net Zero and the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, to learn from others and share our own experience to help accelerate climate action in supply chains. For more on how we're working with our suppliers see page 53. See our website for more on partnering with suppliers to deliver net zero Dialling up diversity Having a more diverse supply chain not only helps shape a fairer and more socially inclusive world – it allows us to unlock innovation and agility and better address the needs of our diverse consumers. Despite the volatility of the year, we made progress on our commitment to help our suppliers improve their own diversity and increase our spend with diverse suppliers. Our first step was to understand where we’re starting from and begin tracking our spend. We ran our first global survey to map our spending with diverse businesses and are now working on validating our data and assessing which procurement categories should be prioritised. Our technology partner for finding new suppliers, scoutbee, has also added diversity to its search criteria – reinforcing this as a critical element we look for in all potential suppliers. We expanded our supplier diversity programmes in North America and South Africa and began new ones in seven other countries – the UK, Ireland, India, Thailand, Australia, Brazil and Kenya – where we’d identified conditions for good progress. For example, in the UK we’re working with Google, Dow and WPP on an accelerator programme to empower diverse businesses. And in Kenya, we began partnering with International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Sourcing2Equal, a three-year project helping women-owned small and medium businesses access corporate procurement opportunities. We spent €445 million with diverse suppliers in 2021, the first year of our ambitious goal to spend €2 billion annually by 2025. As a global commitment, this covers all markets – many with little or no infrastructure for supporting diverse businesses. So in 2021, we also invited 450 of our closest supply partners to commit to growing their own workforce and supplier diversity in order to start growing the demand for more diverse businesses. Responsible sourcing Partnerships based on clear standards of responsible sourcing strengthen our supply chain and the businesses within it. Our Responsible Sourcing Policy (RSP) sets out our commitment to conduct business with integrity, and with respect for universal human and labour rights as well as environmental sustainability. It’s a crucial part of the due diligence we undertake to identify and encourage remediation by suppliers of issues within our extended supply chain. In 2021, the proportion of our suppliers meeting the requirements of our RSP reached 81%. Our 2021 performance is not comparable to previous years as we now include new acquisitions that are not yet fully integrated into our systems. We risk-assess our suppliers against the RSP and require those we identify as high-risk to undergo an independent audit verifying they can meet our requirements. We require suppliers to put in place corrective actions to remedy any identified non-conformances so that they can remain compliant. This year, we improved the compliance process for new suppliers by ensuring that they only work with us once they confirm they can meet the requirements of our RSP. We’re strengthening our process for existing suppliers to ensure we only raise new purchase orders for those who remain RSP compliant. We’re launching a refreshed RSP in 2022 with an expanded focus on climate and nature – and a new requirement for suppliers to pay a living wage, which will be introduced progressively across different portfolios until it is mandatory for all by 2030 – see page 30 for more on living wage. See our website for more on responsible sourcing (a) The definition of ‘net zero’ is outlined in our Climate Transition Action Plan. See page 53 for further details on the scope of this goal. Suppliers & business partners continued 28 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 29Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Planet & society Our business simply will not prosper without a healthy planet and society. Our approach to sustainability continues to recognise the interconnection of the planet and society – and that sustainable business can be a driver of business performance. Improving the health of our planet As the UN announced ‘code red for humanity’ in 2021, the urgency of our work to tackle climate change, reduce plastic waste and protect nature has never been greater. Climate action We put our Climate Transition Action Plan (CTAP) to a shareholder vote at our AGM in May 2021. The plan received overwhelming support, with 99.59% of votes in favour. For more detail on progress against our CTAP during 2021 and our Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) statement, see pages 51 to 62. See our website for more on climate action A waste-free world We’re making progress towards our ambitious goals around virgin plastic reduction, recycled plastic use, making our packaging recyclable, and collection and processing of plastic. However, we know there is still a lot more to do. In just three years, we've increased our use of recycled plastic to approximately 17% of our total packaging portfolio (July 2020 to June 2021 – the reporting period for all our plastic metrics). Our end of 2021 forecast was around 20%, putting us well on track to meet our commitment of at least 25% recycled plastic by 2025. Many of our brands are now using high levels of recycled plastic in their packaging. In 2021, Hellmann’s launched 100% recycled packaging in almost two-thirds of its markets. In Europe, Knorr has introduced bouillon tubs and lids made from 100% recycled material, Swedish Glace now offers its plant-based ice cream in food-grade and freezable recycled plastic tubs, and Persil comes in lighter bottles made with 70% recycled plastic. Dove uses 100% recycled plastic in its bottles in Europe and North America (where technically feasible) and 98% of its new refillable deodorant packaging in the US is made from recycled plastic. Due to our step up on recycled plastic, we've reduced our total virgin plastic packaging footprint since 2018 by around 16% to 599,000 tonnes. We have more projects than ever exploring less or no plastic. We’re working with Pulpex to create the first- ever paper-based laundry detergent bottle, piloting this with OMO in Brazil. And we’re expanding our in-store refill programmes, now in 11 countries, including refill stations in Asda and Co-op stores in the UK, and vending machines in India for Surf Excel, Comfort and Vim refills. Currently, 53% of our packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable. This is our actual recyclability rate (which is based on the EMF Global Commitment definition of 'recyclable'), which is significantly less than the 70% of our packaging portfolio that is technically recyclable with existing technology. This gap is an industry-wide challenge and is primarily driven by a lack of collection and recycling infrastructure. We’re working with local governments and partners to close this gap, while we continue to deploy new materials and technologies. For instance, Signal, Pepsodent and Closeup are shifting to fully recyclable toothpaste tubes. In 2021 we rolled out recyclable flexibles in North America for Dove and Love Beauty and Planet. And in Vietnam, we launched a trial of recyclable sachets for CLEAR shampoo, with the aim of collecting and recycling the sachets for other uses. We’re also ramping up our collection and processing of post- consumer plastic waste. Our business in India was one of the first to help collect and process more plastic than it sold, and we have roadmaps for achieving this in other markets. We have more work to do to scale up our collection efforts. Industry partnerships will be key, such as our work with Mars, Mondelēz, Nestlé, PepsiCo and UK retailers to incentivise the recycling of flexible packaging. In the US, we've made a $15 million investment in the Closed Loop Partners’ Leadership Fund to help improve recycling. Advocacy is an important part of our plastics strategy. In January 2022, alongside more than 70 other businesses, we called for an ambitious and legally binding UN treaty to tackle plastic pollution on a global scale, similar in intent to the Paris Agreement. See our website for more on plastic We’re also focused on reducing food waste. We’re using predictive analytics and automation to better manage stock as well as apps to help chefs and caterers become more aware of food waste. Hellmann’s continues its efforts to cut waste in homes and hospitality. Its #MakeTasteNotWaste campaign encourages quick and easy ways to use up leftovers, reaching more than 150 million people around the world. Hellmann’s grew double-digit in 2021. See page 52 for more on food waste. See our website for more on food waste
30 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Planet & society continued Protect and regenerate nature We continue to work towards a deforestation-free supply chain for palm oil, paper and board, tea, soy, and cocoa. We’ve made progress in moving our sourcing footprint to areas of lower risk of deforestation. We’re working towards reporting of low-risk deforestation volumes from 2022 and independently verified deforestation-free volumes from 2023. Our efforts in tackling deforestation and sustainable sourcing have been recognised by CDP, through our inclusion on the A List for Forests in 2021. During the year, we strengthened our contractual framework with key suppliers in palm and soy so we are working on aligned commitments. We created independent verification protocols and piloted these in our sourcing of palm oil, cocoa, and soy. We also expanded the coverage of our palm oil monitoring platform, which uses satellite imagery and geolocation data to measure deforestation in our supply chain. And along with NASA, Google, and others, we developed the Forest Data Partnership to collect data on forests and ecosystems. Our People & Nature Policy enhances our supplier requirements around no deforestation and human rights for our key commodities. We also published our Regenerative Agriculture Principles, guiding our suppliers and farmers, including smallholders, on how to nourish soil and water, capture carbon and restore land. By the end of 2021, we had 53,000 hectares under protection and regeneration in partnership with others. Brands like Knorr are playing a leading role in driving our regenerative agriculture programmes (see page 52). Water is essential for our business – the crops we grow, how we make our products, and how consumers use our brands. We’re expanding our focus on water beyond our factory gates, starting with 12 factories in a number of water-stressed countries. We’re also working with the 2030 Water Resources Group to address water security for consumers in Bangladesh, India, Brazil, South Africa and Vietnam. Ensuring our Home Care and Beauty & Personal Care products are biodegradable is another key part of our approach to water stewardship. We’re working with suppliers and innovation partners to find alternative biodegradable ingredients that don’t compromise on product performance. See page 23 for more. See our website for more on nature and water A fairer, more inclusive world We’re helping to build more resilient and equitable communities by raising living standards, advancing equity, diversity and inclusion and preparing people for the future of work. Raising living standards Since 2020, we’ve continued to pay all our employees a living wage, and in 2021 were awarded our first global independent accreditation as a living wage employer from the Fair Wage Network. In 2021, we made a groundbreaking commitment that everyone who directly provides goods and services to us will earn at least a living wage or living income by 2030. We’re starting with our manufacturing and agriculture supply chain, where workers tend to be the most vulnerable. We’re engaging our teams in the four markets with the biggest gap between the legal minimum wage and living wage in our supply chain. And we’ve begun engaging with our suppliers to understand their living wage position and how best to support and engage them. In addition, we know there are many barriers to small businesses thriving, such as lack of access to skills, finance and technology. We’ve launched new programmes to move towards our goal to help 5 million small and medium-sized businesses in our retail value chain grow by 2025, reaching 1.2 million in 2021. See our website for more on raising living standards Equity, diversity and inclusion Our research shows that more progressive advertising has the potential to deliver 74% better brand power – a key measure of consumer attraction for brands. Through our Act 2 Unstereotype programme, we're integrating more diverse and inclusive thinking at every point of our marketing – to ensure it reflects the diversity of society. For examples of how our brands are working to shape a fairer and more inclusive world, see pages 21 and 31, and for diversity and inclusion in our workforce and supply chain, see pages 19 and 28. The future of work We’re working to help young people find their purpose and match it with skills that will prepare them for the future of work – giving us access to talented young workers. Our LevelUp programme in South Africa for example, aims to break barriers to employment through purpose workshops, digital learning, mentoring and work experience. For more on how we’re preparing our own people for the future of work, see pages 18 to 19. See our website for more on the future of work Improving health, confidence and wellbeing Our brands continued their work to promote health and wellbeing, inclusive beauty and positive nutrition – finding ways to power growth through purpose.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 31Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Health and wellbeing Covid has brought the importance of hygiene into sharp relief. Lifebuoy's purpose is preventing illness and saving lives through handwashing with soap. Its H for Handwashing education campaign has been teaching children about the importance of handwashing since its launch in 2020. And the Hygiene & Behaviour Change Coalition created by Lifebuoy, Domestos, the UK government and others has equipped many more to practise better hygiene. Lifebuoy also began offering free doctor teleconsultations on pack and through its communications across India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam. Our Pepsodent/Signal toothpaste brand also expanded its oral health services in Indonesia by providing free dental consultations via WhatsApp during Covid-19 restrictions, with other markets to follow in 2022. We see access to healthcare services as an important way to grow household penetration of our brands by providing vital services to communities. Our brands also expanded their efforts to improve confidence and wellbeing. Rexona deodorant extended its Breaking Limits programme to help young people in Brazil, the US and the UK overcome barriers to being active – funding community sports projects and access to coaches. Sunsilk continued its work to empower girls and young women through its Explore More programme with Girl Rising, which has reached more than 56,000 young people from underserved communities in six countries. Our brand-led initiatives helped to improve health and wellbeing and advance equity and inclusion for almost 700 million people in 2021. See our website for more on improving health and wellbeing Positive nutrition We’re continuing to increase the nutritional value and reduce salt, sugar and calories in our foods and refreshments. 63% of our portfolio met our WHO-aligned nutrition standards. Fortifying foods with micronutrients is another long-standing priority, now linked to our goal to double the number of products sold that deliver Unilever's standards for positive In focus OMO: Purple carbon cleaning power We’ve teamed up with biotech partners LanzaTech and India Glycols to capture carbon dioxide waste from steel factories and turn it into a climate-friendly cleaning ingredient. This ‘purple carbon’ technology – carbon captured from industrial emissions – has so far been used in OMO laundry liquid capsules in China and in Sunlight dishwashing liquid in South Africa. This is just one example of how we’re reinventing the chemistry of our Home Care products to create growth opportunities for our brands while cutting the use of fossil fuels. nutrition by 2025 – including impactful amounts of vegetables, fruits, protein and fibre as well as micronutrients. At the end of 2021, 41% of our products delivered positive nutrition (per serving), keeping us on track towards our goal – see page 35 for more including our progress in reducing salt, sugar and calories. We’re using our voice to push for a sustainable food system, for example at the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 where we called for a move to more plant-based proteins and more action on food loss and waste. We know there is more to do, but we’re proud that our efforts are being recognised. We ranked first in the World Benchmarking Alliance’s Food and Agriculture Benchmark and number two in the global Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI) Index, which ranks the nutrition programmes of the top 25 global food and beverage manufacturers. See our website for more on positive nutrition Respecting and promoting human rights Respect for human rights is at the heart of our business and the responsibility of every person in Unilever. We work with suppliers, peers, industry bodies, trade unions and civil society to address human rights impacts so that everyone connected to our value chain is treated with respect, dignity and fairness. In support of our commitment to respect and promote human rights and the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles, in 2021 we created a framework to enable us to address human rights issues consistently and effectively. We're using it to define a theory of change, and action plans which include capability building and impact assessment metrics to measure progress. We used the framework to implement capability building on responsible recruitment for our suppliers – which includes an e-learning platform and toolkit – and our procurement teams. Our Human Rights Reports explain our progress and the due diligence we've undertaken in tackling the many human rights challenges such as forced labour, gender-based violence and living wages. We continued to work on women’s inclusion and safety in agriculture, manufacturing and last-mile distribution. We'll be introducing safety frameworks in priority regions and making sure our direct suppliers have policies and processes in place to support inclusion and address sexual and gender-based violence. See our website for more on human rights
32 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Group performance Unilever 2021 2020 2019 Turnover growth 3.4% (2.4%) 2.0% Underlying sales growth* 4.5% 1.9% 2.9% Underlying volume growth* 1.6% 1.6% 1.2% Operating margin 16.6% 16.4% 16.8% Underlying operating margin* 18.4% 18.5% 19.1% Free cash flow* €6.4bn €7.7bn €6.1bn Cash flow from operating activities €10.3bn €10.9bn €10.6bn Net cash flow (used in)/from investing activities €(3.2)bn €(1.5)bn €(2.2)bn Net cash flow (used in)/from financing activities €(7.1)bn €(5.8)bn €(4.7)bn Our performance Financial performance Divisional performance Beauty & Personal Care 2021 2020 2019 Turnover €21.9bn €21.1bn €21.9bn Turnover growth 3.7% (3.4%) 6.0% Underlying sales growth 3.8% 1.2% 2.6% Operating margin 20.4% 20.4% 20.7% Underlying operating margin 21.7% 21.7% 22.7%
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 33Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Divisional performance continued Foods & Refreshment 2021 2020 2019 Turnover €20.0bn €19.1bn €19.3bn Turnover growth 4.3% (0.8%) (4.6%) Underlying sales growth 5.6% 1.3% 1.5% Operating margin 14.7% 14.4% 14.6% Underlying operating margin 17.4% 17.0% 17.5% Home Care 2021 2020 2019 Turnover €10.6bn €10.5bn €10.8bn Turnover growth 1.1% (3.4)% 6.9% Underlying sales growth 3.9% 4.5% 6.1% Operating margin 12.2% 11.9% 12.7% Underlying operating margin 13.4% 14.5% 14.8% * Key Financial Indicators. Underlying sales growth, underlying volume growth, underlying operating margin and free cash flow are non-GAAP measures. For further information about these measures, and the reasons why we believe they are important for an understanding of the performance of the business, please refer to our commentary on non-GAAP measures on pages 39 to 43.
34 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Non-financial performance We're at the early stages of delivering against our Compass commitments. Further commentary can be found on pages 18 to 31. Our performance continued Improve people’s health, confidence and wellbeing Positive nutrition Target 2021 2020 2019 Double the number of products sold that deliver positive nutrition by 2025 (% of servings sold) 54% 41% – – Improve the health of the planet Climate action Target 2021 2020 2019 Zero GHG emissions in our operations by 2030 (% change in tonnes of GHG emissions from energy and refrigerant use since 2015)(a) -100% -64% -58% -42% Halve GHG impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2030 (% change in grams of CO2e per consumer use since 2010) -50% -14%† -10% -8% Protect and regenerate nature Target 2021 2020 2019 Help protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030 1.5m 0.1m – – 100% sustainable sourcing of our key agricultural crops (% purchased)(b) 100% 79% – – Waste-free world Target 2021 2020 2019 50% virgin plastic reduction by 2025, including an absolute reduction of 100,000 tonnes (% change in total tonnes of virgin plastic used vs 2018 baseline)(c)(d) -50% -16% – – 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025 (% of total tonnes of reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging used)(c)(e) 100% 53% 52% 50% Maintain zero non-hazardous waste to landfill in our factories (% disposed) 0% 0% 0% 0% Halve food waste in our operations by 2025 (% change since 2019) -50% -3% – –
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 35Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Improve people’s health, confidence and wellbeing continued Positive nutrition Target 2021 2020 2019 70% of our portfolio to meet WHO-aligned nutritional standards by 2022 (% of sales by volume) 70% 63%† 61%◊ 56%Δ 95% of packaged ice cream to contain no more than 22g total sugar per serving by 2025 (% of sales by volume) 95% 89% – – 95% of packaged ice cream to contain no more than 250 kcal per serving by 2025 (% of sales by volume) 95% 94% 93% 93% 85% of our Foods portfolio to help consumers reduce their salt intake to no more than 5g per day by 2022 (% of sales by volume) 85% 81%† 77% 70% Health and wellbeing Target 2021 2020 2019 Take action through our brands to improve health and wellbeing and advance equity and inclusion, reaching 1 billion people per year by 2030 (number of people reached through brand communications and initiatives) 1bn 686m – – Contribute to a fairer and more socially inclusive world Equity, diversity and inclusion Target 2021 2020 2019 Spend €2 billion annually with diverse businesses worldwide by 2025 €2bn €445m – – Future of work Target 2021 2020 2019 Reskill or upskill our employees with future-fit skills by 2025 (% of employees with future-fit skills) 100% 7% – – † This metric was subject to external independent limited assurance by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (‘PwC’) in 2021. For PwC's 2021 Limited Assurance report and the 2021 Unilever Basis of Preparation for assured metrics see www.unilever.com/planet-and-society/sustainability-reporting-centre/independent-assurance. ◊ This metric was subject to external independence limited assurance by PwC in 2020. For details and 2020 Basis of Preparation, see www.unilever.com/planet-and- society/sustainability-reporting-centre/reporting-archive. Δ This metric was subject to external independence limited assurance by PwC in 2019. For details and 2019 Basis of Preparation, see www.unilever.com/planet-and- society/sustainability-reporting-centre/reporting-archive. (a) Restated 2020 and 2019 figures due to a change in alignment of our renewable electricity reporting with the updated RE100 guidance. See page 51 for more information. (b) This is a new metric which reflects the revised scope of our sustainable sourcing programmes. Previously reported sustainable sourcing metrics are not comparable. (c) For the vast majority of products in scope, we have used the actual weight of plastic packaging sold to calculate this metric. For the remainder, we estimate the weight using the average packaging weight of similar products. (d) For our 2018 baseline, we calculated the weight of plastic packaging sold for around half of products in scope. For the remainder, we estimated the weight of packaging sold by extrapolation using sales volumes. (e) Refers to ‘actual recyclability’ of plastic packaging, meaning that it is both technically possible to recycle the material; and that there are established examples to recycle the material in the region where it is sold.
36 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Financial review 2021 performance The Group generated turnover of €52.4 billion, operating profit of €8.7 billion, net profit of €6.6 billion and free cash flow of €6.4 billion. Turnover increased 3.4%. Underlying sales growth was 4.5%, there was a net positive impact of 1.3% from acquisitions and disposals and a negative currency impact of 2.4% driven by weakening of currencies in our key markets such as US, Turkey, Brazil and India. The growth was competitive and was delivered through focus on our strategic choices. Our thirteen €1 billion brands grew 6.4%. The US, India and China, three of our key growth markets, grew at 3.7%, 13.4% and 14.3% respectively. Our underlying sales growth in eCommerce(a) was 44%. The major challenge of 2021 was the significant rise of input costs. We responded with pricing actions, delivering underlying price growth of 2.9%. Covid-19 continued to impact the operating environment, with new variants resulting in restrictions in some of our key markets which impacted consumer and channel dynamics. Acquisition and disposal activities made a positive contribution of 1.3% to turnover. Our 2021 acquisitions included Paula's Choice and Onnit, helping to re-shape our portfolio into the high growth spaces of Prestige beauty and Functional nutrition respectively. On 18 November 2021, we entered into an agreement to sell our global tea business, ekaterra, to CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII for €4.5 billion on a cash-free, debt- free basis. More details on acquisitions and disposals are in note 21 on pages 161 to 163. Emerging markets underlying sales grew by 6.7%, driven by India and China. Latin America grew high-single digit, led by price. South East Asia declined following tough Covid-19 restrictions throughout the year. Developed markets underlying sales grew by 1.5% led by a competitive performance in US. Europe grew slightly from both price and volume. Operating profit was €8.7 billion which included €0.9 billion of non-underlying items, primarily restructuring costs and acquisition and disposal related costs. Restructuring costs of €0.6 billion are comprised of supply chain optimisation projects to improve gross margin and improve network agility, and organisational change projects to reduce overheads. Underlying operating profit was €9.6 billion, an increase of 2.9%. This included an unfavourable currency impact of 4.3%. Underlying operating margin decreased by 10bps. Gross margin decreased by 120bps reflecting very high inflation in raw material, packaging and distribution costs globally. Brand and marketing investment and overheads contributed 90bps and 20bps to underlying operating margin respectively. There was an improvement in underlying operating margin when excluding currency impact. In line with our multi-year financial framework, we delivered savings of €2 billion and our profit growth was ahead of our underlying sales growth on a comparable basis. Free cash flow was €6.4 billion compared to €7.7 billion in the prior year. Low levels of capital expenditure and favourable working capital movements in 2020 were not repeated. (a) eCommerce sales are defined as online sales made by Unilever to our consumers or customers either directly or through platforms as well as an estimate of our brands' sales through our customers' own websites. Highlights for the year ended Beauty & Personal Care Foods & Refreshment Home Care Group 2021 2020 2021 2020 2021 2020 2021 2020 Turnover (€ million) 21,901 21,124 19,971 19,140 10,572 10,460 52,444 50,724 Underlying sales growth (%) 3.8 1.2 5.6 1.3 3.9 4.5 4.5 1.9 Underlying volume growth (%) 0.8 1.2 2.9 0.1 0.7 5.1 1.6 1.6 Underlying price growth (%) 3.0 — 2.7 1.1 3.1 -0.6 2.9 0.3 Operating profit (€ million) 4,471 4,311 2,937 2,749 1,294 1,243 8,702 8,303 Underlying operating profit (€ million) 4,742 4,591 3,477 3,257 1,417 1,519 9,636 9,367 Operating margin (%) 20.4 20.4 14.7 14.4 12.2 11.9 16.6 16.4 Underlying operating margin (%) 21.7 21.7 17.4 17.0 13.4 14.5 18.4 18.5 Return on assets (%) 166 140 84 69 172 129 123 102 Free cash flow (€ million) 6,393 7,671 Good performance in a challenging operating environment.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 37Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Divisional review Beauty & Personal Care Turnover increased 3.7%. Underlying sales growth was 3.8%, there was a net positive impact of 2.7% from acquisitions and disposals and a negative currency impact of 2.8%. All categories delivered good growth apart from skin cleansing which declined following the elevated demand in the prior year. Skin care grew high-single digit with channels reopening in 2021. Vaseline performed strongly throughout the year, supported by several premium innovations across brightening, therapeutics and hydration. Deodorants grew as the market continued to recover, with good growth and restored competitiveness in North America. Rexona relaunched its core deodorant range with 72-hour non-stop protection against sweat and body odour. Hair care grew mid-single digit, with Sunsilk, Dove and CLEAR contributing and styling in North America restored to competitive growth. Dove grew high- single digit and is now a €5 billion brand. Oral care grew with good performance in South Asia and Africa. Prestige beauty delivered strong double-digit growth in 2021 benefiting from eCommerce and a recovery in beauty channels compared to the prior year. New innovations in Prestige beauty include Dermalogica's biolumin-c and sound sleep cocoon and REN’s zero waste packaging. Prestige beauty reached €1.0 billion turnover in 2021 if we include a full year of Paula’s Choice. Functional nutrition(a) grew double-digit with good growth in Liquid I.V. and Olly, and reached €1.5 billion turnover if we include a full year of Onnit. (a) Includes vitamins, minerals & supplements which is reported in Beauty & Personal Care and Health Foods Drinks which is reported in Foods & Refreshment. Underlying operating profit increased by €151 million. This was due to a €169 million impact from the growth in turnover and €18 million due to negative gross margin particularly impacted by high material inflation in palm oil. This was partially offset by reduction in brand and marketing investment although we benefited from efficiencies in advertising production costs. Non-underlying items were €271 million, €9 million lower than the prior year due to lower restructuring costs. Operating profit increased by €160 million. Foods & Refreshment Turnover increased 4.3%. Underlying sales growth was 5.6%, there was a net positive impact of 0.6% from acquisitions and disposals and a negative currency impact of 1.8%. Ice cream grew mid-single digit. Growth was driven by out- of-home products, with in-home ice cream flat as we lapped double-digit prior year growth. Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s each grew high-single digit. Ben & Jerry's is now a €1 billion brand. Our Ice Cream Now business which catered to the rise of 'in-home' eating by quickly delivering our brands to consumers in 35 countries, grew 60% in 2021. Food solutions recovered well, with double-digit growth, although Covid-19 variants continued to drive uncertainty in the out-of-home channel. In-home savoury saw a slight decline in growth, following elevated demand in the prior year. Our largest food brand Knorr grew high-single digit across in-home and out- of-home channels through innovations such as zero salt stock cubes and Rinde Más in Latin America, a plant-based product that extends the yield of meat dishes while adding flavour. Dressings brand Hellmann's grew double-digit for the second consecutive year. Our retained tea business grew double-digit. Underlying operating profit increased by €220 million. This was due to a €141 million impact from the growth in turnover and €79 million driven by lower overheads and brand and marketing investment as a percentage of turnover, despite a reduction in gross margin as a result of high input cost inflation. Non-underlying items were €540 million, €32 million higher than prior year due to step up in acquisition and disposal related costs partially offset by lower restructuring costs. Operating profit increased by €188 million. Home Care Turnover increased 1.1%. Underlying sales growth was 3.9% with a negative currency impact of 2.6%. In fabric care, mid single-digit growth in fabric cleaning and low-single digit growth in fabric enhancers was led by South Asia and Latin America. We continued to see good innovation performance from dilutable laundry liquids across Latin America, under the OMO brand. Capsule and liquid formats continued to grow well, and in China OMO became the leading capsules brand in traditional retail and second-largest in eCommerce. Underlying sales in home and hygiene declined mid-single digit as we lapped strong performance for hygiene products in 2020, but home and hygiene continued to trade ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Underlying operating profit decreased by €102 million. This was due to a €16 million positive impact from the growth in turnover which was more than offset by €118 million impact from reduction in gross margin as a result of high cost inflation. This was partially offset by lower brand and marketing investment, following a step up in 2020 as we invested behind high demand hygiene categories. Non-underlying items were €123 million, €153 million lower than prior year due to lower restructuring costs. Operating profit increased by €51 million. In focus Our multi-year financial framework We will deliver long-term value creation by continuing to evolve our portfolio and driving earnings growth, a strong cash flow and a growing dividend. We expect to do this through: ▪ Underlying sales growth ahead of our markets, delivering USG in the range of 3% to 5% ▪ Profit growth ahead of sales growth, on a comparable basis ▪ Sustained strong cash flow over the long term ▪ Savings of €2 billion per year from our well-established Fuel for Growth savings programmes ▪ Restructuring investment of around €1 billion for 2021 and 2022; lower thereafter ▪ Return on invested capital (ROIC) in the mid-to-high teens ▪ Net debt to underlying EBITDA at around 2x
38 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Cash flow Cash flow from operating activities decreased by €0.6 billion primarily as a result of an unfavourable working capital movement. While we maintained our enhanced working capital discipline, the favourable working capital we saw due to the focus on receivables in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic was not repeated. € million € million 2021 2020 Operating profit 8,702 8,303 Depreciation, amortisation and impairment 1,763 2,018 Changes in working capital (47) 680 Pensions and similar obligations less payments (183) (182) Provisions less payments (61) (53) Elimination of (profits)/losses on disposals 23 60 Non-cash charge for share-based compensation 161 108 Other adjustments (53) (1) Cash flow from operating activities 10,305 10,933 Income tax paid (2,333) (1,875) Net capital expenditure (1,239) (932) Net interest and preference dividends paid (340) (455) Free cash flow* 6,393 7,671 Net cash flow (used in)/from investing activities (3,246) (1,481) Net cash flow (used in)/from financing activities (7,099) (5,804) * Certain measures used in our reporting are not defined under IFRS. For further information about these measures, please refer to the commentary on non- GAAP measures on pages 39 to 43. Income tax paid increased by €0.5 billion compared to the prior year due to country tax rate mix effect, early payment of tax in a few countries relating to the ekaterra separation, and a one-off tax audit payment to the UK tax authorities. Net cash flow used in investing activities was €3 billion compared to €1.5 billion in the prior year driven by acquisitions, capital expenditure and purchase of financial assets. Capital expenditure increased in 2021 following investment returning to normal levels. Net cash flow used in financing activities was €7.1 billion compared to €5.8 billion in the prior year primarily due to €3 billion share buybacks. In 2021 borrowings net of repayments was €1.6 billion higher than in the prior year primarily to support the share buybacks. Balance sheet € million € million 2021 2020 Goodwill and intangible assets 38,591 34,941 Other non-current assets 19,103 16,561 Current assets 17,401 16,157 Total assets 75,095 67,659 Current liabilities 24,778 20,592 Non-current liabilities 30,571 29,412 Total liabilities 55,349 50,004 Shareholders’ equity 17,107 15,266 Non-controlling interest 2,639 2,389 Total equity 19,746 17,655 Total liabilities and equity 75,095 67,659 Goodwill and intangible assets were €38.6 billion. This was an increase of €3.7 billion compared to the prior year. The increase was driven by acquisitions which contributed €2.5 billion and a positive impact from currency of €1.9 billion offset by movement of €0.9 billion of goodwill and intangible assets relating to classifying ekaterra as held for sale. The Paula's Choice acquisition was the primary driver of the increase in goodwill and intangible assets. Total consideration paid was €1,832 million comprised of €1,818 million cash paid on the completion date and €14 million of deferred consideration. Intangible assets and goodwill arising from this acquisition were €1.6 billion and €0.6 billion respectively. See note 21 on pages 161 to 163 for more. Other non-current assets increased by €2.5 billion primarily as a result of positive investment returns on pension assets. Current assets increased by €1.2 billion primarily due to the classification of ekaterra assets under held for sale offset by a decrease in cash and cash equivalents of €2.1 billion driven by share buybacks. Non-controlling interest increased by €0.3 billion driven by an increase in profits. Net debt Closing net debt was €25.5 billion compared to €20.9 billion as at 31 December 2020 driven by lower free cash flow, the share buybacks and acquisitions including Paula’s Choice. Net debt to underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (UEBITDA) was 2.2x as at 31 December 2021 versus 1.8x in the prior year. Underlying EBITDA means operating profit before the impact of depreciation, amortisation and non-underlying items within operating profit. This is primarily used to assess our leverage level as referenced in the multi-year financial framework. Movement in net pension liability/asset The table below shows the movement in net pension liability/ asset during the year. Pension assets net of liabilities were in surplus of €3.0 billion at the end of 2021 compared with a surplus of €0.3 billion at the end of 2020. The increase was driven by positive investment returns on pension assets. Liabilities remained unchanged overall, with a decrease from higher interest rates offsetting an increase due to higher inflation. € million 2021 1 January 287 Current service cost (228) Employee contributions 13 Actual return on plan assets (excluding interest) 1,958 Net interest cost (10) Actuarial loss 464 Employer contributions 394 Currency retranslation 127 Other movements(a) (12) 31 December 2,993 (a) Other movements relate to special termination benefits, changes in asset ceiling, past service costs including losses/(gains) on curtailment, settlements and other immaterial movements. For more details see note 4B on pages 125 to 131. Financial review continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 39Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Finance and liquidity Approximately €0.4 billion (or 11%) of the Group’s cash and cash equivalents are held in the parent and central finance companies, for maximum flexibility. These companies provide loans to our subsidiaries that are also funded through retained earnings and third-party borrowings. We maintain access to global debt markets through an infrastructure of short and long- term debt programmes. We make use of plain vanilla derivatives, such as interest rate swaps and foreign exchange contracts, to help mitigate risks. More detail is provided in notes 16, 16A, 16B and 16C on pages 149 to 155. The remaining €3 billion (or 89%) of the Group’s cash and cash equivalents are held in foreign subsidiaries which repatriate distributable reserves on a regular basis. For most countries, this is done through dividends which are in some cases subject to withholding or distribution tax. This balance includes €83 million (2020: €98 million, 2019: €146 million) of cash that is held in a few countries where we face cross-border foreign exchange controls and/or other legal restrictions that inhibit our ability to make these balances available in any means for general use by the wider business. The cash will generally be invested or held in the relevant country and, given the other capital resources available to the Group, does not significantly affect the ability of the Group to meet its cash obligations. We closely monitor all our exposures and counter-party limits. Unilever has committed credit facilities in place for general corporate purposes. The undrawn bilateral committed credit facilities in place on 31 December 2021 were $7,965 million. Additional bilateral undrawn revolving 364-day credit facilities of €1,500 million were signed in December 2021. Further information on liquidity management is set out in note 16A to the consolidated financial statements. Material cash commitments from contractual and other obligations The following table shows the amount of our contractual and other obligations as at 31 December 2021. The material cash commitments from contractual and other obligations arise from our borrowings which include bonds, commercial paper, bank and other loans, interest on these borrowings and trade payables and accruals. € million 2021 € million Due within 1 year € million Due in 1-3 years € million Due in 3-5 years € million Due in over 5 years Bonds 23,892 2,359 5,091 4,529 11,913 Commercial paper, bank and other loans 4,357 4,338 13 — 6 Interest on financial liabilities 3,564 451 797 639 1,677 Trade payables and accruals 14,443 14,320 68 22 33 Lease liabilities 1,939 426 621 404 488 Other lease commitments 159 56 53 27 23 Purchase obligations(a) & other long-term commitments 2,561 885 715 460 501 Others (b) 589 163 218 208 — Total 51,504 22,998 7,576 6,289 14,641 (a) For raw and packaging materials and finished goods. (b) Includes other financial liabilities and deferred consideration for acquisitions. Further details are set out in the following notes to the consolidated financial statements: note 10 on pages 138 to 140, note 15C on page 147 and 148, and note 20 on page 160 and 161. We are satisfied that our financing arrangements are adequate to meet our short term and long term cash requirements. In relation to the facilities available to the Group, borrowing requirements do not fluctuate materially during the year and are not seasonal. Guaranteed US debt securities At 31 December 2021 the Group had in issue US$12.1 billion (2020: US$11.5 billion; 2019: US$12.35 billion) bonds in connection with a US shelf registration. See page 198 for more information on these bonds and related commentary on guarantor information. Non-GAAP measures Certain discussions and analyses set out in this Annual Report and Accounts (and the Additional Information for US Listing Purposes) include measures which are not defined by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) such as IFRS. We believe this information, along with comparable GAAP measurements, is useful to investors because it provides a basis for measuring our operating performance, and our ability to retire debt and invest in new business opportunities. Our management uses these financial measures, along with the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures, in evaluating our operating performance and value creation. Non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, financial information presented in compliance with GAAP. Wherever appropriate and practical, we provide reconciliation to relevant GAAP measures. Explanation and reconciliation of non-GAAP measures Unilever uses ‘constant rate’ and ‘underlying’ measures primarily for internal performance analysis and targeting purposes. We present certain items, percentages and movements, using constant exchange rates, which exclude the impact of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. We calculate constant currency values by translating both the current and the prior period local currency amounts using the prior year average exchange rates into euro, except for the local currency of entities that operate in hyperinflationary economies. These currencies are translated into euros using the prior year closing exchange rate before the application of IAS 29. The table below shows exchange rate movements in our key markets. Annual average rate in 2021 Annual average rate in 2020 Brazilian real (€1 = BRL) 6.366 5.781 Chinese yuan (€1 = CNY) 7.663 7.862 Indian rupee (€1 = INR) 87.599 84.100 Indonesia rupiah (€1 = IDR) 16983 16557 Philippine peso (€1 = PHP) 58.401 56.447 UK pound sterling (€1 = GBP) 0.861 0.888 US dollar (€1 = US$) 1.187 1.135
40 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Underlying price growth Underlying price growth (UPG) is part of USG and means, for the applicable period, the increase in turnover attributable to changes in prices during the period. UPG therefore excludes the impact to USG due to (i) the volume of products sold; and (ii) the composition of products sold during the period. In determining changes in price we exclude the impact of price growth in excess of 26% per year in hyperinflationary economies as explained in USG above. Underlying volume growth Underlying volume growth (UVG) is part of USG and means, for the applicable period, the increase in turnover in such period calculated as the sum of (i) the increase in turnover attributable to the volume of products sold; and (ii) the increase in turnover attributable to the composition of products sold during such period. UVG therefore excludes any impact on USG due to changes in prices. In the following sections we set out our definitions of the following non-GAAP measures and provide reconciliation to relevant GAAP measures: ▪ underlying sales growth; ▪ underlying volume growth; ▪ underlying price growth; ▪ non-underlying items; ▪ underlying earnings per share; ▪ underlying operating profit and underlying operating margin; ▪ underlying effective tax rate; ▪ constant underlying earnings per share; ▪ free cash flow; ▪ return on assets; ▪ net debt; and ▪ return on invested capital. Financial review continued Underlying sales growth Underlying sales growth (USG) refers to the increase in turnover for the period, excluding any change in turnover resulting from acquisitions, disposals, changes in currency and price growth in excess of 26% in hyperinflationary economies. Inflation of 26% per year compounded over three years is one of the key indicators within IAS 29 to assess whether an economy is deemed to be hyperinflationary. We believe this measure provides valuable additional information on the underlying sales performance of the business and is a key measure used internally. The impact of acquisitions and disposals is excluded from USG for a period of 12 calendar months from the applicable closing date. Turnover from acquired brands that are launched in countries where they were not previously sold is included in USG as such turnover is more attributable to our existing sales and distribution network than the acquisition itself. The reconciliation of changes in the GAAP measure of turnover to USG is as follows: 2021 vs 2020 (%) Beauty & Personal Care Foods & Refreshment Home Care Group Turnover growth(a) 3.7 4.3 1.1 3.4 Effect of acquisitions 2.7 0.8 — 1.4 Effect of disposals — (0.2) (0.1) (0.1) Effect of currency-related items, (2.8) (1.8) (2.6) (2.4) of which: Exchange rate changes (3.0) (2.1) (2.9) (2.6) Extreme price growth in hyperinflationary markets(b) 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 Underlying sales growth(b) 3.8 5.6 3.9 4.5 2020 vs 2019 (%) Turnover growth(a) (3.4) (0.8) (3.4) (2.4) Effect of acquisitions 0.9 2.7 0.2 1.4 Effect of disposals — (0.4) (0.2) (0.2) Effect of currency-related items, (5.4) (4.2) (7.5) (5.4) of which: Exchange rate changes (5.6) (4.6) (7.8) (5.7) Extreme price growth in hyperinflationary markets(b) 0.2 0.5 0.3 0.3 Underlying sales growth(b) 1.2 1.3 4.5 1.9 2019 vs 2018 (%) Turnover growth(a) 6.0 (4.6) 6.9 2.0 Effect of acquisitions 0.9 0.6 0.3 0.7 Effect of disposals — (7.5) — (3.0) Effect of currency-related items, 2.4 1.0 0.4 1.5 of which: Exchange rate changes 1.7 (3.5) (0.3) (0.7) Extreme price growth in hyperinflationary markets(b) 0.6 4.7 0.7 2.2 Underlying sales growth(b) 2.6 1.5 6.1 2.9 (a) Turnover growth is made up of distinct individual growth components, namely underlying sales, currency impact, acquisitions and disposals. Turnover growth is arrived at by multiplying these individual components on a compounded basis as there is a currency impact on each of the other components. Accordingly, turnover growth is more than just the sum of the individual components. (b) Underlying price growth in excess of 26% per year in hyperinflationary economies has been excluded when calculating the underlying sales growth in the tables above, and an equal and opposite amount is shown as extreme price growth in hyperinflationary markets.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 41Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 The relationship between USG, UVG and UPG is set out below: 2021 vs 2020 2020 vs 2019 2019 vs 2018 Underlying volume growth (%) 1.6 1.6 1.2 Underlying price growth (%) 2.9 0.3 1.6 Underlying sales growth (%) 4.5 1.9 2.9 Refer to page 36 for the relationship between USG, UVG and UPG for each of the Divisions. Non-underlying items Several non-GAAP measures are adjusted to exclude items defined as non-underlying due to their nature and/or frequency of occurrence. ▪ Non-underlying items within operating profit are: gains or losses on business disposals, acquisition and disposal related costs, restructuring costs, impairments and other items within operating profit classified here due to their nature and frequency. ▪ Non-underlying items not in operating profit but within net profit are: net monetary gain/(loss) arising from hyperinflationary economies and significant and unusual items in net finance cost, share of profit/(loss) of joint ventures and associates and taxation. ▪ Non-underlying items are both non-underlying items within operating profit and those non-underlying items not in operating profit but within net profit. Refer to note 3 for details of non-underlying items. Underlying operating profit and underlying operating margin Underlying operating profit and underlying operating margin mean operating profit and operating margin before the impact of non-underlying items within operating profit. Underlying operating profit represents our measure of segment profit or loss as it is the primary measure used for making decisions about allocating resources and assessing performance of the segments. The Group reconciliation of operating profit to underlying operating profit is as follows: € million € million € million 2021 2020 2019 Operating profit 8,702 8,303 8,708 Non-underlying items within operating profit (see note 3) 934 1,064 1,239 Underlying operating profit 9,636 9,367 9,947 Turnover 52,444 50,724 51,980 Operating margin 16.6% 16.4% 16.8% Underlying operating margin 18.4% 18.5% 19.1% Further details of non-underlying items can be found in note 3 on page 124 of the consolidated financial statements. Refer to note 2 on page 121 for the reconciliation of operating profit to underlying operating profit by division. For each division, operating margin is computed as operating profit divided by turnover and underlying operating margin is computed as underlying operating profit divided by turnover. Underlying earnings per share Underlying earnings per share (underlying EPS) is calculated as underlying profit attributable to shareholders’ equity divided by the diluted average number of ordinary shares. In calculating underlying profit attributable to shareholders’ equity, net profit attributable to shareholders’ equity is adjusted to eliminate the post-tax impact of non-underlying items. This measure reflects the underlying earnings for each share unit of the Group. Refer to note 7 for reconciliation of net profit attributable to shareholders’ equity to underlying profit attributable to shareholders' equity. Underlying effective tax rate The underlying effective tax rate is calculated by dividing taxation excluding the tax impact of non-underlying items by profit before tax excluding the impact of non-underlying items and share of net profit/(loss) of joint ventures and associates. This measure reflects the underlying tax rate in relation to profit before tax excluding non-underlying items before tax and share of net (profit)/loss of joint ventures and associates. Tax impact on non-underlying items within operating profit is the sum of the tax on each non-underlying item, based on the applicable country tax rates and tax treatment. This is shown in the table: € million € million 2021 2020 Taxation 1,935 1,923 Tax impact of: Non-underlying items within operating profit(a) 219 272 Non-underlying items not in operating profit but within net profit(a) (41) (146) Taxation before tax impact of non-underlying 2,113 2,049 Profit before taxation 8,556 7,996 Non-underlying items within operating profit before tax(a) 934 1,064 Non-underlying items not in operating profit but within net profit before tax 64 36 Share of net (profit)/loss of joint ventures and associates (191) (175) Profit before tax excluding non-underlying items before tax and share of net profit/(loss) of joint ventures and associates 9,363 8,921 Underlying effective tax rate 22.6% 23.0% (a) Refer to note 3 for further details on these items. Constant underlying earnings per share Constant underlying earnings per share (constant underlying EPS) is calculated as underlying profit attributable to shareholders’ equity at constant exchange rates and excluding the impact of both translational hedges and price growth in excess of 26% per year in hyperinflationary economies divided by the diluted average number of ordinary share units. This measure reflects the underlying earnings for each ordinary share unit of the Group in constant exchange rates.
42 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 The reconciliation of underlying profit attributable to shareholders’ equity to constant underlying earnings attributable to shareholders’ equity and the calculation of constant underlying EPS is as follows: € million € million 2021 2020 Underlying profit attributable to shareholders’ equity(a) 6,839 6,532 Impact of translation from current to constant exchange rates and translational hedges 210 19 Impact of price growth in excess of 26% per year in hyperinflationary economies(b) (42) 0 Constant underlying earnings attributable to shareholders’ equity 7,007 6,551 Diluted average number of share units (millions of units) 2,609.6 2,629.8 Constant underlying EPS (€) 2.68 2.49 (a) See note 7. (b) See pages 39 and 40 for further details. Free cash flow Free cash flow (FCF) is defined as cash flow from operating activities, less income taxes paid, net capital expenditure and net interest payments. It does not represent residual cash flows entirely available for discretionary purposes; for example, the repayment of principal amounts borrowed is not deducted from FCF. FCF reflects an additional way of viewing our liquidity that we believe is useful to investors because it represents cash flows that could be used for distribution of dividends, repayment of debt or to fund our strategic initiatives, including acquisitions, if any. The reconciliation of cash flow from operating activities to FCF is as follows: € million € million € million 2021 2020 2019 Cash flow from operating activities 10,305 10,933 10,641 Income tax paid (2,333) (1,875) (2,532) Net capital expenditure (1,239) (932) (1,429) Net interest payments (340) (455) (548) Free cash flow 6,393 7,671 6,132 Net cash flow (used in)/from investing activities (3,246) (1,481) (2,237) Net cash flow (used in)/from financing activities (7,099) (5,804) (4,667) Net debt Net debt is a measure that provides valuable additional information on the summary presentation of the Group’s net financial liabilities and is a measure in common use elsewhere. Net debt is defined as the excess of total financial liabilities, excluding trade payables and other current liabilities, over cash, cash equivalents and other current financial assets, excluding trade and other current receivables, and non-current financial asset derivatives that relate to financial liabilities. € million € million 2021 2020 Total financial liabilities (30,133) (27,305) Current financial liabilities (7,252) (4,461) Non-current financial liabilities (22,881) (22,844) Cash and cash equivalents as per balance sheet 3,415 5,548 Cash and cash equivalents as per cash flow statement 3,387 5,475 Add: bank overdrafts deducted therein 106 73 Less: cash and cash equivalents held for sale(a) (78) 0 Other current financial assets 1,156 808 Non-current financial assets derivatives that relate to financial liabilities 52 21 Net debt (25,510) (20,928) (a) Cash and cash equivalents held for sale of €78m are net of bank overdraft of €12m. Return on invested capital Return on invested capital (ROIC) is a measure of the return generated on capital invested by the Group. The measure provides a guide rail for long-term value creation and encourages compounding reinvestment within the business and discipline around acquisitions with low returns and long payback. ROIC is calculated as underlying operating profit after tax divided by the annual average of: goodwill, intangible assets, property, plant and equipment, net assets held for sale, inventories, trade and other current receivables, and trade payables and other current liabilities. € million € million 2021 2020 Operating profit 8,702 8,303 Non-underlying items within operating profit (see note 3) 934 1,064 Underlying operating profit before tax 9,636 9,367 Tax on underlying operating profit(a) (2,175) (2,154) Underlying operating profit after tax 7,461 7,213 Goodwill 20,330 18,942 Intangible assets 18,261 15,999 Property, plant and equipment 10,347 10,558 Net assets held for sale 1,581 27 Inventories 4,683 4,462 Trade and other current receivables 5,422 4,939 Trade payables and other current liabilities (14,861) (14,132) Period-end invested capital 45,763 40,795 Average invested capital for the period 43,279 40,029 Return on average invested capital 17.2% 18.0% (a) Tax on underlying operating profit is calculated as underlying operating profit before tax multiplied by underlying effective tax rate of 22.6% (2020: 23.0%) which is shown on page 41. Financial review continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 43Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Return on assets Return on assets is a measure of the return generated on assets for each division. This measure provides additional insight on the performance of the Divisions and assists in formulating long-term strategies with respect to allocation of capital across Divisions. Division return on assets is calculated as underlying operating profit after tax for the Division divided by the annual average of: property, plant and equipment, net assets held for sale (excluding goodwill and intangibles), inventories, trade and other current receivables, and trade payables and other current liabilities for each division. The annual average is computed by adding the amounts at the beginning and the end of the calendar year and dividing by two. 2021 € million Beauty & Personal Care € million Foods & Refreshment € million Home Care € million Total Underlying operating profit before tax 4,742 3,477 1,417 9,636 Tax on underlying operating profit (1,070) (785) (320) (2,175) Underlying operating profit after tax 3,672 2,692 1,097 7,461 Property plant and equipment 3,956 4,424 1,967 10,347 Net assets held for sale 2 678 — 680 Inventories 2,157 1,761 765 4,683 Trade and other receivables 2,264 2,065 1,093 5,422 Trade payables and other current liabilities (5,957) (5,726) (3,178) (14,861) Period-end assets (net) 2,422 3,202 647 6,271 Average assets for the period (net) 2,206 3,219 638 6,063 Division return on assets 166% 84% 172% 123% 2020 Underlying operating profit before tax 4,591 3,257 1,519 9,367 Tax on underlying operating profit (1,056) (749) (349) (2,154) Underlying operating profit after tax 3,535 2,508 1,170 7,213 Property plant and equipment 3,763 4,895 1,900 10,558 Net assets held for sale 2 10 15 27 Inventories 1,817 1,894 751 4,462 Trade and other receivables 2,057 1,864 1,018 4,939 Trade payables and other current liabilities (5,649) (5,428) (3,055) (14,132) Period-end assets (net) 1,990 3,235 629 5,854 Average assets for the period (net) 2,523 3,614 906 7,043 Division return on assets 140% 69% 129% 102% Other information Accounting standards and critical accounting policies The consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the UK and IFRS as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board. The accounting policies are consistent with those applied in 2020 except for the recent accounting developments as set out in note 1 on pages 118 to 119. The critical accounting estimates and judgements and those that are most significant in connection with our financial reporting are set out in note 1 on pages 118 to 119. Auditor's report The Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm issued by KPMG LLP on the consolidated results of the Group, as set out in the financial statements, was unqualified and contained no exceptions or emphasis of matter. For more details see pages 107 to 113. 2020 financial review The financial review for the year ended 31 December 2020 can be found on pages 36 to 43 of our Annual Report and Accounts on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 3 March 2021.
44 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Our risks Our risk appetite and approach to risk management Risk management is integral to Unilever’s strategy and to the achievement of Unilever’s long-term goals. Our success as an organisation depends on our ability to identify and exploit the opportunities generated by our business and in our markets. In doing this, we take an embedded approach to risk management which puts risk and opportunity assessment at the core of the Board agenda, which is where we believe it should be. Unilever’s appetite for risk is driven by the following: ▪ Our growth should be consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible. ▪ Our actions on issues such as plastic and climate change must reflect their urgency, and not be constrained by the uncertainty of potential impacts. ▪ Our behaviours must be in line with our Code of Business Principles and Code Policies. ▪ Our ambition to continuously improve our operational efficiency and effectiveness. ▪ Our aim to maintain a minimum A/A2 credit rating on a long- term basis. Our approach to risk management is designed to provide reasonable, but not absolute, assurance that our assets are safeguarded, the risks facing the business are being assessed and mitigated, and all information that may be required to be disclosed is reported to Unilever’s senior management including, where appropriate, the CEO and CFO. Organisation The Board has overall accountability for the management of risk and for reviewing the effectiveness of Unilever’s risk management and internal control systems. The Board has established a clear organisational structure with well-defined accountabilities for the principal risks that Unilever faces in the short, medium and long term. This organisational structure and distribution of accountabilities and responsibilities ensure that every country in which we operate has specific resources and processes for risk reviews and risk mitigation. This is supported by the ULE, which takes active responsibility for focusing on the principal areas of risk to Unilever. The Board regularly review these risk areas, including consideration of environmental, social and governance matters, and retain responsibility for determining the nature and extent of the significant risks that Unilever is prepared to take to achieve its strategic objectives. Foundation and principles Unilever’s approach to doing business is framed by our purpose and values (see pages 8 to 9). Our Code of Business Principles sets out the standards of behaviour that we expect all employees to adhere to. Day-to-day responsibility for ensuring these principles are applied rests with senior management across Divisions, geographies and functions. A network of Business Integrity Officers and Committees supports the activities necessary to communicate the Code, deliver training, maintain processes and procedures (including support lines) to report and respond to alleged breaches, and to capture and communicate learnings. We have a framework of Code Policies that underpins the Code of Business Principles and sets out the non-negotiable standards of behaviour expected from all our employees. For each of our principal risks we have a risk management framework detailing the controls we have in place and who is responsible for managing both the overall risk and the individual controls mitigating that risk. Unilever’s functional standards define mandatory requirements across a range of specialist areas, which are key controls in mitigating these risks. Examples include health and safety, accounting and reporting, and financial risk management. Our assessment of risk considers both short- and long-term risks, including how these risks are changing, together with emerging risk areas. These are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and formally by senior management and the Board at least once a year. Processes Unilever operates a wide range of processes and activities across all its operations covering strategy, planning, execution and performance management. Risk management is integrated into every stage. Assurance and re-assurance Assurance on compliance with the Code of Business Principles and all of our Code Policies is obtained annually from Unilever management via a formal Code declaration. In addition, there are specialist awareness and training programmes which are run throughout the year and vary depending on the business priorities. These specialist compliance programmes supplement the Code declaration. Our Corporate Audit function plays a vital role in providing to both management and the Board an objective and independent review of the effectiveness of risk management and internal control systems throughout Unilever. Board assessment of compliance with the risk management frameworks The Board, advised by the Committees where appropriate, regularly review the significant risks and decisions that could have a material impact on Unilever. These reviews consider the level of risk that Unilever is prepared to take in pursuit of the business strategy and the effectiveness of the management controls in place to mitigate the risk exposure. The Board, through the Audit Committee, has reviewed the assessment of risks, internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures in operation within Unilever. They have also considered the effectiveness of any remedial actions taken for the year covered by this Annual Report and Accounts and up to the date of its approval by the Board. Details of the activities of the Audit Committee in relation to this can be found in the Report of the Audit Committee on pages 78 to 79. Further statements on compliance with the specific risk management and control requirements in the UK Corporate Governance Code and the US Securities Exchange Act (1934) and the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) can be found on page 77.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 45Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Viability statement The Directors have reviewed the long-term prospects of the Group in order to assess its viability. This review incorporated the activities and key risks of the Group together with the factors likely to affect the Group’s future development, performance, financial position, cash flows, liquidity position and borrowing facilities as described on pages 1 to 43. These factors have also carefully considered potential further implications of Covid-19. In addition, we describe in notes 15 to 18 on pages 144 to 159 the Group’s objectives, policies and processes for managing its capital, its financial risk management objectives, details of its financial instruments and hedging activities and its exposures to credit and liquidity risk. Assessment In order to report on the long-term viability of the Group, the Directors reviewed the overall funding capacity and headroom available to withstand severe events and carried out a robust assessment of the principal risks facing the Group, including those that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity. This assessment also included reviewing and understanding the mitigation factors in respect of each principal risk. The potential financial impact of further Covid-19 related restrictions on both our overall funding capacity and our principal risks has also been considered given the wide range of potential outcomes. The risks are summarised on pages 46 to 50. The viability assessment has three parts: ▪ First, the Directors considered the period over which they have a reasonable expectation that the Group will continue to operate and meet its liabilities, ▪ Second, they considered the current debt facilities and debt headroom over the viability period, assuming that any debt maturing can be re-financed at commercially acceptable terms; and ▪ Third, they considered the potential impact of severe but plausible scenarios over this period which included the potential ramifications that Covid-19 could have across the different areas of the Group, including: ▪ assessing scenarios for each individual principal risk, for example the termination of our relationships with the three largest global customers; the loss of all material litigation cases; a major IT data breach, reputational damage from not progressing against our plastic packaging commitments, the lost cost and growth opportunities from not keeping up with technological changes and increased operational costs from climate change; and ▪ assessing scenarios that involve more than one principal risk including the following multi-risk scenarios: Multi-risk scenarios modelled Level of severity reviewed Link to principal risk Contamination issue with one of our products leading to lower sales of products of this brand and the temporary closure of our largest sourcing unit. Reduced sales in two of our Divisions was considered along with damage to our largest brand and disruption to supply chain. • Safe and high-quality products • Brand preference • Supply chain A major global incident affecting a key sourcing unit and significant water shortages in our key developing markets. The complete loss of all of our turnover in our largest geographic market was considered along with destruction of a key sourcing unit and increased operational costs due to water shortage. • Economic and political instability • Supply chain • Climate change Lack of progress against our plastic packaging ambitions and the loss of our three largest customers. Significant reputational damage was considered with the impact of losing our three key customers. • Plastic packaging • Brand preference • Customer Cyber-attack causing a temporary shutdown of our systems and the impact on profit if management failed to deliver a major transformation project. Loss of turnover for two weeks and ongoing reputational damage and loss of confidence from our customers and consumers. Potential higher cost on delayed transformation. • System and information • Business transformation Findings ▪ Firstly, a three-year period is considered appropriate for this viability assessment because it is the period covered by the strategic plan; and it enables a high level of confidence in assessing viability, even in extreme adverse events, due to a number of factors such as: ▪ the Group has considerable financial resources together with established business relationships with many customers and suppliers in countries throughout the world; ▪ high cash generation by the Group’s operations and access to the external debt markets; ▪ flexibility of cash outflow with respect to significant marketing programmes and capital expenditure projects which usually have a 2-3 year horizon; and ▪ the Group’s diverse product and geographical activities which are impacted by continuously evolving technology and innovation. ▪ Secondly, the Group’s debt headroom and funding profile was assessed. None of the future outlooks considered resulted in significant liquidity headroom issues, primarily because: ▪ the Group has a healthy balance of short-term and long-term debt programmes, with repayment profiles ensuring short-term commercial paper maturities do not exceed €0.5 billion in any given week and long-term debt maturities do not exceed €4 billion in any given year ▪ the Group has $8.0 billion of committed credit facilities with a maturity of 364 days which are used for backing up our commercial paper programmes. Additional revolving 364 day facilities of €1.5 billion have also been taken out in 2021 to support liquidity headroom. ▪ Thirdly, for each of our 14 principal risks, worst case plausible scenarios have been assessed together with multiple risk scenarios. None of the scenarios reviewed, either individually or in aggregate would cause Unilever to cease to be viable. Conclusion On the basis described above, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Group will be able to continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the three-year period of their assessment.
46 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Principal risk factors Our business is subject to risks and uncertainties. On the following pages we have identified the risks that we regard as the most relevant to our business. These are the risks that we see as most material to Unilever’s business and performance at this time. There may be other risks that could emerge in the future. Climate change is a principal risk to Unilever as described on page 47. Our principal risks include risks that could impact our business in the short term (i.e. the next two years), medium term (i.e. the next three to ten years) or over the longer term (i.e. beyond ten years). Our principal risks have not changed this year. We also reflect on whether we think the level of risk associated with each of our principal risks is increasing or decreasing. There are three principal risks where we believe there is an increased level of risk compared with last year: ▪ Business transformation: there is an increase in the scale of projects in 2022, e.g. the disposal of ekaterra, new organisational model and the transformation of our core business processes to create a superior customer experience. ▪ Economic and political instability: heightened risk due to inflationary and supply chain pressures, possible withdrawal of state fiscal stimulus and differing recoveries from Covid-19 between countries. ▪ Systems and information: the cyber-attack industry is becoming increasingly professionalised. The potential impact and likelihood of certain principal risks remain heightened due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These risks are the safety and wellbeing of our employees, continuity of operations, product relevance, channel capabilities and IT availability. Biodiversity loss has the characteristics of an emerging risk. A loss of forests and soil due to potential physical and regulatory risks could make future harvests more difficult and expensive in the long term (see pages 59 to 60). If the circumstances in these risks occur or are not successfully mitigated, our cash flow, operating results, financial position, business and reputation could be materially adversely affected. In addition, risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to vary from those described, which may include forward-looking statements, or could impact on our ability to meet our targets or be detrimental to our profitability or reputation. Risk Risk description Level of risk Brand preference Our success depends on the value and relevance of our brands and products to consumers around the world and on our ability to innovate and remain competitive. Consumer tastes, preferences and behaviours are changing more rapidly than ever before. We see a growing trend for consumers preferring brands which both meet their functional needs and have an explicit social or environmental purpose. Technological change is disrupting our traditional brand communication models. Our ability to develop and deploy the right communication, both in terms of messaging content and medium is critical to the continued strength of our brands. We are dependent on creating innovative products that continue to meet the needs of our consumers and getting these new products to market with speed. The Covid-19 pandemic has driven significant changes in consumer habits and demand (for example, an increase in hygiene-related products and a reduction in out-of-home food products), which is requiring a continuing and rapid evolution of our brands to ensure we remain competitive. No change Portfolio management Unilever’s strategic investment choices will affect the long-term growth and profits of our business. Unilever’s growth and profitability are determined by our portfolio of Divisions, geographies and channels and how these evolve over time. If Unilever does not make optimal strategic investment decisions, then opportunities for growth and improved margin could be missed. No change Our risks continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 47Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Risk Risk description Level of risk Climate change Climate change and governmental actions to reduce such change may disrupt our operations and/or reduce consumer demand for our products. Climate change could impact our business in various ways. Government action to reduce climate change such as the introduction of a carbon tax, land use regulations or product composition regulations which restrict or ban certain GHG intensive ingredients, could impact our business through higher costs or reduced flexibility of operations. Market risks associated with the energy transition and rising energy prices could disrupt our operations and increase costs. Physical environment risks such as water scarcity could impact our operations or reduce demand for our products that require water during consumer use. Increased frequency of extreme weather events such as high temperatures, hurricanes or floods could cause increased incidence of disruption to our supply chain, manufacturing and distribution network. If we do not take action, climate change could result in increased costs, reduced profit and reduced growth. No change Plastic packaging We use a significant amount of plastic to package our products. A reduction in the amount of virgin plastic we use, the use of recycled plastic and an increase in the recyclability of our packaging are critical to our future success. Both consumer and customer responses to the environmental impact of plastic waste and emerging regulations by governments to tax or ban the use of certain plastics requires us to find solutions to reduce the amount of plastic we use, increase recycling post-consumer use and source recycled plastic for use in our packaging. We are also dependent on the work of our industry partners to create and improve recycling infrastructure throughout the world. Not only is there a risk around finding appropriate replacement materials, but also due to high demand, the cost of recycled plastic or other alternative packaging materials could significantly increase in the foreseeable future and this could impact our business performance. We could also be exposed to higher costs as a result of taxes or fines if we are unable to comply with plastic regulations, which would again impact our profitability and reputation. No change Customer Successful customer relationships are vital to our business and continued growth. Maintaining strong relationships with our existing customers and building relationships with new customers who have built new technology-enabled business models to serve changing shopper habits are necessary to ensure our brands are well presented to our consumers and available for purchase at all times. The strength of our customer relationships also affects our ability to obtain pricing and competitive trade terms. Failure to maintain strong relationships with customers could negatively impact our terms of business with affected customers and reduce the availability of our products to consumers. The Covid-19 pandemic has driven a rapid increase in online shopping, which means we need to accelerate development of eCommerce capabilities to remain competitive. No change
48 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Risk Risk description Level of risk Talent A skilled workforce and agile ways of working are essential for the continued success of our business. With the rapidly changing nature of work and skills, there is a risk that our workforce is not equipped with the skills required for the new environment. Our ability to attract, develop and retain a diverse range of skilled people is critical if we are to compete and grow effectively. This is especially true in our key emerging markets where there can be a high level of competition for a limited talent pool. The loss of management or other key personnel or the inability to identify, attract and retain qualified personnel could make it difficult to manage the business and could adversely affect operations and financial results. The wellbeing of our employees is vital to the success of our business. Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on their wellbeing, therefore helping our employees manage the impact of Covid-19 on their lives and their ability to work effectively requires continued focus. No change Supply chain Our business depends on purchasing materials, efficient manufacturing and the timely distribution of products to our customers. Our supply chain network is exposed to potentially adverse events such as physical disruptions, environmental and industrial accidents, trade restrictions or disruptions at a key supplier, which could impact our ability to deliver orders to our customers. The Covid-19 pandemic is an adverse event that has challenged and continues to challenge the continuity of our supply chain. Maintaining manufacturing operations whilst adhering to changing local regulations and meeting enhanced health and safety standards has proven possible but has required significant management. In addition, ensuring the operation of a global logistics network for both input materials and finished goods has presented challenges and requires continued focus and flexibility. The cost of our products can be significantly affected by the cost of the underlying commodities and materials from which they are made. Fluctuations in these costs cannot always be passed on to the consumer through pricing. No change Safe and high- quality products The quality and safety of our products are of paramount importance for our brands and our reputation. The risk that raw materials are accidentally or maliciously contaminated throughout the supply chain or that other product defects occur due to human error, equipment failure or other factors cannot be excluded. Labelling errors can have potentially serious consequences for both consumer safety and brand reputation. Therefore, on-pack labelling needs to provide clear and accurate ingredient information in order that consumers can make informed decisions regarding the products they buy. No change Our risks continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 49Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Risk Risk description Level of risk Systems and information Unilever’s operations are increasingly dependent on IT systems and the management of information. The cyber-attack threat of unauthorised access and misuse of sensitive information or disruption to operations continues to increase. Such an attack could inhibit our business operations in a number of ways, including disruption to sales, production and cash flows, ultimately impacting our results. In addition, increasing digital interactions with customers, suppliers and consumers place ever greater emphasis on the need for secure and reliable IT systems and infrastructure and careful management of the information that is in our possession to ensure data privacy. Given the changes in the ways of working of all our employees as well as our customers and suppliers as a result of Covid-19, there has been an increased reliance on certain elements of our IT infrastructure. We are particularly reliant on third-party experts in this space and thus the impact of Covid-19 on their operations also poses a risk for us. Increase Business transformation Successful execution of business transformation projects is key to delivering their intended business benefits and avoiding disruption to other business activities. Unilever is continually engaged in major change projects, including acquisitions, disposals and organisational transformation, to drive continuous improvement in our business and to strengthen our portfolio and capabilities. Continued digitalisation of our business models and processes, together with enhancing data management capabilities, is a critical part of our transformation. We have an extensive programme of transformation projects. Failure to execute such initiatives successfully could result in under-delivery of the expected benefits and there could be a significant impact on the value of the business. Increase Economic and political instability Adverse economic conditions may affect one or more countries, regions or may extend globally. Unilever operates around the world and is exposed to economic and political instability that may reduce consumer demand for our products, disrupt sales operations and/or impact the profitability of our operations. Government actions such as foreign exchange or price controls can impact on the growth and profitability of our local operations. Unilever has more than half of its turnover in emerging markets which can offer greater growth opportunities but also expose Unilever to related economic and political volatility. Increase
50 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Risk Risk description Level of risk Treasury and Tax Unilever is exposed to a variety of external financial risks in relation to Treasury and Tax. The relative value of currencies can fluctuate widely and could have a significant impact on business results. Further, because Unilever consolidates its financial statements in euros it is subject to exchange risks associated with the translation of the underlying net assets and earnings of its foreign subsidiaries. We are also subject to the imposition of exchange controls by individual countries which could limit our ability to import materials paid in foreign currency or to remit dividends to the parent company. A material shortfall in our cash flow could undermine Unilever’s credit rating, impair investor confidence and restrict Unilever’s ability to raise funds. In times of financial crisis, there is a further risk that we may not be able to raise funds due to market illiquidity. We are exposed to counter-party risks with banks, suppliers and customers, which could result in financial losses. Tax is a complex and evolving area where laws and their interpretation are changing regularly, leading to the risk of unexpected tax exposures. International tax reform remains a key focus of attention with the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project, and the Digitalising Economy Project, and further potential tax reform in the European Union and the US. No change Ethical Unilever’s brands and reputation are valuable assets and the way in which we operate, contribute to society and engage with the world around us is always under scrutiny both internally and externally. Acting in an ethical manner, consistent with the expectations of customers, consumers and other stakeholders, is essential for the protection of the reputation of Unilever and its brands. A key element of our ethical approach to business is to reduce inequality and promote fairness. Our activities touch the lives of millions of people and it is our responsibility to protect their rights and help them live well. The safety of our employees and the people and communities we work with is critical. Failure to meet these high standards could result in damage to Unilever’s corporate reputation and business results. No change Legal and regulatory Compliance with laws and regulations is an essential part of Unilever’s business operations. Unilever is subject to national and regional laws and regulations in such diverse areas as product safety, product claims, trademarks, copyright, patents, competition, employee health and safety, data privacy, the environment, corporate governance, listing and disclosure, employment and taxes. Failure to comply with laws and regulations could expose Unilever to civil and/or criminal actions leading to damages, fines and criminal sanctions against us and/or our employees with possible consequences for our corporate reputation. Changes to laws and regulations could have a material impact on the cost of doing business. No change Our risks continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 51Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Our Climate Transition Action Plan: Annual Progress Report Our Climate Transition Action Plan (CTAP) sets out our climate strategy, defines our net zero and emission reduction goals, and the actions we intend to take to meet them. Our goals are to: ▪ Reduce in absolute terms our operational (Scope 1 and 2) emissions by 100% by 2030 against a 2015 baseline;(a) with an interim goal to achieve a 70% reduction by 2025 against a 2015 baseline. ▪ Halve the full value chain emissions of our products on a per consumer use basis by 2030 against a 2010 baseline.(b) ▪ Achieve net zero emissions covering Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2039.(c) In the 2020s and 2030s, our primary focus will be to eliminate emissions in our operations and reduce emissions across our value chain(d) rather than purchasing carbon credits. It is too early to estimate the amount of any residual value chain emissions but our plan is to balance these with carbon removals to achieve and maintain our net zero emissions goal. We fully expect our approach to delivering our commitments to evolve as science progresses and the societal debate on net zero matures. For example, we’re currently considering the recently issued guidance from the Science Based Targets initiative on net zero targets. See our website for our Climate Transition Action Plan Our progress To deliver the ambitious goals set out in our CTAP, we're focusing our actions in four key areas, which form the basis of this Annual Progress Report: our operations, our brands and products, our value chain and our wider influence on society. Our operations Our first ambition is to eliminate operational Scope 1 and 2 emissions from our factories, offices and research labs which make up approximately 2% of our GHG footprint. We've reduced our operational emissions by 64% since 2015. This puts us on track to achieve our interim milestone of a 70% reduction by 2025 – see page 34 for our three-year performance. We're taking action in a number of areas to decarbonise our operations. Eco-efficiency For years we’ve invested in eco-efficiency projects across our factories, reducing CO2 from energy per tonne of production by 77% compared to 2008 and by 14% versus 2020. Recent investments include improving energy efficiency of lighting and manufacturing equipment, and installing heat recovery systems. We've committed to align our future capital expenditure with the Paris Agreement. As a first step, in 2021 we developed a bespoke digital tool to capture the GHG, water and waste impact data of all capital expenditure projects. Renewable electricity Transitioning to renewable electricity is a significant driver of emissions reduction in our operations. Our preference is to support local renewable energy markets through purchasing renewable electricity contracts called Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), or green tariffs/bundled Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to match our grid power demand, where these are available and can be sourced in a cost competitive way. Where this is not possible, and as the next best option, we seek to purchase unbundled RECs sold separately from electricity in the same market. Only as a last resort, and when unbundled RECs are not available in a market where we buy electricity, do we buy unbundled RECs in an adjacent market. In January 2020, we reached our target of purchasing 100% renewable grid electricity for our operations through a combination of PPAs and RECs (bundled and unbundled). Since we set this target, we've worked with the RE100 campaign to evolve industry best practice in renewable electricity reporting. From 2021, we're aligning our reporting with the updated RE100 guidance which requires us to make two changes. First, for renewable electricity certified with RECs, we will only report as 'renewable' the electricity where the accompanying RECs originate in the same market. While we intend to maintain our commitment to ensure our purchase of renewable grid electricity is matched by an equivalent volume of renewable electricity generation, we’ll no longer count the purchase of unbundled RECs from an adjacent market in our renewable electricity reporting. While this will lower our reported renewable electricity percentage, we support the aims of RE100 to increase transparency in the global renewable power landscape, which we hope will help to accelerate the provision of renewable power in all markets. The second change is to include non-grid sourced electricity. Currently, we use biomass in combined heat and power (CHP) boilers at a limited number of sites. As well as providing thermal energy (see below), they also supply our sites with electricity. From 2021 we'll include this within our renewable electricity reporting. We'll also include the renewable electricity generated at our factory sites, for example, the on-site solar installations in 24 countries. In 2021 we generated almost 3% of our total electricity from on-site renewable sources. Taking into account the updated definition and widened scope of our renewable electricity reporting, in 2021, 86% of our total electricity was from renewable sources. Against the new scope and definitions, the prior year would have been 80%. See page 56 for a more detailed breakdown of our electricity by source. Renewable thermal energy In addition to renewable electricity, we aim to transition heating sources (typically fossil-fuel-burning CHP boilers for hot air, water and steam) to renewable energy alternatives. By early 2020, we had stopped using direct coal on-site for thermal energy, except for three factories acquired in 2020 Additional non-financial information Climate change disclosures
52 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 as part of our acquisition of the Horlicks portfolio in India and other predominantly Asian markets. In 2021, we eliminated direct coal from these three factories through the use of biomass and biodiesel. We're exploring options to eliminate indirect coal from steam supplied by third parties by 2030. We're phasing out gas-fired boilers and exploring new renewable heating technologies such as heat pumps, concentrated solar power and lower carbon biogenic-derived sources. These technologies could provide up to half of our thermal energy needs by 2025. We have strict criteria to ensure we deliver genuine lifecycle carbon reductions. In 2022, we will publish details on how we’ll ensure any biofuels we use do not lead to deforestation, compete with food supplies, and are sourced from local waste materials where possible. Many of the low-carbon heating options we’re exploring are not yet commercially viable or widely available, so we're supporting innovation and looking for ways to trial them. We see hydrogen produced using renewable energy as a potential industrial scale low-carbon alternative to natural gas. Our Port Sunlight factory in the UK is supporting a trial of hydrogen technology. Refrigerants We're phasing out high-impact refrigerants from our operations, starting with the most harmful hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). When replacing these, we aim to use the greenest version available for the purpose needed. By the end of 2021 we had replaced HCFCs at 29 sites. Food waste Our first priority is to reduce the amount of food waste we generate in the first place – we're aiming to halve food waste in our operations by 2025. This will also help to reduce our GHG emissions. By the end of 2021, we’d reduced food waste per tonne of food handled in our operations by 3% versus 2019. Our progress in reducing manufacturing food waste has been hampered by Covid-related disruptions. We're exploring solutions with our engineering teams such as anaerobic digestion, using the biogas generated on-site, composting and using the waste as fertiliser. Our brands and products Designing our products to be lower carbon will help us to reduce our indirect Scope 3 footprint and strengthens the appeal of our brands to consumers. In some cases, it can also help consumers reduce their own footprint (see page 53). We’re focusing on concentration and compaction, transitioning away from fossil fuels in our cleaning products, growing our portfolio of plant-based products and investing in climate and nature projects through our Climate & Nature Fund. Concentration and compaction In the last decade we’ve made significant emissions reductions by removing or reducing carbon-intensive materials such as inorganics and surfactants, and by concentrating and compacting our products. In 2021 we continued to develop concentrated formulas for our laundry liquids, including OMO in-home refills available in six markets and Seventh Generation’s ultraconcentrated laundry formulation in the US. Lifebuoy also rolled out ten times concentrated ecorefill home cleaning spray in Europe. Recycled and renewable carbon in formulations Through our Clean Future programme, our Home Care laundry and cleaning brands are identifying new opportunities to shift to renewable and recycled ingredients, moving away from fossil-fuel-based ingredients. This year we launched an OMO liquid laundry capsule made from captured industrial carbon. Lifebuoy launched a cleaning range with plant-based ingredients in five countries. And OMO/Persil launched a new laundry liquid in 16 countries with plant-based stain removers. Read more about Clean Future on page 23. Plant-based foods Alternative proteins, plant-based eating and meat and dairy alternatives are strategic pillars for our Foods & Refreshment division and all contribute to lowering carbon emissions. We’re aiming to achieve €1 billion in sales from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives by 2025-2027 – through brands such as The Vegetarian Butcher, Wall’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, Knorr and Hellmann’s. We’re also encouraging people to use more plant-based ingredients in their cooking, through Knorr’s ‘Future 50’ inspired plant-based recipes. Read more about plant-based foods on page 22. Helping consumers make lower carbon choices As well as ingredient transparency on product packs, we want our consumers to have clear information about the carbon footprint of the products they buy and we're exploring ways to provide this. After more than a decade of work assessing the carbon footprint of our products, we're now working with others across the value chain to standardise data collection protocols and communication frameworks. For example, we’re part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Value Chain Carbon Transparency Pathfinder initiative. And we’re working with the Cosmetics Consortium to develop an industry-standard environmental impact assessment and scoring system. Climate & Nature Fund Our €1 billion Climate & Nature Fund will help brands invest in projects that positively address climate change and protect nature – for example, through forest protection and regeneration. In 2021, we recruited a specialised team to lead this work, formulate the strategy and get started on project implementation. In this first year, we've committed Additional non-financial information continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 53Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 €40 million and are now building a pipeline of further projects. For example, Knorr will use the fund to support 50 regenerative agriculture projects. These are predicted to reduce GHG emissions and water use by an estimated 30% while improving biodiversity, soil health and livelihoods. As part of our Beauty & Personal Care’s Positive Beauty strategy (see page 21), the Fund is working on innovative financing and collaboration partnerships to support the delivery of our commitment to protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030. This is more land than we use to grow renewable ingredients for the Division’s products. Our value chain Our value chain encompasses upstream and downstream Scope 3 emissions, excluding indirect consumer use-phase emissions (see page 53 for more on consumer use). Our focus is on tackling emissions from raw materials (including aerosol propellants), packaging materials, logistics and distribution networks, ice cream cabinets, and the disposal of waste products and packaging. Raw materials We've developed GHG reduction roadmaps for key materials and ingredients which contribute to our upstream Scope 3 GHG emissions, including dairy. Our roadmaps identify how we can reduce emissions through product reformulations, different raw materials and supplier innovation partnerships. It is particularly critical that we work in partnership with our suppliers as 1.5°C-aligned emission reduction pathways for the majority of these materials are still unclear and it is only through collaboration that we will find solutions. In 2021, we invited our suppliers to commit to setting a public target to halve absolute GHG emissions by 2030, report their progress and share their data with us. We’re exploring new ways to support suppliers through guidance, tools and resources, particularly for the 300 suppliers who have the most significant GHG emissions. In 2021, we began working with a small group to help us shape the programme, and we‘ll launch a pilot in 2022, before further roll-out in 2023. We’re also encouraging other companies to work with their suppliers, for example through the 1.5°C Supplier Engagement Guide, launched by the 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders initiative at COP26. We cannot achieve our climate goals if our operations or supply chain contribute to deforestation. Our suppliers and other partners will play a critical role in helping us achieve a deforestation-free supply chain for five key commodities by 2023. Read more on tackling deforestation on page 30. Packaging materials We’ve set ambitious plastic commitments including to halve our virgin plastic footprint by 2025. Key to achieving this will be by increasing our use of recycled plastic. Our goal is to use at least 25% recycled plastic by 2025, and this year we achieved approximately 17%. We’re also reducing our use of virgin plastic by shifting to refillable, reusable or naked (unwrapped) products which use less or no plastic. In 2021, we saw strong sales of concentrated home refill laundry and we continue to expand our in-store and at-home refill pilots, with about 15 in progress around the world. We're also exploring materials like paper and board, using life cycle analysis to ensure any switch away from plastic doesn’t end up increasing our GHG footprint. Read more about plastic on page 29. Logistics and distribution More than 90% of our logistics emissions come from our logistics suppliers. We've begun using lower carbon alternative fuels such as liquified natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) in 12 countries and piloted zero emission electric trucks with partners in three countries with plans to scale to more. We also signed up to a new shipping coalition, Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) to help accelerate the decarbonisation of the shipping industry. In our own car fleet, we developed country roadmaps to achieve 100% electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrids by 2030, taking into account the availability of EVs, charging infrastructure and financial support or subsidies. In 2021, across six of the most EV-ready countries, EVs and hybrids made up 6% of the fleet. Retail emissions In 2021, all the new freezers we purchased to cool our ice creams in-store used lower carbon natural hydrocarbon refrigerants. We estimate that over 90% of the 3 million freezers in our fleet now use these refrigerants. We’re investing in energy-efficient freezers, with the average energy use per cabinet falling by 3% compared to 2020. We're also looking at ‘warming up’ the cold chain so that less energy is needed to refrigerate products across their life. Aerosol propellants We typically use hydrocarbon propellant gases in hairsprays, body sprays and deodorants. In the US, our largest deodorant and hair market, Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) regulations restrict the use of formulations used elsewhere. Our primary focus has been to find regulatory solutions in the US to enable the use of alternative propellant systems which have a lower GHG footprint compared to hydrocarbon and hydrofluorocarbon propellants and help improve air quality. Provisions have been added to the US VOC regulations to allow the use of compressed gas propellants. We’re now exploring alternative formulations and formats in key markets. Disposal of waste products Our products have a GHG impact at the end of their life, as fossil-fuel-based ingredients break down and release emissions. We're switching to plant-based 100% biodegradable formulations across our Home Care portfolio. For example, Lifebuoy’s BotaniTech range made from naturally derived and 100% biodegradable cleaning ingredients launched in five markets in 2021. And Comfort launched its Ultimate Care range, which contains new biodegradable technology to extend the life of clothes.
54 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Our wider influence on society We’re advocating for changes that will ultimately reduce the impact of our products when used by consumers as well as accelerating progress in other areas of our value chain. Consumer use Around two-thirds of our products' GHG impact comes from their use by consumers (indirect downstream Scope 3 emissions), for instance from energy used by washing machines or hot water used for showering. There’s a limit to how much we can influence emissions from product use as consumers make their own choices on how long they shower, which energy provider they use, and how efficient their home appliances are. We’re therefore reliant, as many companies are, on the decarbonisation of the energy grid to reduce our downstream Scope 3 footprint. We’re using our influence to advocate for system-wide change, such as acceleration of renewable energy globally, which will help reduce emissions in consumers’ homes – see below for more on our advocacy. In addition, we're committed to using technology and innovation to provide consumers with superior and lower carbon products while growing our business. This is already visible in Home Care’s Clean Future strategy (with a focus on renewable and recycled carbon ingredients – see page 23), in Foods & Refreshment’s Future Foods strategy (with a focus on plant-based foods – see page 22), and Beauty & Personal Care’s Positive Beauty strategy (with a focus on sustainable sourcing, deforestation-free palm oil and nature-based solutions – see page 21). Our product lifecycle GHG emissions per consumer use have reduced by 14% since 2010 and by 4% since 2020, while our absolute Scope 3 emissions (from consumer use, ingredients and packaging and distribution and retail) increased by 1% versus 2020, as our sales increased over the same period. The reduction in GHG emissions per consumer use is driven by our Foods & Refreshment and Home Care Divisions, where emissions have fallen by 32% and 43% respectively since 2010. This is mainly due to grid decarbonisation, portfolio changes and product reformulation, such as the removal of phosphates in our laundry products. Over the same period, GHG emissions per consumer use from our Beauty & Personal Care Division have increased by 6% despite ongoing grid decarbonisation – driven primarily by the acquisition of brands with hair, bath and shower products which have high GHG emissions associated with consumer hot water use. Advocacy We were an early signatory to the We Mean Business open letter to G20 leaders calling for higher ambition ahead of the COP26 conference in 2021. Subsequently we partnered with the UK government as a Principal Partner of COP26 in Glasgow. Alan Jope served as a member of the COP26 Business Leaders Group to rally UK and international businesses. During the conference, we participated in numerous events including the World Leaders Summit, the Forest, Agriculture, Commodities and Trade (FACT) dialogue to reduce emissions in commodity value chains and events on creating high integrity standards for voluntary carbon markets. We also developed a climate advocacy toolkit to support our market teams to push for higher climate ambition. Trade association policy alignment We've committed to ensuring that all direct lobbying relevant to climate policy is consistent with the Paris Agreement. At the end of 2021 we published our climate policy position on our website for indirect climate lobbying. In 2021 we rejoined the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) to help accelerate the European chemical industry’s transition towards circular chemistry. We will clearly indicate when CEFIC submissions on climate change-related policies do not align with our own climate positions. See our website for our climate policy position Industry partnerships We continued our engagement with a selected group of international climate leadership strategic partners – the United Nations Global Compact, the World Economic Forum, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). We initiated and co-chaired with Walmart a Race to Zero Task Force within the CGF to encourage other consumer goods and retail companies to join the UN’s Race to Zero. This succeeded in doubling the number of CGF Board members making such commitments. We also helped to create a Transform to Net Zero guide for businesses. Additional non-financial information continued (a) Our medium-term emissions reduction target has been recognised as science- based and consistent with the 1.5°C ambition of the Paris Agreement by the Science Based Targets initiative. (b) Our medium-term full value chain emissions reduction target has been recognised as science-based and consistent with a 2°C temperature increase by the Science Based Targets initiative. It was set in 2010 and was validated by the Science Based Targets initiative before the 1.5°C validation was introduced. We plan to review this goal in the near future. (c) Our long-term net zero value chain target covers upstream Scope 3 emissions, Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and mandatory downstream Scope 3 emissions. Mandatory downstream emissions include direct emissions from aerosol propellants and the biodegradation of chemicals in the disposal phase, but excludes indirect consumer use-phase emissions, such as emissions associated with hot water used with our products. This approach is consistent with the Science Based Targets initiative’s approach to net zero targets. Our medium- term value chain emissions reduction target covers indirect consumer use- phase emissions. The definition of ‘net zero’ is outlined in our CTAP. (d) In this CTAP Progress Report, as in the CTAP, references to ‘our value chain’ encompasses upstream and downstream Scope 3 emissions, but excludes indirect consumer use-phase emissions and operational Scope 1 and 2 emissions, unless stated otherwise. References to ‘full value chain’ in the context of our goal to halve our full value chain GHG emissions by 2030, additionally includes operational Scope 1 and 2 emissions and indirect consumer-use phase emissions.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 55Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Governance, data and disclosure Our CTAP was put before shareholders for a non-binding advisory vote in May 2021 at our Annual General Meeting. Shareholders overwhelmingly supported the plan, with 99.59% of votes in favour. We'll continue to seek an advisory vote at our AGM every three years and will report on progress against the plan every year. The Board take overall accountability for the management of all risks and opportunities, including climate change. Our CEO Alan Jope is ultimately responsible for overseeing our climate change agenda. External assurance ensures that our data is robust and reliable. For details of assurance in 2021, see the PwC Independent Limited Assurance Report 2021 on our website. This Annual Report and Accounts contains additional climate change disclosures, including in our TCFD statement: ▪ Governance: pages 4, 57, 80 to 81, 88 and 91 to 93 ▪ Strategy: pages 8 to 11 and 57 to 62 ▪ Risk management: pages 44 to 47 and 57 to 62 ▪ Metrics and targets: pages 10, 34 and 62 See our website for more on climate action Our CDP submissions contain further disclosures on climate, water and forests GHG emissions The table below provides a detailed breakdown of our Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by activity. 2021 2020 2019 Unilever operations (Scope 1 and 2)(a) Total Scope 1 and 2 (tonnes CO2e) 710,740 823,511 1,128,091 Scope 1 (tonnes CO2e) 565,988 606,771 659,028 Renewable energy 0 0 0 Non-renewable energy 542,620 592,342 632,560 Refrigerants 23,368 14,429 26,468 Scope 2 (tonnes CO2e) 144,752 216,740 469,063 Purchased renewable electricity 0 0 0 Purchased non-renewable electricity 57,033 128,442 382,057 Purchased renewable thermal energy 0 0 0 Purchased non-renewable thermal energy 87,719 88,298 87,006 Reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from energy and refrigerant use in our operations since 2015 (%) -64% -58% -42% Upstream and downstream of Unilever operations (Scope 3)(b) Total Scope 3 (tonnes CO2e) 61,007,131 60,388,592 61,020,357 Consumer use (tonnes CO2e) 43,187,538 42,093,341 41,743,454 Ingredients and packaging (tonnes CO2e) 14,860,832 14,239,918 14,897,174 Distribution and retail (tonnes CO2e) 2,958,761 4,055,333 4,379,729 Full value chain (Scope 1, 2, 3)(c) GHG impact per consumer use (grams CO2e) 43.6† 45.6 46.7 (a) Scope 1 encompasses direct GHG emissions from energy generated from fossil fuels such as gas and oil, as well as emissions from refrigerants at a small number of sites where we have reliable data; Scope 2 encompasses indirect GHG emissions from the on-site generation and purchase of electricity according to the ‘market- based method’ and purchased thermal energy. 2020 and 2019 Scope 2 figures have been restated to align our renewable electricity reporting with updated RE100 guidance. See page 51 for more information. (b) Scope 3 encompasses indirect GHG emissions in Unilever’s value chain (upstream and downstream). Our Scope 3 emissions were recalculated in 2020 to include biodegradability of organic materials. We also recalculated consumer use to include disposal, and ingredients and packaging to include inbound transport of raw materials. However, the direction of change of our GHG impact per consumer use over the past three years remains the same. See the Basis of Preparation on our website for more details on how we measure our GHG footprint www.unilever.com/planet-and-society/sustainability-reporting-centre/independent-assurance. (c) We measure the Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG footprint of our product portfolio using an LCA method. Our environmental targets are expressed against a baseline of 2010 and on a 'per consumer use' basis. This means a single use, portion or serving of a product. We continuously review our GHG footprint estimations to ensure we are using the best available data. These changes can affect both the 2010 baseline and the annual emissions that we report. † This metric was subject to external independent limited assurance by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (‘PwC’) in 2021. For PwC's 2021 Limited Assurance report and the 2021 Unilever Basis of Preparation for assured metrics see www.unilever.com/planet-and-society/sustainability-reporting-centre/independent-assurance.
56 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Additional non-financial information continued Renewable and non-renewable electricity The table below provides a breakdown of our renewable and non-renewable electricity by source. 2021 2020 2019 Renewable (% of kWh)(a) On-site renewable self-generation 2.5% 1.0% 0.4% Purchased renewable electricity: 83.8% 78.7% 66.1% On-site Purchase Power Agreements 0.3% 0.5% 0.5% Off-site Purchase Power Agreements 9.8% 15.3% 18.8% Green electricity products from an energy supplier (green tariffs/bundled RECs) 24.5% 18.8% 21.9% Green electricity purchased in markets with greater than 95% renewable grid 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% Unbundled RECs bought in market 65.2% 65.4% 58.7% Total renewable electricity 86.3% 79.7% 66.5% Non-renewable (% of kWh) On-site non-renewable electricity generation (e.g. gas-fired on-site CHP) 7.5% 7.7% 8.0% Purchased non-renewable electricity (e.g. non-grid transfer of CHP) 0.1% 5.8% 22.6% Unbundled RECs bought in an adjacent market(b) 6.1% 6.7% 2.9% Total non-renewable electricity 13.7% 20.2% 33.5% (a) The renewable sources listed align with the RE100 Reporting Guidance 2021. See page 51 for more information. (b) Previously counted as 'renewable grid electricity'. See page 51 for more information.
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 57Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures statement The following statement, which Unilever believes is consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations and Recommended Disclosures, details the risks and opportunities arising from climate change, the potential impact on our business and the actions we’re taking to respond. We also integrate climate-related disclosures throughout this Annual Report and Accounts, including in our Climate Transition Action Plan (CTAP) Progress Report on pages 51 to 56. See our website for our Climate Transition Action Plan Governance The Board takes overall accountability for the management of all risks and opportunities, including climate change (see page 44). Our CEO and Executive Board member, Alan Jope, is ultimately responsible for oversight of our climate change agenda. The Corporate Responsibility Committee and Audit Committee review our climate reporting and receive presentations from sustainability experts, including the Sustainability Advisory Council. The Board is supported by the ULE. The ULE meet quarterly to discuss key strategic matters. During 2021, three agenda items relating to climate change were discussed, including progress against our Compass climate goals. Additional specialist governance groups are in place to support our climate agenda and ULE decision- making, including: ▪ Climate Action Committee: Drives delivery of our carbon ambition at corporate and country level and leads strategic partnerships and policy on renewables. Chaired by our Chief Business Operations Officer, Reginaldo Ecclissato. ▪ Sustainable Sourcing Steering Group: Supports our strategy focusing on long-term, sustainable access to our key crops. Chaired by our Chief Procurement Officer, David Ingram. This year we engaged with shareholders on our climate strategy by seeking an advisory vote on our CTAP. We will continue to seek an advisory vote on our CTAP at our AGM every three years. Executive remuneration for management employees – up to and including the ULE – continues to be linked to performance against climate change goals. Their reward packages include fixed pay, a bonus as a percentage of fixed pay and eligibility to participate in a long-term Performance Share Plan (PSP). The PSP is linked to financial and sustainability performance, guided by our Sustainability Progress Index (SPI), which accounts for 25% of the total PSP award. The SPI in 2021 is tied to a number of sustainability targets, including our progress on reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions in manufacturing, sustainable sourcing and recycled plastic – see page 92 for details. From 2022, the SPI will be linked to a new set of targets, including replacing fossil-fuel-derived ingredients in our laundry and cleaning products with renewable or recycled carbon and our deforestation-free supply chain and recycled plastic commitments. See pages 87 to 88 for more on PSP including the role of the Board’s Compensation Committee and Corporate Responsibility Committee in determining how the PSP operates, and the SPI outcome each year. Strategy and risk management Climate change is a principal risk to Unilever which has the potential – to varying degrees – to impact our business in the short, medium and long term. We face potential physical environment risks from the effects of climate change on our business, including extreme weather and water scarcity. Potential regulatory and transition market risks associated with the shift to a low-carbon economy include changing consumer preferences and future government policy and regulation. These also present opportunities. The potential impacts of climate change are taken into account in developing the overall strategy and financial plans. More detail on these risks, opportunities and the mitigating actions we’re taking can be found on pages 59 to 60. The process for assessing and identifying climate-related risks is the same for the principal risks and is described on page 44. The risks are reviewed and assessed on an ongoing basis and formally at least once per year. For each of our principal risks we have a risk management framework detailing the controls we have in place, who is responsible for managing both the overall risk and the individual controls mitigating it. We monitor risks throughout the year to identify changes in the risk profile. We regularly carry out climate-related risk assessments at site level, supplier level, as well as innovation-project level. Climate-related risks are managed by the team relevant to where the risk resides. For example, climate risks in relation to commodities in the supply chain are managed by our procurement team. Understanding financial impact: scenario analysis We have conducted several high-level scenario analyses on the potential impacts of climate change to help us consider and adapt our strategies and financial planning. In prior years, we have reported the potential financial impacts of climate change on our business in 2030 if average global temperatures were to rise by 2°C and 4°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. This analysis led us to understand that limiting warming to 2°C would primarily expose us to economic and regulatory transition risks, whereas a 4°C warming level would expose us to unprecedented physical risks. In 2021, as new scientific evidence was released by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the global consensus around the need of governments to commit to a 1.5°C world strengthened, we extended our scenario analyses to assess the impacts of a 1.5°C temperature increase above pre-industrial levels by 2100 on our business in 2030, 2039 and 2050.
58 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Understanding and modelling the potential financial impact on the business in 2030, 2039 and 2050 of limiting global warming to 1.5°C The IPCC’s sixth assessment report (AR6), the most up-to- date compendium from the global scientific community on climate change, states that limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is necessary to prevent the severe environmental consequences that are likely to occur in a 2°C warmer world, and the catastrophic impacts that would materialise if temperatures rose by 4°C. However, it also noted that achieving a 1.5°C world would still imply major disruption and would necessitate a fast and aggressive transition of our global economy, encompassing policy and regulation, production and consumption systems, societal and economic structures and behaviours, and infrastructure development and deployment of new technologies. The IPCC also sets out multiple pathways that the world could take to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The nature of the pathway taken significantly impacts the risks and opportunities that a business will face. In assessing the material risks and opportunities Unilever would face in a world focused on achieving 1.5°C we have reviewed in detail two pathways, ‘proactive’ and ‘reactive’, that we assessed as more likely than other more extreme possible pathways. In the ‘proactive’ route, there is an early and steady reduction of emissions as a result of a fast response from all economic actors, meaning there is less dependence on technological advancements to remove carbon from the atmosphere in the second half of the century. Conversely, in the ‘reactive’ route, significant action by economic actors is delayed to 2030, after which a very rapid transition across all actors is required, accompanied by deployment at a very large scale of low-carbon energy and carbon removal activities and technology. Climate scenarios: 1.5°C, 2°C and 4°C Additional non-financial information continued Proactive route ▪ Aggressive and persistent regulation from today ▪ Dramatic changes to lifestyle from today, towards minimising climate impact and social inequality ▪ Reliance on available and proven technologies ▪ Lower reliance on carbon removal technologies Risks and opportunities assessed in creating our 1.5°C scenario In creating our 1.5°C scenario analysis, we took the two pathways and considered the five broad types of risks and opportunities using the TCFD risk framework: Regulatory risks; Market risks; Physical environment risks; Innovative products and services opportunities; and Resource efficiency, resilience, and market opportunities. We identified approximately 40 specific risk and opportunity areas which could impact us in 2030, 2039 and 2050, each of which we assessed qualitatively, supported where possible with high-level quantitative assessments. The assessments are based on financial scenarios and do not represent financial forecasts. They exclude any actions that we might undertake to mitigate or adapt to these risks. The quantitative assessments were developed to understand high-level materiality and order of magnitude financial impact rather than perform detailed simulations or forecasts on the long-term future of markets and products. The data used was from internal environmental, operational, and financial data and external science-based data and assumptions from reputable and broadly used sources such as the IPCC or the International Energy Agency. Pathways to 1.5°C: Proactive and Reactive Reactive route ▪ Gradual regulation by 2030, very aggressive post-2030 ▪ Continuation of historical societal trends until 2030, then rapid pivot ▪ Major reliance on technologies that are not yet proven to scale ▪ Higher reliance on carbon removal technologies Regulatory and economic risks 4°C world 1.5°C world 2°C world Ph ys ic a l e nv iro nm en ta l r is ks LOW HIGH LOW HIGH Speed of Innovation 1.5°C “Proactive” route Ex te nt o f r eg ul a tio n LOW HIGH LOW HIGH 1.5°C “Reactive” route
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 59Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Actions taken: We're mitigating regulatory risks through ongoing progress against the goals in our Compass and CTAP, notably our commitments on climate, deforestation and plastic packaging – see pages 10, 29 to 30 and 51 to 56. We support the use of carbon pricing as an important tool to help us achieve our zero emissions goal. Our carbon pricing approach is a mechanism which creates a sustainable capital investment fund which is then used to fund capital investments to decarbonise our operations. We support EPR policies and schemes and we’re investing directly in waste collection, processing and capacity-building projects to recycle more plastic. Market risks: ▪ Energy transition and rising energy prices could be driven by increased electrification, the deployment of renewable energy solutions, associated transmission, distribution and storage infrastructure, as well as the adoption of emerging low-carbon technologies such as biogas, green hydrogen and ammonia. This could impact our operations, suppliers, and end-consumers’ utility costs. ▪ Energy and commodity market volatility could potentially lead to increased uncertainty in financial planning and forecasting for key commodities, as well as a higher cost associated with risk management. Other considerations include potential manufacturing or supply disruptions linked to availability or higher cost of energy and sourced commodities. Actions taken: We're mitigating market risks by decarbonising our operations through eco-efficiency measures in our factories, powering our operations with renewables and transitioning heating and cooling for our factories to lower emission and renewable sources (see page 51). We manage commodity price risks through forward-buying of traded commodities and other hedging mechanisms. Physical environment risks: ▪ Water scarcity would lead to increased droughts while limited resources to irrigate soils could reduce crop outputs. Water shortages could also impact our manufacturing sites and our ability to supply water-based products. Our consumers could also face water shortages in their everyday activities in certain regions, creating a need for water-smart or waterless products or services. ▪ Extreme weather events could significantly disrupt our entire value chain. Sustained high temperatures could lead to reduced crop outputs due to reduction in soil productivity which could translate into higher raw material prices. Weather events such as hurricanes or floods, which would become increasingly common and intense, could cause plant outages or disrupt our distribution infrastructure. Additionally, macroeconomic negative shocks among affected communities could reduce or destroy consumer demand and purchasing power. Actions taken: We're mitigating physical environment risks by investing in new products and formulations that work with less water, poor quality water or no water. Many of our hair care products now have fast-rinse technology as standard, using less water. We're expanding our water stewardship programme to 100 locations in water-stressed areas by 2030 (see page 30). We monitor changing weather patterns on a short-term basis and integrate weather system Key risks and opportunities Out of all the risks and opportunities we assessed, there are 11 which we believe are significant and we summarise these below. We have combined the outputs from the ‘proactive’ and ‘reactive’ analyses since the risks and opportunities are similar, with differences in the size and timing of impact. Where we have been able to quantify the risk, the ranges represent potential impacts of the different pathways. Actions to mitigate the risks and capitalise on the opportunities have been consolidated into our Compass strategy (pages 8 to 11) and our CTAP (pages 51 to 56). Below we summarise the actions we're taking for each of the areas considered in our 1.5°C scenario assessments. Regulatory risks: ▪ Carbon pricing includes carbon taxes and voluntary removal or offset costs. Tightening regional or national regulations as well as climate commitments across individual businesses could drive widespread implementation of these taxes or market schemes. This could translate into rising direct and indirect costs linked to carbon emissions, where the strongest impact would likely be on costs of sales linked to raw materials, production, and distribution emissions. Carbon taxes on household emissions or costs passed through to our consumers linked to household emissions may impact their disposable income and ultimately their purchasing power. ▪ Land use regulation could drive reforms to radically restructure current global land use patterns to conserve and expand forest land, serving as the main natural carbon removal solution. This could reduce land available for food crops, pasture, and timber and hence access to our primary commodities which could drive reduced crop output and increase raw material prices. ▪ Product composition regulations could restrict or ban the use of certain GHG intensive components and ingredients in everyday products. This would require the redesign of products and packaging to comply, which could increase costs. ▪ Sourcing transparency and product labelling regulations could increase significantly through pressure from regulators, consumers, and investors. This could lead to disclosure compliance risks and rising commodity costs linked to radical transition to transparent supply chains, as well as a potential loss of market share to more transparent competitors. ▪ Extended producer responsibility (EPR) would mean that producers are held accountable for their environmental and social impacts across the product value chain. This could lead to improvements of lifecycle traceability from sourcing to managing end-of-life treatment of products and packaging. Circular product design and manufacturing practices could become a requirement in many regions to incentivise efficient and responsible resource extraction, and pass waste management costs through higher disposal and recycling fees to producers.
60 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 modelling into our forecasting process. To mitigate negative effects from extreme weather we have contingency plans to secure alternative key material supplies at short notice or transfer or share production between manufacturing sites. We manage commodity price risks through forward-buying of traded commodities and other hedging mechanisms. Our Regenerative Agriculture Principles and Sustainable Agriculture Code encourage our agricultural raw material suppliers to adopt practices which increase their productivity and resilience to extreme weather. In addition to these risks inherent in the pathways to a 1.5°C world, there are also opportunities which would arise from emerging needs for products and services which are delivered sustainably at an appropriate price. There are two specific opportunities which this scenario analysis highlighted: Innovative products and services opportunities: ▪ Growth in plant-based or lab-grown foods could increase rapidly in the coming years. As people become more environmentally conscious and there is regulation on land use, we could see a rise in plant-based diets away from animal-based protein. Actions taken: We're capitalising on innovative product and service opportunities by offering a range of vegan and vegetarian products. We have a target to grow sales from our plant-based meat and dairy alternatives business to €1 billion per annum by 2025-2027 (see page 22). Resource efficiency, resilience and market opportunities: ▪ Investment in energy transition technologies represents a shift to efficient and less centralised energy supply and consumption (e.g. through on-site renewable energy generation and storage), zero-emission logistics and designing products for resource-efficient consumption. This could drive decarbonisation across the value chain, while opening up the opportunity to access the utility market as an off-grid generator and create new revenue streams from grid balancing or demand side response services or providing excess renewable power of oversized capacity to supply chain partners. Actions taken: We're capitalising on resource efficiency opportunities by generating renewable electricity at our factory sites where feasible (see page 51), targeting emissions reduction from our logistics suppliers and own vehicle fleet (see page 53) and through product reformulations which make our products more resource efficient in use – for example, many of our laundry products are now low-temperature washing as standard (see page 23). Summary of high-level quantitative assessment For those risks and opportunities where we have undertaken high-level quantitative assessments, the results are shown in the tables below. These assessments show the gross impact before any action which Unilever might take to respond. The ranges reflect the different results from the reactive and proactive pathways assessed. We first undertook scenario analysis in 2017 on 2°C and 4°C scenarios. This year we have completed a 1.5°C scenario analysis. The results of this work on the way to 1.5°C is consistent with this previous work. The key differences are due to: the more extreme measures that would need to be taken to achieve a 1.5°C outcome; the evolution of the scientific assumptions contained within the IPCC's AR6 report; and a more detailed approach to the scenario analysis. The financial impact in 2030 is more significant in the 1.5°C scenario. However, the scenario avoids the greater negative impacts from the physical risks associated with higher temperature rise scenarios in 2050 and beyond. Additional non-financial information continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 61Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 1.5°C scenario analysis financial quantification in current money Financial quantification of the assessed regulatory and market risks Potential financial impact on profit in the year if no actions to mitigate risks are taken(a) Risk 2030 2039 2050 Key assumptions Carbon tax and voluntary carbon removal costs We quantified how high prices from carbon regulations and voluntary offset markets for our upstream Scope 3 emissions might impact our raw and packaging materials costs, our distribution costs and the neutralisation of our residual emissions post 2039. -€3.2bn to -€2.4bn -€5.2bn to -€4.8bn -€6.1bn ▪ Absolute zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 ▪ Scope 3 emissions exclude consumer use emissions ▪ Carbon price would reach 245 USD/tonne by 2050, rising more aggressively in early years in a proactive scenario ▪ The price of carbon offsetting would reach 65 USD/ tonne by 2050 ▪ Offsetting 100% of emissions on and after 2039 Land use regulation impact on food crop outputs We quantified how changing land use regulation to promote the conversion of current and future food crops to forests could drive reduced crop output and lead to increased raw material prices, impacting sourcing costs. -€0.8bn to -€0.3bn -€2.1bn to -€0.7bn -€5.1bn to -€1.7bn ▪ By 2050, in a proactive scenario, land use regulation would increase prices by: ▪ Palm: ~28% ▪ Commodities and food ingredients: ~33% ▪ By 2050, in a reactive scenario, land use regulation would increase prices by: ▪ Palm: ~10% ▪ Commodities and food ingredients: ~11% Impact of rising energy prices for suppliers and in manufacturing We quantified how electricity and gas price increases could impact both total energy annual spend as well as indirect cost increases passed through from raw material suppliers. -€0.6bn -€1.5bn -€3.4bn ▪ High uncertainty surrounds possible shifts to energy prices during a transition to 1.5°C world ▪ Analysis assumes that by 2050 average electricity prices would: ▪ Rise ~16% in The Americas ▪ Rise ~18% in Europe ▪ Decline ~1% in ASIA/AMET/RUB(b) ▪ By 2050 average global gas prices would rise by ~141% Financial quantification of the assessed physical environment risks Potential financial impact on profit in the year if no actions to mitigate risks are taken(a) Risk 2030 2039 2050 Key assumptions Water scarcity impact on crop yields We quantified how increased water-stressed areas and prolonged droughts would reduce crop outputs due to water scarcity in agricultural regions, decreasing crop viability, and impacting raw material prices. -€0.3bn to -€0.2bn -€0.7bn to -€0.5bn -€1.7bn to -€1.2bn ▪ By 2050, in a proactive scenario, water scarcity would increase prices by: ▪ Palm: ~10% ▪ Commodities and food ingredients: ~11% ▪ By 2050, in a reactive scenario, water scarcity would increase prices by: ▪ Palm: ~14% ▪ Commodities and food ingredients: ~16% Extreme weather (temperature) impact on crop yields We quantified how extreme weather events such as sustained high temperatures could impact crop output and therefore sourcing costs across key commodities. -€0.4bn to -€0.3bn -€1.1bn to -€0.8bn -€2.8bn to -€1.9bn ▪ By 2050, in a proactive scenario, extreme weather would increase prices by: ▪ Palm: ~12% ▪ Commodities and food ingredients: ~14% ▪ By 2050, in a reactive scenario, extreme weather would increase prices by: ▪ Palm: ~18% ▪ Commodities and food ingredients: ~21%
62 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Financial quantification of the assessed opportunities Potential financial impact in the year if actions to capitalise on opportunities are taken(a) Opportunity 2030 2039 2050 Key assumptions Growth in plant-based foods category We quantified the potential revenue opportunity from anticipated growth in the global plant-based foods market and possible market share in 2025. +€0.5bn +€1.7bn +€6.4bn ▪ By 2050, the total global market for plant based products would rise to~USD 1.6 trillion ▪ Maintain a constant market share ▪ Product mix and product margins would remain constant (a) These potential financial impacts are based on high-level quantitative assessments of certain risk and opportunity areas which could impact us in 2030, 2039 and 2050. (b) Refers to Asia, Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. In summary and next steps The analysis suggests that policy interventions and changing socio-economic trends, such as regulations related to carbon pricing, land use, product composition, sourcing transparency and product labelling, and EPR would have the most significant impact on our value chain along the journey to a 1.5°C world. The next level of impact would be as a result of the transition of the energy system with rising energy prices and market volatility. We would also experience the impact of physical environment risks associated with a warmer climate, even in a 1.5°C world. While the potential risks and financial impact of limiting global warming to 1.5°C are significant if no mitigating actions are taken, the impact of the potential risks that would exist if we were not to reduce warming to 1.5°C are potentially even more significant. The outcomes from our analysis provide us with initial high-level insights into these potential business and financial impacts. These form an important input to our strategic planning process. In summary, the radical and disruptive system-wide transformation we could face in the journey to limit warming to 1.5°C by 2100, would present a significant range of material risks, where regulatory and economic risks would be the most disruptive. However, many opportunities would also emerge, which we would be well placed to seize given our ambitious commitments are aligned with a proactive route towards net zero by 2039. There is still much to do to advance our understanding of the risk and opportunities facing our business and our industry, and our strategic responses to such a radically different future. This analysis represents an important step to continue to engage and challenge our business and our stakeholders to define how we can make sustainable living commonplace. Metrics and targets Our CTAP includes key metrics and targets to assess and manage climate risks and opportunities across our value chain. Two of the targets have been recognised as science-based by the Science Based Targets initiative – see page 55 for more details. The table below provides a high-level overview of our Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions. A more detailed breakdown of emissions by source can be found in our CTAP Progress Report on page 55. Absolute GHG emissions 2021 2020 2019 Scope 1 (tonnes CO2e)(a) 565,988 606,771 659,028 Scope 2 (tonnes CO2)(b) 144,752 216,740 469,063 Scope 3 (tonnes CO2e)(c) 61,007,131 60,388,592 61,020,357 (a) Scope 1 encompasses direct GHG emissions from energy generated from fossil fuels such as gas and oil, as well as emissions from refrigerants at a small number of sites where we have reliable data; Scope 2 encompasses indirect GHG emissions from the on-site generation and purchase of electricity according to the ‘market- based method’ and purchased thermal energy. (b) 2020 and 2019 figures have been restated to align our renewable electricity reporting with updated RE100 guidance. See page 51 for more information. (c) Scope 3 encompasses indirect GHG emissions in Unilever’s value chain (upstream and downstream). Our Scope 3 emissions were recalculated in 2020 to include biodegradability of organic materials. We also recalculated consumer use to include disposal, and ingredients and packaging to include inbound transport of raw materials. See the Basis of Preparation on our website for more details on how we measure our GHG footprint www.unilever.com/planet-and-society/sustainability- reporting-centre/independent-assurance. Additional non-financial information continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 63Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Other non-financial disclosures Unilever is subject to a number of mandatory reporting requirements. In the following pages, we provide part of our Section 172 disclosure, our Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting disclosure, employee gender reporting in alignment with the UK Corporate Governance Code, our non-financial information statement in line with the UK Companies Act 2006, and our EU Taxonomy disclosure. Section 172: Engaging with our stakeholders The information set out below, together with the information on pages 69 to 71 of our Governance Report which explains how the Board considers and engages with stakeholders, forms our section 172 statement under the UK Companies Act 2006. The Unilever Compass on page 9 details the six stakeholder groups we have identified as critical to our future success: shareholders, our people, consumers, customers, suppliers & business partners and planet & society. Throughout the Strategic Report we explain how we’ve worked to create value for each in 2021, as well as how our business benefits from these vital relationships. Stakeholder How we engaged in 2021 Find out more Shareholders We engage with our shareholders on our strategy and business performance. ▪ We speak directly to shareholders through quarterly results broadcasts and conference presentations, as well as through meetings and calls about aspects of business performance and consumer trends. ▪ Senior leaders and our Board speak directly to shareholders on a broad range of issues. For example, in 2021 we presented to investors on innovation and alternative approaches to animal testing. ▪ As part of our engagement activities in 2021, we put our Climate Transition Action Plan before our shareholders for them to vote on. Page 15-17 Our people 148,000 talented people in more than 100 countries give their skills and time in Unilever offices, factories, R&D laboratories and tea estates. • Through our UniVoice survey we engaged with around 90,000 employees in 2021 and we continued to run monthly UniPulse surveys for more frequent feedback, helping us understand employee sentiment on specific topics. • We continued our bi-weekly ‘Your call’ sessions with our CEO and ULE members to give our workforce direct and regular access to our leadership team where they answered questions from our people on issues of concern to them as employees, such as employee attrition, our approach to equity, diversity and inclusion, returning to the workplace and company financial performance. • At a market level, we held regular local leader-led virtual townhall meetings to engage with employees on locally relevant topics and issues. • We held a virtual Compass Live event, inviting key senior leaders across our business to engage with and inform our employees on our Compass strategy and our progress during the year, to ensure common awareness of the factors affecting our performance. Page 18-19 Consumers 3.4 billion people use our products every day. ▪ We use our 37 People Data Centres to draw insights from social media coupled with consumer research from partners such as Kantar, Nielsen and Ipsos who we engage with through their regular surveys and panels. ▪ We use our Consumer Carelines to give us insights into the experiences of consumers when using our products – during 2021 we had around 4 million interactions through calls, emails, letters, social media and webchats. The feedback is shared with relevant parts of the business to take appropriate action. Page 20-24 Customers We partner with global retailers and eCommerce marketplaces through to small family-owned stores. ▪ We are members of the Advantage Group Survey to help us understand how we can improve our customers’ experience. This year we engaged with nearly 800 customers across 34 countries. ▪ Our larger retail partners have direct channels into us. We actively manage these relationships through our Customer Development team who regularly meet customers to discuss a range of issues including shopper insights and ways to drive category growth and sales. Through these relationships we produce Joint Business Plans for mutual benefit. ▪ We use an online platform to provide shopper insights and research for our smaller retailer customers. In 2021 we engaged with small shop owners and micro-entrepreneurs who have undertaken our financial and inclusion training programmes to understand how they have benefited from them. Page 25-26 Suppliers & business partners We work with around 53,000 supplier partners in 150 countries to source materials and provide critical services for us. ▪ Through our Supply Chain and Procurement teams, we communicate with our suppliers and business partners frequently. ▪ We conduct an annual Partner with Purpose survey to understand how our suppliers feel about working with Unilever and areas for improvement. ▪ In 2021, we continued the roll-out of the Covid-19 information site we built in 2020 for suppliers to share protocols and useful information to help keep them running safely. Page 27-28 Planet & society As a global business with a global footprint, we consider the planet and all its citizens to be a key stakeholder. ▪ As part of our sustainability materiality process, we analyse insights from our key stakeholders to make sure we’re focusing on the most important sustainability issues and to inform our reporting (see our website for more details). ▪ We engage with NGOs such as Greenpeace and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on common issues of concern, such as plastic packaging, as well as local NGOs. ▪ We conduct an annual survey of citizens who have a strong interest in social and environmental issues, to understand their evolving interests, concerns and expectations. ▪ We engage with industry groups and forums on the sustainability issues most important to Unilever, with ULE members leading our engagement in the areas most relevant to their field of responsibility. ▪ In 2021, Unilever was a Principal Partner of COP26, giving us the opportunity to engage with a wide range of stakeholders to drive a higher level of climate ambition. Page 29-31 Additional non-financial information continued
64 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Employee diversity As part of our disclosure to comply with the UK Corporate Governance Code 2018, the table below shows our workforce diversity by gender and work level for the reporting period ending 31 December 2021. 2021 2020 Gender statistics Female Male Unspecified(b) Female Male Board 6 7 0 5 7 (46)% (54)% —% (42)% (58)% Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) 4 9 0 4 9 (31)% (69)% —% (31)% (69)% Senior management (reporting to ULE) 20 55 0 16 56 (27)% (73)% —% (22)% (78)% Management(a) 8,733 8,047 7 7,636 7,525 (52)% (48)% (0.04)% 50% 50% Total workforce 52,925 95,087 32 51,967 96,982 (36)% (64)% (0.02)% 35% 65% (a) Based on a total management population of 16,875 including ULE and senior management. (b) In 2021 we expanded our reporting to include those who are not identified as male or female in our systems. Employees who are statutory directors of the corporate entities included in this Annual Report and Accounts: 494 (65%) males and 265 (35%) females (see pages 176 to 186). Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) In line with the requirements set out in the UK Government’s guidance on Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting, the table below represents Unilever’s energy use and associated GHG emissions from electricity and fuel in the UK (1 October to 30 September), calculated with reference to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The scope of this data includes eight manufacturing sites and 11 non-manufacturing sites based in the UK. In 2021, the UK accounted for 7% of our global total Scope 1 and 2 emissions as well as 5% of our global energy use, outlined in the table below. See page 51 for more on energy efficiency measures. UK operations 2021 2020 2019 Biogas (kWh) 10,025,000 9,420,000 17,045,000 Natural gas (kWh) 226,110,000 231,832,000 238,081,000 LPG (kWh) 1,411,000 1,464,000 866,000 Fuel oils (kWh) 0 59,000 580,000 Coal (kWh) 0 0 0 Electricity (kWh) 171,897,000 190,790,000 195,797,000 Heat and steam (kWh) 192,738,000 201,709,000 212,483,000 Total UK energy (kWh)(a) 364,635,000 392,499,000 408,280,000 Total global energy (kWh) 7,002,482,000 7,037,674,000 7,181,904,000 Total UK Scope 1 emissions (tonnes CO2)(b) 45,740 46,918 48,178 UK Scope 1 emissions (kg CO2) per tonne of production 56.9 49.1 55.6 Total UK Scope 2 emissions (tonnes CO2)(b)(c) 0 527 702 UK Scope 2 emissions (kg CO2) per tonne of production 0 0.6 0.8 (a) Fleet and associated diesel use excluded as it is not material. Transportation is operated by a third party and accounted for under Scope 3. (b) We report our emissions with reference to the latest Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol). Our only material GHG from energy is CO2, reported as required by the GHG Protocol. Other gases are immaterial. Energy use data is taken from meter reads and energy invoices from each site and then converted to kWh using standard conversion factors as published by the IPCC. (c) Carbon emission factors for grid electricity calculated according to the ‘market-based method’. Total Scope 2 emissions reported as zero in 2021 as we now use 100% renewable grid electricity across all our sites in the UK & Ireland. Additional non-financial information continued
STR A TEG IC R EP O R T – R EV IEW O F TH E Y EA R 65Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Non-financial information statement In accordance with sections 414CA and 414CB of the Companies Act 2006 which outline requirements for non-financial reporting, the table below is intended to provide our stakeholders with the content they need to understand our development, performance, position and the impact of our activities with regards to specified non-financial matters. Further information on these matters can be found on our website and in our Human Rights Report, including relevant policies. Non-financial matter and relevant sections of Annual Report Annual Report page reference Environmental matters Relevant sections of Annual Report and Accounts: ▪ Improving the health of our planet ▪ Climate action ▪ A waste-free world ▪ Protect and regenerate nature ▪ Climate Transition Action Plan Progress Report ▪ Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures statement ▪ Policy: pages 29 to 30 ▪ Position and performance: pages 29 to 30, 34, 51 to 62 and 64 ▪ Risk: pages 47, 57 to 61 ▪ Impact: pages 29 to 30, 57 to 62 Social and community matters Relevant sections of Annual Report and Accounts: ▪ A fairer, more inclusive world ▪ Improving health, confidence and wellbeing ▪ Policy: pages 26, 30 to 31 ▪ Position and performance: pages 26, 30 to 31 and 34 to 35 ▪ Risk: pages 48 and 50 ▪ Impact: pages 26, 30 to 31 Employee matters Relevant sections of Annual Report and Accounts: ▪ Equity, diversity and inclusion ▪ Protecting health, safety and wellbeing ▪ New ways of working ▪ Skills for the future ▪ Nurturing our growth culture ▪ Policy: pages 18 to 19 ▪ Position and performance: pages 18 to 19 and 35 ▪ Risk: page 48 ▪ Impact: pages 18 to 19 Human rights matters Relevant sections of Annual Report and Accounts: ▪ Respecting and promoting human rights ▪ Raising living standards ▪ Policy: pages 28, 31 ▪ Position and performance: pages 28, 30 to 31 ▪ Risk: page 50 ▪ Impact: pages 28, 30 to 31 Anti-corruption and bribery matters Relevant sections of Annual Report and Accounts: ▪ Working with integrity ▪ Policy: page 19 ▪ Position and performance: page 19 ▪ Risk: page 50 ▪ Impact: page 19
66 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 EU Taxonomy disclosures New legislation has been introduced this year to support the transition to a more sustainable economy and will continue to be augmented and amended. This includes the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation which incorporates new reporting obligations including the EU Taxonomy. The Taxonomy sets out certain economic activities which are deemed to be environmentally sustainable – referred to as ‘eligible activities’. It requires European businesses to disclose certain information about these eligible activities. The EU Taxonomy is work in progress and in creating the current list of eligible activities the European Commission have not yet considered our industry, focusing instead on those industries where they believe there is most potential for climate change mitigation or adaptation. However, certain European companies are required to report against the current list of eligible activities for this year end. On the basis of the current eligible activity list and in accordance with the legislation, we have undertaken a review of the Group’s turnover, capital expenditure and operating expenditure (as defined by the EU Taxonomy) to identify the extent of any eligible activities within our business. Turnover ▪ None of our turnover as detailed in our consolidated income statement (page 114) for the year ended 31 December 2021 is derived from eligible activities. Capital expenditure (intangible assets and property, plant and equipment) ▪ 1% of our capital expenditure as detailed in our consolidated financial statements (pages 114 to 117) for the year ended 31 December 2021 is in respect of eligible activities. The activities identified are related to: (i) Construction and real estate; (ii) Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation; and (iii) Energy. Operating expenditure ▪ Operating expenditure as per the EU Taxonomy is defined as directly incurred, non-capitalised costs relating to research and development, building renovations, short-term leases and the repair and maintenance of property, plant and equipment. 0% of our operating expenditure for the year ended 31 December 2021 is in respect of eligible activities. WEF/IBC metrics The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the International Business Council (IBC) have defined a number of metrics and disclosures to help standardise environmental, social and governance reporting. Our Annual Report and Accounts includes a number of the 'core' WEF/IBC metrics and disclosures, including: Governing purpose (pages 8 to 9 and 72 to 73), Ethical behaviour (page 19), Risk and opportunity oversight (pages 44 to 46), Climate change (pages 51 to 62), and Employment and wealth generation (pages 112, 121 to 130, 163). Further information on core metrics will be available on our website in May. See our website for more information on reporting standards Additional non-financial information continued
Governance Unilever is subject to corporate governance requirements in the UK and as a foreign private issuer in the US. Here we describe how Unilever is governed, the role of our Board and its committees, and how our Directors are remunerated. Governance review 67 Corporate governance 78 Report of the Audit Committee 80 Report of the Corporate Responsibility Committee 82 Report of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee 84 Directors' Remuneration Report
68 Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Corporate Governance Unilever's structure Unilever PLC (PLC) is the parent company of the Unilever Group, which was incorporated under the laws of England and Wales in 1894. PLC’s shares are traded through its listings on the London Stock Exchange and Euronext in Amsterdam, with its securities also traded on the New York Stock Exchange under its American Depositary Share programme. The Board of PLC has implemented standards of corporate governance and disclosure policies applicable to a UK incorporated company, with listings in London, Amsterdam and New York. Articles of association The current Articles of Association (Articles) were approved by shareholders at the 2021 AGM and adopted with effect from 5 May 2021. The amendments made to the Articles at the 2021 AGM brought the Articles up to date in a number of areas, including providing the ability to hold AGMs and general meetings in a hybrid format, meaning a combined physical and electronic general meeting enabling shareholders to choose whether they attend and vote in person or remotely through an electronic platform. PLC also retains the ability to hold AGMs and general meetings in the traditional way as a physical meeting without attendance via an electronic platform. No decision has been taken on how best to hold AGMs or general meetings in the future, but the Directors of PLC believe that it is important to have flexibility to hold AGMs or general meetings in a different format, which is what the changes to the Articles achieved. There were also a number of other changes to the Articles to reflect changes to company law and market practice. Lapse of distributions Any PLC dividend unclaimed after 12 years from the date of the declaration of the dividend by PLC reverts to PLC. Any unclaimed dividends may be invested or otherwise applied for the benefit of PLC while they are unclaimed. PLC may also cease to send any cheque for any dividend on any shares normally paid in that manner if the cheques in respect of at least two consecutive dividends have been returned to PLC or remain uncashed. Unilever N.V., the former parent company of the Unilever Group alongside PLC, was merged in to PLC and dissolved in November 2020 (Unification). The time periods for the right to claim cash dividends or the proceeds of share distributions declared by Unilever N.V. before Unification will remain at 5 and 20 years, respectively, after the first day the dividend or share distribution was obtainable from Unilever N.V. Any such unclaimed amounts will revert to Unilever PLC after the expiry of these time periods. Redemption provisions and capital call Outstanding PLC ordinary shares cannot be redeemed. PLC may make capital calls on money unpaid on shares and not payable on a fixed date. PLC has only fully paid shares in issue. Modification of rights Modifications to PLC's Articles of Association must be approved by a general meeting of shareholders. Modifications that prejudicially affect the rights and privileges of a class of PLC shareholders require the written consent of three-quarters of the affected holders (excluding treasury shares) or a special resolution passed at a general meeting of the class at which at least two persons holding or representing at least one-third of the paid-up capital (excluding treasury shares) must be present. Every shareholder is entitled to one vote per share held on a poll and may demand a poll vote. At any adjourned general meeting, present affected class holders may establish a quorum. Indemnification The power to indemnify PLC Directors, together with former Directors, the Company Secretary and the directors of subsidiary companies, is provided for in PLC’s Articles of Association and deeds of indemnity have been agreed with all PLC Directors. Third-party directors’ and officers’ liability insurance was in place for such individuals throughout 2021 and is currently in force. In addition, PLC provides indemnities (including, where applicable, a qualifying pension scheme indemnity provision) to the Directors of three subsidiaries, each of which acts or acted as trustee of a Unilever UK pension fund. Appropriate trustee liability insurance is also in place. The Governance of Unilever A comprehensive description of Unilever's corporate governance arrangements, including further details on the structure of the Unilever Group, is set out in ‘The Governance of Unilever'. It further details the roles and responsibilities of the Chair, Senior Independent Director (SID), CEO, CFO and other corporate officers and how our Board effectively operates, governs itself and delegates its authorities. The Governance of Unilever also describes Directors' appointment, tenure, induction and training, Directors' ability to seek independent advice at Unilever's expense and details about Board and Management Committees (including the Disclosure Committee). Unilever’s strong governance makes it well-placed to meet its strategic targets by ensuring it has effective risk management and internal controls, a diverse board, and high levels of engagement with stakeholders. www.unilever.com/board-and-management-committees Board The Board of PLC has ultimate responsibility for the management, general affairs, direction, culture, performance and long-term success of our business as a whole. The Directors lead by example, promoting Unilever's culture and acting with integrity. The majority of the Directors are independent Non-Executive Directors who essentially have a supervisory role, providing constructive challenges, strategic guidance and specialist advice. In the normal course, Unilever has two Executive Directors, the CEO and the CFO. A list of our current Directors can be found on pages 72 to 73. Board Committees The Board has established four Board Committees: the Audit Committee, the Compensation Committee, the Corporate Responsibility Committee, and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The terms of reference of these Committees can be found on our website and the reports of each Committee, including attendance at meetings in 2021, can be found on pages 73 and 78 to 104. www.unilever.com/boardsofunilever Board meetings In the ordinary course, six Board meetings are planned throughout the calendar year to consider important corporate events and actions, for example, the half-year and full-year results announcements; the development and approval of our strategy; oversight of the performance of the business; review of the risk framework; authorisation of major transactions; declaration of dividends; review of the financial plan; succession planning; review of the functioning of the Board and its Committees; culture; workforce engagement; and review of corporate responsibility. Other ad hoc Board meetings are convened to discuss strategic, transactional and governance matters that arise. A majority of Board meetings are held in the UK. In 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Board met physically in October and November only and these Board meetings took place in the UK. The Board held all other meetings in 2021 virtually, these being in February, March, May, June, July and September. The Chair leads the Board and is responsible for its overall effectiveness in directing the Unilever Group. The Chair sets the Board’s agenda, ensures the Directors receive accurate, timely and clear information, promotes and facilitates constructive relationships and effective contribution of all the Executive and Non-Executive Directors, and promotes a culture of openness and debate. The Group Secretary supports the Board to ensure that it has the policies, processes, information, time and resources it needs to function effectively and efficiently. When there is a Board meeting, the Non-Executive Directors usually meet also as a group, without the Executive Directors present. In 2021 they met six times. The Chair, or in his absence the SID, chairs such meetings. The table showing the attendance of current Directors at Board meetings in 2021 can be found on page 73. If Directors are unable to attend a Board meeting, they have the opportunity beforehand to discuss any agenda items with the Chair.
69 G O V ER N A N C E R EP O R T Unilever Annual Report on Form 20-F 2021 Board evaluation Each year the Board formally assesses its own performance, including with respect to its composition, diversity and how effectively its members work together, with the aim of helping to improve the effectiveness of both the Board and the Committees. At least once every three years, an independent third party facilitates the evaluation. The last external evaluation was performed at the end of 2019 by No.4, an independent third party consultant, and consisted of individual interviews with the Directors followed by a Board discussion in January 2020, covering both the outcome of the evaluation and the proposed actions to enhance the effectiveness of the Board. At the end of 2021, the Board performed an internal evaluation which consisted of the Directors completing a questionnaire that focused on a number of key areas including strategy, risk/financial controls, Board effectiveness, virtual ways of working, and information/knowledge. The Chair’s statement on pages 4 to 5 describes the key actions agreed by the Board following the internal evaluation. The evaluation of the performance of the Chair and CEO is led by the SID and Chair respectively, and bespoke questionnaires are used to support these evaluations. Committees of the Board evaluate themselves annually under supervision of their respective Chairs taking into account the views of respective Committee members and the Board. The key actions agreed by each Committee in the 2021 evaluations can be found in each Committee Report. Board appointment The report of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee (NCGC) on pages 82 to 83 describes the work of the NCGC in Board appointments and recommendations for re-election. The procedure for the nomination and appointment of Directors is contained within the document entitled ‘Appointment procedure for PLC Directors' which is available on our website. Directors may be appointed by a simple majority vote of shareholders at a general meeting, or on an interim basis by the Board (in which case they will offer themselves for reappointment at the next AGM). www.unilever.com/boardsofunilever Board induction and training All new Directors participate in a comprehensive induction programme when they join the Board. The Chair ensures that ongoing training is provided for Directors by way of site visits, presentations and circulated updates at (and between) Board and Board Committee meetings. The training covers, among other things, Unilever’s business, environmental, social, corporate governance, regulatory developments and investor relations matters. For example, in 2021 the Directors received presentations on our sustainability strategy, our people strategy, progress on our 5 Growth Fundamentals, and eCommerce. Independence and conflicts It is important that the Non-Executive Directors can be considered to be independent. Each year the Board conducts a thorough review of the Non-Executive Directors’, and their related or connected persons’, relevant relationships referencing the criteria set out in The Governance of Unilever which is derived from the relevant best practice guidelines in the UK and US. The Board currently considers all our Non-Executive Directors to be independent of Unilever for the purposes of the UK Corporate Governance Code. We attach special importance to avoiding conflicts of interest between PLC and its Directors. The Board ensures that there are effective procedures in place to avoid conflicts of interest by Board members. A Director must without delay report any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest to the Chair and to the other Directors, or, in case any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest of the Chair, to the SID and to the other Directors. The Director in question must provide all relevant information to the Board, so that the Board can decide whether a reported (potential) conflict of interest of a Director qualifies as a conflict of interest within the meaning of the relevant laws. A Director may not take part in the decision- taking process of the Board in respect of any situation in which he or she has a conflict of interest. We consider the procedures that Unilever has put in place to deal with conflicts of interest operate effectively. Unilever recognises the benefit to the individual and the Unilever Group of senior executives acting as directors of other companies but, to ensure outside directorships of our Executive Directors do not involve an excessive commitment or conflict of interest, the number of outside directorships of listed companies is generally limited to one per Executive Director and approval is required from the Chair. Unilever, through the NCGC, assesses and monitors the structure of the Board including the other directorships held or proposed to be held by Non-Executive Directors. Unilever aims to have a Board with a diverse range of skills and capabilities and works to the principle that each Director shall have sufficient time available for the performance of his or her duties. Unilever considers that the other board responsibilities of its Non-Executive Directors, including those taken on during 2021, are fully consistent with these aims. How the Board engages with employees As in previous years, given Unilever’s global footprint and scope of operations, the Board decided that the most effective way of organising its engagement with employees was to share the responsibility among all Non-Executive Directors as a collective point of contact. In 2021, Unilever published a Workforce Engagement Policy (further details can be found on our website) setting out our approach to workforce engagement, which is endorsed by the Board. A number of workforce engagement activities are provided for in the policy including face-to-face engagement sessions with Non-Executive Directors, engaging with employee representatives, townhall meetings, site visits, employee engagement surveys and Code of Business Principles reports. We believe that taking into account feedback from our workforce widens the diversity of our Board’s views when making business decisions. At the start of the year, the Board discussed the progress on workforce engagement in 2020 and endorsed the programme for 2021. The Board considered workforce engagement valuable, offering the ability to tap into and understand different aspects of Unilever globally and to hear from people at all organisational levels, including junior employees. The engagements gave the Non-Executive Directors the