InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
Consumer Staples
London, United Kingdom
Brands and Associated Companies
Dove, Lipton, Knorr, Flora
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Unilever appears to support ambitious action on climate change and has actively supported various strands of climate-related regulation including emissions trading, energy efficiency, renewable energy legislation and GHG emissions targets. Unilever also appears to support the energy transition, including the phase-out of coal and the removal of fossil fuel subsidies.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Unilever’s top-line messaging appears supportive of ambitious action on climate change. In its 2020 Annual Report, Unilever opposed accelerating the electrification of transportation in an interview at the Reuters Next conference. Tavares argued that the EV cost burden is 'beyond the limits' for automakers, emphasizing the potential threat to jobs and industry. He also public policy frameworks to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit the increase in global average temperatures to “ideally no more than 1.5°C”. In 2019-21, Unilever has directly advocated for legislated net-zero by 2050 targets in called on governments to shift the focus of climate policy toward cleaning up the energy sector, suggesting support for increased GHG emission reductions, but not in the autos industry., the EU, the US and Australia as well as calling on the G20 to ensure 1.5C. Between 2017-20, Unilever has also consistently supported US participation in the Paris Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-related Regulations: Unilever appears to actively support multiple strands of climate change related regulations and policies. In 2020, Unilever signed joint letters to policymakers advocating for regional cap and trade schemes in the US, specifically on the Pacific Coast and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in Virginia. In December 2020, Unilever directly advocated for policymakers in California to support ambitious energy efficiency policies to decarbonize buildings. Unilever has stated support for renewable energy legislation in the US on its corporate website in 2020. In 2020, it also signed a joint letter to leaders of Congress that advocated to policymakers to support the renewable energy sector in the COVID-19 recovery in the same year.

Unilever also appears to support ambitious GHG emission targets. In a 2019 joint letter to EU Commission leaders, Unilever backed increasing the EU’s 2030 GHG target towards 55%, which it reportedly continues to support in 2020. The company has also advocated to keep in place CO2 emission targets for vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic in a joint letter to EU policymakers in 2020.

Positioning on Energy Transition: In its 2019 Annual Report, Unilever called for public policy frameworks to decarbonize the economy in line with “the upper level of ambition of the Paris Agreement”. In 2020, on Unilever’s corporate website, the company supported the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and the phase out of coal in the energy mix. In a joint letter to EU policymakers in 2020, the company also advocated for the electrification of transportation. March 2021 it was reported in the Wall Street Journal that Unilever has shifted its strategy to focus on directly lobbying governments to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and decarbonize energy. In October 2021, Unilever were signatories to a letter to the G20 which demanded coal phase-out plans by 2030 in advanced economies and by 2040 for other economies.

Industry Association Governance: Unilever currently has limited disclosure on its corporate website regarding industry associations and has not detailed the positions they have taken on climate change, nor its influence over these positions. There is, however, more detailed disclosure in Unilever’s 2020 CDP Climate Change response. Unilever has also taken an active approach to addressing potential misalignments, with its CEO in 2019 writing an open letter to the company's industry associations asking them to confirm alignment of their climate positions with those of Unilever and the 1.5°C ambition set out in the Paris Agreement. However, the company has not publicly disclosed a review of its industry association alignment on climate change.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures
Communication of Climate Science
2 1 NA 1 NS 1 1
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
2 2 NA 2 2 2 NS
Supporting the Need for Regulations
1 1 NS 2 2 2 NS
Support of UN Climate Process
1 2 NA NS 2 2 NS
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
0 0 NS NS 1 1 NS
Emissions Trading
NS 2 1 NS 2 NS NS
Energy and Resource Efficiency
2 2 2 NS 2 1 NS
Renewable Energy
1 2 2 NS 2 NS NS
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
1 1 2 NS 1 1 NS
GHG Emission Regulation
2 2 2 2 2 2 NS
Disclosure on Relationships
Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.