The Unilever Global Development Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty

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Recognising businesses that can demonstrate positive impact against one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Unilever logoPlease note: the deadline for all Award submissions has been extended to 5pm GMT on Friday 17 February 2017.

Adopted on 25 September 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development to end povertyprotect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. If these Goals are completed, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030.

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The SDGs, also known as the Global Goals, build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This comprehensive set of goals, relevant to everyone throughout the world, consists of the following:

1. No poverty

2. Zero hunger

3. Good health and well-being

4. Quality education

5. Gender equality

6. Clean water and sanitation

7. Affordable and clean energy

8. Decent work and economic growth

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure

10. Reduced inequalities

11. Sustainable cities and communities

12. Responsible consumption and production

13. Climate action

14. Life below water

15. Life on land

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

17. Partnerships for the goals

There has been much progress on the global development agenda since the launch of the MDGs in 2000. Key MDGs achievements include:

  • More than one billion people lifted out of extreme poverty (since 1990)

  • Child mortality reduced by more than half (since 1990)

  • The number of out of school children has dropped by more than half (since 1990)

  • HIV/AIDS infections fell by almost 40 percent (since 2000)[1]

However, there is still much more to do if we are to end povertyprotect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.  Businesses are a key enabler of global sustainable development and more and more businesses recognise that it is in their long-term interest to invest in building safer, more and more sustainable business and societies. Global challenges can also be a driver of innovation and new market opportunities.

The Unilever Global Development Award supported by Business Fights Poverty identifies and recognises those businesses that are demonstrating a positive impact on the Global Goals and addressing global sustainable development.


Successful entries will demonstrate:

  • A specific country or global programme which positively addresses one or more of the key social, environmental and economic challenges facing global society;

  • That this is integrated into the business model;

  • A focus on one goal or more of the SDGs, on a local or global scale;

  • Positive impact evidenced through quantitative and qualitative data;

  • Benefits back to the business which may include product and service innovation, reaching new customers, employee engagement and enhanced reputation;

  • Work with wider stakeholders to leverage their combined expertise e.g. government bodies, NGOs and civil society groups.


  • This award is open to any private sector company, firm, LLP or partnership globally. This may include social enterprises but does not include charity organisations or NGOs unless they are tied to a corporate entity in a joint application. E.G. Unilever and Unilever Foundation

  • We recognise that due to the nature of development programmes, the impacts realised tend to be long-term and can be difficult to evidence in the early years. We recommend that applicants entering this award have at least a two-year track record of measuring the social impacts of their programme and the benefits for the applicant’s business.  Programmes with a shorter track record may still apply but an inability to evidence longer term impacts may make them less competitive against other entries.

  • Any size of business can enter and will have an equal chance of winning, as scale will be taken into consideration and assessed as relevant to your business’ operational scope.

  • If your programme focusses on recovery from and resilience against international disasters, please enter the UPS Award for International Disaster Relief and Resilience, supported by the Department for International Development.

For more details, please contact Sue Adkins on



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