HomeSustainability ReportUnilever Nigeria: A Century Of Building A Brighter Future Together

Unilever Nigeria: A Century Of Building A Brighter Future Together

2023 was a milestone year for Unilever Nigeria as the company turned 100 years. Over the years the company’s sustainability agenda has remained at the forefront of conversations of positive impact in Nigeria. Unilever is proud of the positive impact it has had on people, the planet, and its contributions to creating a fairer, more socially inclusive world.

Unilever reports annually on its sustainability journey. The 2023 report, themed Impact, Partnerships, and Building a Brighter Future, takes a deeper look into the impact stories, partnerships, and lives Unilever Nigeria has positively impacted in reaching this 100-year milestone. Going into the future, Unilever will continue to harness the power of its people, brands, and partnerships to tackle the most pressing issues across Nigeria and make sustainable living commonplace.

In business, the major goal of sustainability is to prevent the depletion of natural or physical resources, to ensure long-term viability and availability. All over the world, increased attention has been paid to the impact of businesses on society, and trends in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Sustainability. In 2023, Unilever Nigeria focused on four core sustainability areas – Plastics, Localization, Shakti, and Youth Empowerment


Unilever’s plastic commitment is straightforward: to collect more than it puts into the environment. It seeks to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, waste, and transition towards a circular economy. Unilever Nigeria wants to change the way it uses plastic by treating waste as a valuable resource. The company is cutting plastic waste by using less plastic, better plastic, or no plastic at all.

To hasten the speed at which it tackles plastic waste in Nigeria, Unilever partnered with organisations such as Wecyclers to achieve its goals and targets. Wecyclers operates on crowdsourced incentive-based recycling for households and organisations, where subscribers are registered for recyclable collection services. A large percentage—about 80 per cent—of Wecyclers subscribers are women, who rely on the incentives provided to buffer their household expenses.

In furtherance of its support for Wecyclers, in 2023, Unilever Nigeria, in partnership with Bridges Outcomes, agreed to a $2 million US partnership to help Wecyclers expand plastic waste collection in Nigeria. Through the partnership with Wecyclers, Unilever Nigeria has collected over 10,000 tonnes of plastic and created job opportunities for over a thousand people.


Events in the last half-decade, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia and Ukraine conflicts, have compelled businesses to localise supply chains. Localisation is beneficial to companies as it helps them reduce costs, achieve faster delivery times, shield against supply chain risks, reduce their dependence on overseas suppliers, and build a self-sufficient local ecosystem.

Today, over 50 per cent of Unilever Nigeria’s raw materials and packaging materials are manufactured and sourced in Nigeria as part of its localisation initiative. In the process, over 10,000 cassava farmers have been engaged and empowered, making a huge and direct impact on the Nigerian economy.

This innovation is being implemented by Psaltry International Company Limited, which has a 35,000-metric tonnes capacity to produce diverse products including cassava, starch, flour, sorbitol, and glucose. Unilever Nigeria supported the company by signing an off-take agreement to enhance Psaltry’s capacity.


Shakti, launched in 2014, is a women empowerment initiative that adopts a door-to-door sales model that employs vulnerable and underserved women, or ‘Shakti ladies’ to distribute and sell Unilever products within their community. It is a way of improving their livelihood, earning prospects, and achieving financial freedom.

The goal, which the firm continues to push towards, is to help thousands of small and mid-sized enterprises grow their businesses. Over the years, many women have been admitted into the programme, undergone capacity development training, and collected grants to fast-track their businesses with support from Unilever.

Unilever’s Shakti story continues to be a shining example of Unilever’s commitment to women’s empowerment. In 2023, an additional 3000 women were onboarded raising the total number of women on the scheme to over 13,000 spreads across 22 states in Nigeria.


Unilever, recognising the importance of equipping young people with essential skills for meaningful employment, collaborated with UNICEF in 2023 to launch the Future-X Campus Ambassadors Program (FUCAP). FUCAP aims to align with Unilever’s commitment to preparing 10 million young people globally for job opportunities by 2030. The initiative utilizes UNICEF’s youth-centered platforms to reach a wide audience of young people in universities and higher education institutions across Nigeria, helping them develop vital skills for work and life. Through this initiative, Unilever and UNICEF will equip 700,000 youths with necessary skills for the future of work and give internship opportunities to hundreds of them through its eco-system.

Unilever is also collaborating with UNICEF on its Generation Unlimited (Gen U) Nigeria initiative, a public-private-youth partnership that seeks to support 20 million young Nigerians by 2030 with skills and opportunities to transition from learning to earning through shared-value partnerships around digital skills development, workforce readiness programmes, and young people engagement.

Today, Unilever Nigeria is a leader in sustainability. The firm’s consistency is unrivalled. It is focused on reducing plastic waste, empowering communities, and fostering local production.

Going into the future, Unilever will continue to harness the power of its people, brands, and partnerships to tackle the most pressing issues across Nigeria. In working to build a brighter future, Unilever is committed to making sustainable living commonplace. Unilever is committed to staying in Nigeria and invest in its operations to compliment government’s efforts to create economic opportunities for Nigerians. As company that is over a centenary in Nigeria and the longest serving manufacturing company in the country, Unilever is here to stay for the long haul.


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