The FMCG firm hopes that by sharing its “Five Levers for Change” with other organisations and consumers, it will achieve “wider benefits” and “inspire people to turn their concerns about sustainability into positive actions”.

Unilever says its behavioural change model is based on its analysis of consumer behaviour insight. It claims that if they are applied consistently the likelihood of having an effective and lasting impact with consumers increases.

The five “levers” are:

1. Make it understood.
2. Make it easy.
3. Make it desirable.
4. Make it rewarding.
5. Make it a habit.

Unilever CEO Paul Polman says: “We have been working hard to distil those critical areas of behaviour change insight that we all need to use to engage consumers. We are publishing our approach because we think that there are wider benefits from sharing our work with others.”

“A huge part of our environmental impacts come from how people use our products … So inspiring consumers to adopt new sustainable products and behaviours is fundamental to achieving the goals set out in the Unilever Sustainability Living Plan.”

Unilever set out its goal to double the size of its business without making any incremental increases to its impact on the environment last year.

Alongside its “Five Levers”, Unilever is publishing viewpoints from leading sustainability experts including Jonathon Porritt, Forum for the Future Founder; Akatu Institute for Conscious Consumption President Helio Mattar and behaviour change specialist Val Curtis from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


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