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Scope and boundaries of reporting

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We are committed to reporting on our sustainability performance across our business and where possible our extended value chain.

About our sustainability reporting

Our Annual Report and Accounts is our primary sustainability report. Additional sustainability disclosures are provided in the Planet and Society Hub which is updated throughout the year.

Our reporting covers the period 1 January to 31 December 2022, unless otherwise stated.

Some Unilever operating companies around the world also produce their own country-specific sustainability reports due to local mandatory reporting requirements. Please visit local websites for more information.

Our reporting is aimed at a broad range of audiences, including specialist audiences, such as investors, analysts, NGOs, governments and opinion formers. Given the growing level of interest in sustainability, we also work hard to ensure that our reporting is accessible for more generalist audiences, including consumers.

Scope and boundaries

Our impacts are far reaching, so we’ve identified and prioritised the most material issues to our business and to stakeholders across our value chain.

Our Annual Report and Accounts includes sustainability performance data for our most material issues. It covers our direct operations as well as our extended value chain where relevant.

The sustainability performance data in our most recent Annual Report and Accounts is for Unilever Group and covers all Group Companies. This includes acquired subsidiary undertakings, as soon as the appropriate processes and systems are implemented to enable consistent data collation and Unilever Group level consolidation.

Operations categorised as joint ventures or investments are excluded from the scope of all performance measures, unless otherwise indicated. The results of disposed businesses are included in the performance measures up to the date of disposal.

We consistently apply metrics and targets to all relevant parts of our business operations. Even where a metric and target is only relevant to part of business operations, it still applies to 100% of those parts, globally. A number of our targets and metrics also apply to relevant parts of our value chain, such as our greenhouse gas targets.

For each metric we report, we determine the most relevant and materially impactful scope according to our knowledge of our business; the markets where we operate and the nature of the impact. We report the material coverage for our targets so that our metrics cover 100% of the scope deemed to be material, unless specifically stated otherwise in our Basis of Preparation (PDF 755.45 KB) – which outlines our calculation methodologies for assured metrics for the reporting period.

In some cases, the scope deemed to be material is the same as the total scope. In others it is less because we have applied a management judgement as to what the scope should be.

The majority of our manufacturing Environmental and Occupational Safety (EOS) indicators do not currently include contract/third-party production or outsourced support services, as outlined in our Basis of Preparation.

Previous years’ Basis of Preparation are available in our Reporting archive.

Board oversight of our reporting

The Unilever Board reviews and approves our Annual Report and Accounts. The Board’s Audit Committee oversees the independent assurance programme for selected sustainability metrics as part of its remit to review risk management. A number of our principal risks are related to sustainability.

The Board’s Corporate Responsibility Committee (CRC) tracks our progress on sustainability and regularly discusses key topics such as plastic packaging, climate change, human rights and safety.

As part of our ongoing monitoring of our sustainability performance, the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) review progress towards our sustainability targets on a quarterly basis and input to measurement and reporting matters throughout the year.

Find out more about our Sustainability governance.

External reporting standards

We adhere to the principles of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and many of the original GRI Framework indicators are embedded in our reporting.

We also support efforts towards standardising sustainability reporting and produce an annual WEF IBC Disclosure Index and a SASB Mapping document to aid the flow of information.

We are a signatory to the UN Global Compact principles. We provide an annual update in our Communication on Progress on how we are living out the Compact’s ten principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption in our everyday business operations.

See Sustainability reporting standards for more details.

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