HUL chairman says we aim to collect more plastic than the business sells by 2025

Nitin Paranjpe, the chairman of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) delivered his speech at the Annual General Meeting held on 26 June 2023 in which he spoke of India being a "bright spot in a fragile world".

26 Jun 2023 | By Aditya Ghosalkar

Nitin Paranjpe: We have announced our commitments to reduce the use of virgin plastic, use more recycled plastic

Hindustan Unilever chairman Nitin Paranjpe in his speech titled 'Transforming to Win in the New India’ said that India stands at the focal point for growth globally - and HUL stands at the forefront to contribute to this growth.

Addressing the company's 90th annual general meeting, added, "In the last decade alone, HUL has added nearly Rs 33,000 crore as incremental turnover and over Rs 9,500 crore as incremental EBITDA, strengthening our belief that sustainable growth is the only way to grow in the future."

As a packaged goods company, Paranjpe added, "We realise the important role that plastic plays in our business. At the same time, we realise the environmental damage it can cause. Hence, we have announced our commitments to reduce the use of virgin plastic, use more recycled plastic, make packaging 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable, and collect more plastic than the business sells by 2025."

He pointed out, "In fact, in India, we have already reached some of the targets. We have collected more plastic waste than the plastic we use in packaging our finished products consecutively for the last two years."

This was Paranjpe’s second AGM. During his speech he touched upon the history of the organisation, when he shared that "In the 1800s, when William Hesketh Lever founded the enterprise that has become the Unilever of today, he launched the first branded soap, Sunlight, with a vision to foster cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England. Purpose led. Profits followed. A corporation built along these lines engendered trust and won the societal license to operate.

He said, "Hindustan Unilever Limited, since its incorporation 90 years ago, has integrated the needs of society into its business."

Highlights of the speech

HUL is setting up nano factories that will enable HUL to produce in small batches of kilograms rather than tonnes.

India has over 46 million relatively affluent households. In fact, the share of the middle class, with an annual income of Rs 5-30 lakh doubled to over 30% between 2004-05 to 2021-22 and is projected to double again to over 60% by 2047.

By 2030, more than 100 cities are expected to have populations over one million.

Rapidly growing nuclear family structure. Studies show that younger decision makers in nuclear families spend 20% to 30% more per capita than older ones in joint families, leading to higher consumption.

India has 18% of the world’s population, but only 4% of its water resources (World Bank). The demand for potable water is likely to significantly supersede supply by 2030 if adequate measures are not taken.

Five years ago, about one-third of our managerial workforce were women. Today, nearly half of our managerial workforce are women, and we are poised to achieve gender parity by 2025.

HUL is witnessing a steady progress in representation of women on the factory shop floor with the addition of over 850 women across its factories. In fact, HUL's first gender-balanced site is under development in Sumerpu.

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