Corprate Bias Ratings
*Note:* Unilever is the parent company of over 400 brands. This rating refers to Unilever's policies, practices, and funding. When one of its brands drastically differs from the company in any of these areas, particularly if the brand has a distinct corporate governance policy, we give that brand a separate rating. Unilever is a defendant in two lawsuits for unlawful firings: one in Israel from the maker & distributor of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and another from a former U.S. employee fired for observing Rosh Hashanah. The company covers the cost of "medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children. Unilever vets vendors according to LGBTQ policies and is part of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media. The company frequently uses its reputation and corporate dollars to promote LGBT ideology and organizations. The company has consistently opposed election reform. Unilever donated to Planned Parenthood and pledged $7 million to organizations working for social justice, though it is unclear who received support. For these reasons, Unilever receives a High Risk rating.
Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.
A former Unilever employee is suing the company for a firing that took place after he took time off for Rosh Hashanah (1). Although Ben & Jerry’s (separately rated Unilever brand) consistently acts distinctly from its parent company, it is notable that Unilever is named alongside the brand as a co-defendant in a lawsuit from the manufacturer of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream in Israel due to its regional distribution ban, which is illegal under Israeli law (2). Because of Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Israel, Unilever was found guilty of violating the anti-BDS laws of several U.S. states (3). Unilever is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which aims to demonetize advertisements and suppress content that “vilifies” individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity, discusses “debated social issues in a negative or partisan context” or spreads “hate speech” (4)(5)(6). The company received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index. Among other requirements, this means Unilever has a written policy pledging to vet vendors for LGBTQ policies (7)(8).
Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.
Unilever U.S. will not match employee donations to charities “for primarily religious purposes,” unless the donation is for a specified community-wide purpose (1).
Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.
Unilever is a member of the Business Coalition for the Equality Act (1). Unilever signed an open letter denouncing legislation deemed “Anti-LGBTQ” by the HRC, such as laws that protect girls’ sports and ban discussions on gender identity in public elementary schools (2). The company has also taken public stances on legislation impacting voting methods, denouncing specific bills state-by-state and advocating for expanding mail-in voting (3)(4)(5)(6). Unilever also publicly opposed Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (religious freedom) in 2016 (7). Unilever CEO Alan Jope committed to its agenda, saying “anti-woke backlash is incredibly dangerous for the world” and vowed that Unilever “will not back down on this agenda” (8).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
Unilever has a perfect score on the HRC’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. This score indicates the company covers the cost of “medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children (1)(2). Unilever has donated to Planned Parenthood (3). The company is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (4)(5)(6). Unilever is corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (7). In response to the death of George Floyd, Unilever and its brands pledged $7 million to “organizations and activists working for social justice and racial equality”. It is unclear which organizations received support from Unilever (8).
All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
November 30, 2023
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