How can a company increase access to water?

Seven out of every ten households around the world use at least one Unilever product. With a range of more than 400 brands, Unilever holds a unique place in the lives of people across the world. By 2020, the organisation has committed to reducing 50% of the water  needed by consumers when using its products. It will also help provide access to clean water and sanitation for those most vulnerable.

Water poverty

Water is critical for the planet, its ecosystems, and for its inhabitants to survive and thrive. Despite this, 2.8 billion people worldwide experience poor access to water. In fact, limited access to water for households is a significant issue in rapidly growing cities in developing countries, where infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth in population and income.

Commitments to the future

Unilever has made significant reductions in the water associated with the consumer use of its products. This is due to the creation of products that require less water. Unilever’s SmartFoam technology in its Sunlight 2-in-1 Handwashing Laundry Powder and its Rin detergent bar both use up to half the water needed for rinsing, which makes the washing process easier and quicker for consumers in water-scarce regions.

Suvidha Hygiene Centre

In 2016, Unilever opened its Suvidha Hygiene Centre in India. Located in one of Mumbai’s largest slums, it provides water, sanitation, and hygiene services, including laundry and washing facilities, as well as safe drinking water for more than 1,500 people. The waste water from bathing, handwashing, and laundry activities is then used for flushing the toilets.

This story shows how Unilever supports Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, specifically Target 6.2: “By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.”

About Unilever

Every day, 2.5 billion people use Unilever products to look good, feel good, and get more out of life. Seven out of every ten households around the world use at least one Unilever product. Its range of world-leading, household-name brands include Vaseline, Dove, PG Tips, Hellmann’s, and Magnum.


Learn more about how Unilever supports the goals.