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Director's Message

Sanjiv Mehta

Sanjiv Mehta
Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Limited
Director, Hindustan Unilever Foundation

Water – the precious natural resource is scarcer than one may think. The World Economic Forum lists it as one of the top global crisis in the years to come. Rapidly increasing population has put unprecedented pressure on water resources. In India, the situation is particularly challenging. Our country has around 18% of the world’s population but only 4% of its usable fresh water resources. This, without any sign of decline in the demand for water in the foreseeable future.

At Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), we are driven by our belief of Doing Well by Doing Good. Over our 80 years of corporate existence in India, we have always partnered the country's progress be it through the Integrated Rural Development Programme, producing an indigenous 'Janata' soap during soap price control, or setting up the Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF), a Section 25 not-for-profit company, in 2010 to help address the debate on water security.

HUF, through a partnered approach, focuses on delivering 'Water for Public Good'. It connects to HUL's WASH agenda and contributes to national development through water conservation and building livelihoods. HUF along with its partners has created a collective and cumulative potential of more than 450 billion litres of water. The focus is not just on water conservation but also on adopting good governance practices. These practices help in furthering equity and improving access to water, increasing agricultural productivity, increasing efficiency of water usage and application and enhancing livelihoods of farmers.

HUF's initiatives have helped make a larger economic, environmental and social difference through water conservation. In the backdrop of a water stressed years; it reinforces the need for a focused effort on on-ground actions and solutions. We may have come a long way in addressing the need for water conservation, but there’s a lot more to be done.

What makes HUF initiatives unique and sustainable is the partnership approach that unites different stakeholders. HUF has initiated its framework on “Democratisation of Water” through which it continues to build bridges to enable collective action on water.

We believe that through partnerships, we can connect the different aspects of water conservation to make remarkable progress in water management. It will take much more than one company, government or community to solve the challenges related to water that face us. We need collaboration, innovation and partnership to drive water conservation at a systemic level. Collective action and coalitions are the need of the hour for a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

I would request you to reach out to us at hindustanunilever.foundation@unilever.com I am sure that Reshma Anand, CEO HUF will be happy to engage with you.