The Jesuits in Great Britain are part of a coalition of investors attempting to pressure Unilever to focus on healthier foods.
As part of the group Share Action, they have filed a shareholder resolution at the corporate giant, urging them to adopt ambitious targets to increase the share of healthy foods in its sales.
Share Action argues that the company, which is one of the biggest food producers in the world, maintains a ‘dominant focus on sales in product categories such as ice cream & frozen desserts’ and this carries ‘significant exposure to regulatory risk worldwide’, while missing opportunities for growth in healthier products and categories.
This is not the first time Jesuits in Britain have acted to withdraw its investments from unethical industry. In 2020, they announced that they would be divesting from companies whose major income is from the extraction of fossil fuels.
Brother Stephen Power, Trustee with particular concern for Responsible Investment, said “they engaged with the companies we invest in and hence consider ‘good’, to encourage them to become better”.
“Unilever has many good aspects to its operations,” he went on. “ However, we feel it can improve in its standards and transparency on recording its level of healthy foods. The pandemic has highlighted just how important our diets are for our general standard of health and for the fight against obesity.”