News & Politics

Unilever Doubles Down on ESG

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

Alan Jope spoke during the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday. If you are not already put off by the name “Clinton Global Initiative,” Jope’s speech should do the trick. Jope is the CEO of Unilever and said to the assembly that his company is standing firm when it comes to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG).

According to The Daily Caller, Jope said that Unilever would not back down when it comes to matters of ESG. He told those in attendance “This anti-sustainability backlash, this anti-woke backlash is incredibly dangerous for the world. And the first thing Unilever will do is we will not back down on this agenda despite these populist accusations.”

Of course, Unilever needs people like you to buy its products to stay in business. And while one person may not be able to move the world, you can use your mind and your conscience while you are pushing your cart up and down the aisles. Just in case you are making out your shopping list, provided you can afford groceries, or if you are just interested, here is at least a partial list of Unilever products, taken from the company’s U.S. site:

  • AHC — Skincare products.
  • Axe — grooming products, in particular a body spray traditionally overused by high school boys and young men hoping to hook up for the night.
  • Ben & Jerry’s — Ice cream for people who still wish they could follow the Grateful Dead on tour.
  • Breyers® — Ice cream for people who think they are boycotting Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Caress® — The romance novel equivalent of soap and body products.
  • Degree® — Deodorant used by people who are afraid they are not wearing enough Axe.
  • Dove® — Soap and grooming products for women, or people who identify as women.
  • Dove® Men+Care — See above, but switch out “men” for “women.”
  • Good Humor — Formerly famous ice cream product. Did pioneering work in creating those trucks that patrol your neighborhood every summer that prompt your kids to beg you for a few bucks.
  • Hellmann’s® — Mayonnaise. Often confused with Republican voters.
  • Klondike® — Would you go woke for a Klondike bar?
  • Knorr — Frozen food for people who are still wondering what happened to Bill Knapp’s.
  • Lever 2000® — Popular in the ’80s for its soft-core porn approach to advertising. It’s a soap. It’s a deodorant. It’s a soapodorant! Also makes a great dessert topping when paired with crickets.
  • Love Beauty and Planet — Shower and bath products designed for people who also enjoy Ben & Jerry’s. See above.
  • Magnum® — Marketed as ice cream for adults. Adult ice cream. You can take it from there if you wish.
  • Maille — Designer mustard.
  • Mele — Skin care products designed for melanin-rich skin, according to the site.
  • Nexxus® — Hair care products created to impress guests snooping in your bathroom.
  • Noxzema® — Skincare line, usually gingerly applied to people who are dancing around after having fricasseed their back and shoulders after a day at the beach.
  • Nubian Heritage — A product originally designed by black people, for black people, that of course was gobbled up by a mega-corporation for profit. Unilever’s attempt to rip off Epcot.
  • nyakio — Skin care product
  • Ponds — Soap that was invented in the 1840s but is still relevant to women today. Or people who identify as women. Womxn? Womyn? Oh, never mind.
  • Popsicle® — Popsicles are woke? There goes my childhood.
  • Q-tips® — A cotton swab that does not go in your ears, although millions jam them up their ears on a daily basis.
  • Seventh Generation — “Green” home cleaning products. Useful if you run out of Windex®.
  • SheaMoisture® — Hair and bath products for black women and men.
  • Simple® Skincare — Products for people with sensitive skin. No word if helps people who are overly sensitive to trigger warnings.
  • Sir Kensington’s — Condiments. Corporate is probably working on a new logo since the current one featuring an obviously British chap in a top hat and monocles is a racist dog whistle to European colonizers.
  • St. Ives® — Bath products that give you an upscale feeling as you wash your armpits.
  • Suave® — And… more bath products
  • TIGI® — Haircare products sold exclusively by hairdressers. Maybe you can get it on the dark web if your stylist is hoarding it.
  • TRESemmé — Marketed as creating salon-quality results without the need to visit a salon. It’s money in a bottle!
  • Talenti® — Gelato. Useful for entertaining people who will not be impressed by Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Vaseline® — Used for all sorts of things and a fixture in homes for years. The primary product is the brand’s Petroleum Jelly. Petroleum? Really, Unilever? Isn’t petroleum jelly a petroleum product? It’s kind of right there in the name. Better call the folks in research and development.

There is nothing wrong with giving black entrepreneurs a leg up. It’s even better to give lots of entrepreneurs a leg up. And a healthy free market is always a good thing if no social strings are attached. But let’s face it, the above products are not essential. They may improve the quality of life, but they don’t make life possible. No matter your race, sex, or place of origin, if you have any objection to ESG or government-corporate partnerships telling you how to live your life, take a few minutes to find some alternatives.