Leo Oosterveer, CEO of Unilever Food Solutions, has received the 2014 Augie Leadership Award for Sustainability and Food Ethics from the Culinary Institute of America.
According to a news release, the award recognizes Unilever's efforts to remove 10 billion calories from foodservice menus by the end of 2015, and its commitment to 100-percent sustainably-sourced agricultural raw ingredients.
Unilever has a global customer base of about 2 million foodservice outlets, and brands such as Knorr, Hellmann's and Lipton. The company aims to halve its environmental footprint by 2020, and has put the following initiatives in place:
- Seductive Nutrition: To help chefs and restaurateurs balance health and appeal, Unilever has developed an approach called "Seductive Nutrition" that encourages chefs to pledge to make small changes to menu items that reduce calories. So far, chefs in 8,500 locations in North America have taken the pledge, resulting in nearly 2 billion calories being removed from menus.
- Sustainable Sourcing: Unilever is committed to sustainably sourcing 100 percent of its agricultural raw materials by 2020. By 2015, 100 percent of Lipton teas will be Rainforest Alliance Certified. The company has also set up 25 Knorr landmark farms to demonstrate best practice sustainable farming.
- United Against Waste: Currently in 15 countries, the United Against Waste program from Unilever offers in-operation tools and signage to help reduce and redirect waste
- Food Safety: Unilever Food Solutions offers food safety training and tools to foodservice operators around the world.