This blog is designed to record the investment journey of a UK based small investor. I hope to make a modest contribution to the collective wealth of investing knowledge made freely available to ordinary people. I am the author of five books [see sidebar and books tab]
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of
fast-moving consumer goods.
Some well-known brands include Marmite, PG tips,
Pot Noodle, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Colman's Mustard, Magnum Ice Cream,
Hellmann's Mayonnaise, Domestos Bleach, Dove soaps, Sure Deodorant, VO5 Shampoo,
Vaseline and Brylcreem.
The company states that more than 2 billion
consumers worldwide use a Unilever product every day.
This was part of my income portfolio when I first started
this blog back in 2013. It was sold in 2016 when I was moving my portfolio away from individual shares and more towards global
index funds. I subsequently repurchased the following year just before the bid from Kraft-Heinz and then sold again the following year. What goes around comes around and, like SSE, with my 'green hat' on, I have
taken another look at Unilever as it topped the climate sustainability table in
the CDP analysis.
CDP is a not-for-profit charity and comprehensive
sustainablity reporting platform which covers around one third of global listed
companies. They monitor to what extent these companies have incorporated
sustainability into their strategy and business models and rank them according
to a range of criteria.
Out of the 8,400 companies disclosing for 2019, just 179
achieved an A-list ranking for climate change and top of this list was
Unilever say they want low-carbon to become the
new normal and are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emission throughout their
value chain. The company is aiming to become carbon positive by 2030 which
means 100% of the energy used will come from renewables. In fact they plan to
generate more energy than they use so the excess will become available to the
communities where they operate throughout the world.
In addition to renewable energy, the company have
taken action to eliminate deforestation from the supply chain, introduced
internal carbon pricing mechanisms to drive the changes and design products
with lower carbon footprints. The company believes it will be essential to put
a price on carbon as a fundamental part of the global response to climate
change if the world is to meet its carbon emissions reduction targets set out
in the Paris Agreement.
I was Interested to see that the company have just started a
government funded pilot scheme at their Port Sunlight factory which aims to
demonstrate how hydrogen can be used as an alternative to natural gas at an
I imagine the easier part of the transition to a
climate positive company will already have been achieved and challenges will
remain over the next decade. However, it is encouraging to see such a
large multinational company getting to grips with what needs to be done. This
is the main reason for the company being added to my green portfolio but also
the large companies like Unilever, Air Liquide and SSE will hopefully bring a little more
balance and stability to counter some of the more volatile smaller companies.
The company announced full year results for 2019
in January (link via Investegate). Sales rose by 2.9%, slightly below target whilst earning rose by
5.8%. Dividends are paid in Euros which makes the income slightly unpredictable
as it is subject to EUR:GBP exchange rates however the dividend for the past
year was £1.43 which translates to a yield of 3.3% at my purchase price of
Dividends are paid quarterly and the next
announcement for Q1 will be mid April and I expect a 6% uplift to 0.435 EUR.
3 Yr Share Price (click to enlarge)
Obviously the share price has been a little
volatile over recent weeks due to the concerns over coronavirus but hopefully
this is a short term crisis and the markets will settle back to normal in the
So, another addition to my portfolio which takes
the stand-alone shares to 10 in total which represent around 45% of my 'green'
As ever, this article is merely a record of my personal investment decisions and should not be regarded as an endorsement or recommendation - always DYOR!