The foundation was launched today (27 January) at the World Economic forum in Davos, as Unilever seeks to improve its CSR (corporate social responsibility) status and consumers become increasingly demanding of the environmental footprint of the products they buy.
The Unilever Foundation has grand aims, such as improving "the quality of life" through the provision of hygiene, sanitation, access to clean drinking water, basic nutrition, and enhanced self esteem.
Creating the foundation is part of Unilever's long-term goal to help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being, with the aim of leading to a "sustainable future".
The foundation will work in partnership with the global organisations on a number of specific initiatives. Unilever will work with Oxfam on a number of programmes to "empower individuals and deliver good nutrition and clean drinking water" around the world.
It will work with PSI to help improve the health of children and families through behavioural change interventions that focus on sanitation.
It will team up with Save the Children to improve children's access to health worker and vaccines, targeting mothers and children with nutrition programmes.
It is also working with Unicef to improve sanitation in developing countries and with WFP in Project Laser Beam, a public-private partnership that aims to create a sustainable model to improve nutrition, health and livelihoods in Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Keith Weed, chief marketing and communication officer, Unilever, said: "We live in a rapidly changing world. One where populations are growing, water is becoming increasingly scarce, and where food security is a growing issue.
"Unilever is committed to addressing the unmet social needs that our business can play a unique role in helping to solve. This is especially true in developing and emerging markets where we have deep roots.
"We aim to double the size of our business while reducing our environmental impact and deliver increased social value. Together with our partners, we will deliver life-saving solutions as we work toward achieving these ambitious goals."
Yesterday Procter & Gamble (P&G) launched a Facebook campaign to get consumers to engage with the company's Children's Safe Drinking Water programme (CSDW), promising to deliver one day of clean drinking water for every "like".
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