Unilever's plan to half its footprint in a decade time

by: Mirjam Visser, 2010-11-16 02:56:33 UTC
Sustainability Aspects: Reducing packaging by 30%, eliminating PVC, sustainable procurement. They plan to have 45% greenhouse gas absolute reduction of their factories compared to 1995 levels! That is lesson to teach to politicians in the negotiations of a follow up to the Kyoto

The Story

Rice field

Two billion times a day, somebody, somewhere, uses a Unilever brand. That is a great opportunity to have impact on the sustainability of the world we live in.
The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan isn’t just the right thing to do for people and the environment. They think it is also right for Unilever: the business case for integrating sustainability into their brands is clear.

The Plan

contains over 50 concrete targets that will:

  • Help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being
  • Halve the environmental impact of their products
  • Enhance the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people in their supply chain.
    And you notice from the examples that they probably are doing good business as well! And so they should.

Covering for instance (have a look at their website where they share more details on how);

  1. Nutrition; improving hearth health, reducing salt and saturated fat levels in products, removing transfats, reducing the calories in products (25% less sugar by 2020, maximum of 110 kcal per children icecream)
  2. Hygiene; change the hygiene of 1 billion people by 2015 to reduce diarrhea and respiratory disease, give 500 million people access to cheap purified drinking water.
  3. Greenhouse gases; aim to halve the greenhouse gas impact of the products across the lifecycle – from the sourcing of raw materials, through to consumer use and disposal.
    By 2020 CO2 emissions from energy from their factories will be at or below 2008 levels despite significantly higher volumes. This represents a 63% reduction per tonne of production and a 43% absolute reduction (versus a 1995 baseline), 40% renewable energy use by 2020 and working to 100%. Reformulate washing liquids and packaging to make correct dosing easer, encourage consumers to wash at lower temperatures and line dry laundry.
  4. Water consumption; halving the water consumption of product usage, production and agriculture of the product
  5. Reduce waste; reduce packaging, work with governments to recycle 15% of all packaging by 2020 in top 14 countries. Re-use packaging by introducing re-fills, deal with sachet problem while still offer people access to the product for a price they can afford.
  6. Sustainable sourcing; By 2012 they will source 30%; by 2015 50%; and by 2020 100% sustainable.
  7. Better lively hoods; Shakti their door-to-door selling operation in India will recruit, train and employ from 45 000 in 2010 to 75 000 people in 2015. Link 500,000 smallholder farmers into their supply network
Product: Divers
Designer: divers
Manufacturer: Unilever
Category: Fast moving consumer goods
Websites: www.sustainable-living.unilever.com/


Rice field
Rice harvest
Rice field
by Mirjam

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