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Unilever Reduces CO2 Emissions by One Million Tons

April 15, 2013

Combination of manufacturing and logistics improvements.

Unilever has announced that since 2008 the company has achieved a CO2 reduction of more than one million tons from its manufacturing and logistics operations—all as it grew sales by 26% during that time.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key target within the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the second-year progress on which will be published on April 22.

“CO2 emissions and climate change continue to present businesses with significant challenges. But, they also offer opportunities,” said John Maguire, Unilever’s Group manufacturing sustainability director . Our primary focus is to reduce overall energy use by improving the eco-efficiency of everything we do in our factories, offices and other operations. We leverage our global scale by selecting ideas that have the best financial and eco-efficiency payback and then implement them globally. We are also committed to ensuring as much as possible of the energy we use comes from sustainable sources, for example 100% of the electrical energy we buy in Europe and North America comes from renewable sources.”

The one million ton CO2 reduction is a combination of 838,000 tons CO2 achieved from improvements in manufacturing activities and 211,000 tonnes CO2 reduction from making global logistics operations more efficient. Unilever is continuously improving eco-efficiency in manufacturing and logistics.

Cost efficient renewable energy from biomass boilers have the double benefit of reducing bio-waste and helping the company to reach its 40% renewable energy target. Unilever now has 30 biomass boilers globally supplying more than 7% of our renewable energy, with six more planned for this year in Latin America, Africa and Asia;

This announcement follows the progress in sustainable sourcing with now more thanone-third of all agricultural raw materials being sourced sustainably. 

In January, Unilever announced that 133 of of its manufacturing sites achieved zero non-hazardous waste to landfill by end 2012.

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