Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist?
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Submitted by: Unilever
Posted: Apr 15, 2013 – 07:00 AM EST
LONDON and ROTTERDAM, Apr. 15 /CSRwire/ - Unilever today announced that since 2008 the company has achieved a CO2 reduction of more than one million tonnes from its manufacturing and logistics operations. This is equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off the road. This milestone was achieved while growing sales by 26% from €40.5 billion in 2008 to €51.3 billion in 2012. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key target within the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the second-year progress on which will be published on 22 April.
John Maguire, Unilever’s Group Manufacturing Sustainability Director said: “CO2 emissions and climate change continue to present businesses with significant challenges. But, they also offer opportunities. 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.”
“Eco-efficiency isn’t just about reducing the environmental footprint it also makes good business sense. Since 2008 our eco-efficiency programmes have avoided more than €300 million of costs. Almost €100 million in energy; €186 million in materials; €17 million in water; and €10 million in waste disposal. The benefits are very clear in a world where energy prices are increasing,” Maguire adds.
The one million tonnes CO2 reduction is a combination of 838,000 tonnes 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. Below some examples of game changers in 2012:
This announcement follows the progress in sustainable sourcing with now over 1/3 of all agricultural raw materials being sourced sustainably. In January, Unilever announced that 133 of Unilever’s manufacturing sites achieved zero non-hazardous waste to landfill by end 2012.
More information, or if you wish to receive the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan progress report on 22 April, please contact:
+31 (0) 10 217 3715
+31 (0) 6 11375464
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Our products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by over 2 billion people on a daily basis. We work with 173,000 colleagues around the world, and generated annual sales of €51.3 billion in 2012. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (55% in 2012). Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands such as Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s, Lux, Rama, Ponds and Axe.
Our vision is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting these goals are seven commitments underpinned by targets spanning our social, environmental and economic performance across the value chain. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living.
Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. In 2012, for the second year in a row, Unilever led the Climate Counts Company Scorecard and topped the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan / SustainAbility latest annual survey. The company is an employer of choice in many of the countries in which it operates and is seen as a symbol for innovation and leadership development.
For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.
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