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Unilever Reduces Waste By One Million Household Bins Whilst Growing Business

Unilever brings zero waste to landfill commitment five years forward to 2015

Submitted by: Unilever

Categories: Sustainability, Technology

Posted: Jan 24, 2013 – 04:00 AM EST


LONDON and ROTTERDAM, Jan. 24 /CSRwire/ - Unilever today announced that more than 50% of all its factories have achieved the goal of sending no waste to landfill in 2012. This was achieved whilst the company reported annual sales of €51 billion – up from €40 billion when Unilever set out its new vision of doubling the size of its business whilst reducing its environmental impact and increasing its positive social impact. Unilever has already reached the milestone of 100% of sites sending zero waste to landfill in 18 countries. This achievement is equivalent to removing more than one million household bins of waste every year.

Over 130 Unilever factories across the world, from Costa Rica to Japan, send no non-hazardous waste to landfill. Key driver for this achievement is the elimination of waste in the factories. Additionally Zero waste imagewaste is reduced, reused, recycled and recovered. Under its Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever announced that by 2020, total waste sent for disposal will be at or below 2008 levels - despite producing significantly higher volumes. Today, Unilever is stretching the original target even further by bringing the 2020 commitment 5 years forward. A total of 252 factories across the world will not send any non-hazardous waste to landfill by end of 2015.

Tony Dunnage, Unilever Eco-Efficiency Manager said: "This is a significant achievement for Unilever as we make progress towards reaching our ambitious sustainability goals. It's a great example of how we are putting our sustainability strategy into action - by decoupling the growth of our business from its environmental impact. Today's landmark demonstrates how our factories are more environmentally responsible, which is helping us to save money to invest in our business. Having over 130 sites not sending waste to landfill equates to a cost saving of almost €70 million, all achieved without the need for capital expenditure."

Unilever is implementing best practices from all over the world, actively using the global supply chain network, to create more environmentally responsible factories. By using the ‘design once and deploy everywhere’ philosophy, the company is driving a sustainable model that is good for the environment and saves costs. Every new factory will produce 50% less waste than 5 years ago and will not send any non-hazardous waste to landfill by design.

Where reduction of waste is not sufficient it will reuse, recover or recycle waste to reach 0-waste to landfill. For example, in Russia Unilever collects a few tonnes of perforated outer-tea bags annually and this is sold in pet shops as animal bedding, used for wallpaper, etc.  In Hefei (China) Unilever reduced plastics to wrap boxes on pallets by replacing it with reusable elastic fabrics.

About Unilever

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 171,000 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 ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall 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 our three big goals are more than 50 time-based targets. 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 2011 Unilever led the Climate Counts Company Scorecard and for the second year topped the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan / SustainAbility latest annual survey (2012). 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.

For more information, please contact:

Flip Dötsch Unilever
Phone: +31 (0) 10 217 3715
Phone 2: +31 (0) 6 11375464


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