Unilever reduces waste by one million household bins while growing business

London/ Rotterdam, 24 January 2013 – Unilever today announced that more than 50% of all its factories have achieved the goal of sending no waste to landfill in 2012.

Waste recycling in a Unilever factory

Factory worker collecting plastic waste for recycling in Port Sunlight.

Waste recycling in a Unilever factory

Additional media - 2 items


This goal was achieved while 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 while 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, up from 74 at start of the year. Key driver for this achievement is the elimination of waste in the factories. Additionally waste 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.

ENDS

More information, please contact:

Unilever
Flip Dötsch
Flip.Dotsch@unilever.com(Link opens in a new window)
+31 (0) 10 217 3715
+31 (0) 6 11375464

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This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are; Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; increasing competitive pressures; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; finding sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and national disasters; the sovereign debt crisis in Europe; financial risks; and failure to meet high product safety and ethical standards; managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2011 and the Annual Report and Accounts 2011. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Unilever NV

Weena 455
3013AL Rotterdam

www.unilever.nl(Link opens in a new window)

+31 (0) 10 217 4000
mediarelations.rotterdam@unilever.com

Unilever PLC

100 Victoria Embankment
London
EC4Y 0DY

+44 (0) 20 7822 5252
Press-Office.London@Unilever.com

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