Our manufacturing performance

In 2010 we made good progress towards achieving our targets for improved eco-efficiency in our manufacturing operations.

2010 data

The pages in the left-hand navigation contain charts showing the eco-efficiency performance of our manufacturing sites over the past 16 years. 

In 2010 we improved our eco-efficiency performance and met our milestones for 2010 in all areas apart from Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), non-hazardous waste and energy (in the latter case, despite an improvement, just missing our milestone). We are on track to meet our target for CO2 from energy in our manufacturing operations by 25% by 2012 (measured per tonne of production against a 2004 baseline). We are also currently on track to meet our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan targets for CO2 emissions from energy, water abstraction and total waste sent for disposal from our factories will be at or below 2008 levels by 2020 despite significantly higher volumes.

Scope of data

In 2010, 257 manufacturing sites in 68 countries reported environmental performance data. We also collect data on environmental prosecutions and resulting fines, including from our corporate head offices and major research laboratories, which together represent an additional ten sites. In 2010 there were no environmental prosecutions and resulting fines. We do not collect data from third-party companies that manufacture or pack our products (these account for approximately 15% of production).

Quality of data

We have continued to improve our global system for the management and reporting of environmental performance data through the continued development of our web-based system. This has helped improve the management and validation and reporting of site-level data and allowed us to collate worldwide data faster and more transparently. For 2010, 100% of sites reported environmental data with 99.6% of sites reporting on all of our (eight) key environmental parameters.

The definitions and basis of reporting of the indicators shown on these pages are described in our Basis of Reporting document (available to download in related links).

Assurance of data

We invited professional services provider Deloitte LLP to provide limited assurance of eight environmental and two occupational safety performance indicators contained within our online report. Their work included visiting ten manufacturing sites around the world and reviewing the data collection, aggregation, validation and reporting processes used for the indicators.

See Assurance for more.

External recognition

Unilever was awarded the Green Manufacturing Award 2010 for our European Eco-Efficiency programme. The award recognises enterprises that maximise energy efficiency, minimise their waste and carbon footprint, and convert green manufacturing into a business opportunity.