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Digital Sustainability

Unilever recognises digital sustainability as an integral component of our overarching approach to sustainability. We have more than 80 corporate websites in our network. Each one has a digital carbon footprint from the energy used to host them and upload their text, videos and imagery.

We are continually striving to reduce their environmental impact to make them more digitally sustainable, whilst still providing our consumers and guests with an unparalleled user experience.

Our approach

We have audited pages from websites across our network to understand their impact and worked to optimise them to ensure they are as sustainable, accessible and user-friendly as possible.

For example:

  • We have switched to a green hosting provider which means the energy that runs their data centres and host our sites is generated from clean, sustainable sources such as wind, solar or hydro power.
  • We’ve reduced the energy load of our images by saving them in energy-efficient formats such as SVG and WebP that don’t compromise on image quality.
  • We've introduced a theme switch feature which gives visitors the option to view our sites in ‘dark mode’ to save on screen energy. 
  • We have added a play/pause button to all our videos. And where possible are working to replace videos with animations, illustrations and static images.
  • We have trained our teams on the best practices of sustainable web design to ensure our designers, developers and product managers embrace a sustainability-first design thinking.
  • We work to a target budget of 1.5 megabytes for each page (the global average is 2.4 megabytes) to improve accessibility and ensure every asset adds value to our user experience.

How sustainable is our website?

As well as adhering to sustainable web design principles to reduce the energy used by individual pages; we have worked to ensure our sites are accessible and usable, so people don’t waste energy navigating barriers and inefficiencies.

Our sites currently comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.1 Level AA and have been tested using the internationally recognised methodology for calculating digital carbon emissions.

What we are currently working on

Our websites are under constant review to improve their accessibility, usability and sustainability.

Some of the videos we host do still autoplay, which we know is energy intensive. And we are continuing to look at ways to optimise this content.

We are also working to improve the SEO of our content to reduce the energy load it takes for our users to find the information that best fits their needs.

Help with digital sustainability

We invite you to join us on our journey towards digital sustainability. It may be as simple as exploring our websites in dark mode that will contribute to energy savings on your own devices.

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