Water is crucial to the consumers and communities with whom we work – and essential for the production and use of many of our brands. That's why we're so pleased to have been recognised, for the first time, with a position on CDP's Water A List 2016.
International not-for-profit CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) independently assessed information provided by 607 large companies to produce their report, Thirsty business: Why water is vital to climate action, released during COP22 talks in Marrakech.
We were one of 24 companies to achieve the A grade ranking.
Sustainable water for a sustainable business
Reducing our water impact is an important part of our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. We know that by 2025, around half the world's population is expected to live in water-stressed regions – and water scarcity is already affecting billions of lives.
What's more, addressing water scarcity is vital for our growth as a business – not least because water is needed to use many of our products, and to grow or produce the materials we need to make them.
Reducing water use
Welcoming the CDP announcement, our Chief Sustainability Officer Jeff Seabright says: "We know how important water is and we're always looking for ways to improve our water impact. We've worked hard to reduce the amount of water used to make our products, for example – in 2015, our factories abstracted 37% less water per tonne of production than in 2008.
"We've also worked with our suppliers, developed new products that require less water to use, and played a part in advocating for the wider changes we believe are needed to address water scarcity, declining quality and inequitable access. There is more we, and other businesses, need to do – but we're delighted to have been recognised as leaders in this field."
You can read more about our water strategy
Water and climate action
The CDP report makes clear that "achieving the Paris Agreement will not be possible without business efforts to create a more water-secure world."
Morgan Gillespy, Head of Water at CDP, says: "The business case for action to improve water security has never been stronger or more urgent. [A List] companies are responding to market demand for environmental accountability and at the same time are making progress towards achieving a water-secure world. This will make all the difference to companies working to fulfil their carbon reduction potential and the sustainable development goals.”
Find out more about our water strategy
Read more about our water footprint