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Unilever reaches new zero landfill milestone


Average read time: 4 minutes

Nine months after achieving zero non-hazardous1 waste to landfill across its global network of 242 factories – believed to be a world first - Unilever today announced it has become a zero landfill company in Europe. This means that in addition to manufacturing facilities, no waste from Unilever owned or fully operated premises, logistic operations, distribution centres or offices goes to landfill in Europe2.

Unilever logo building

Unilever outlined its ambition to become a zero waste to landfill company in January 2015. The European operation is the first to meet this new target with 63 additional facilities now sending no waste to landfill. Unilever is aiming to become a zero waste company globally around the end of the year and is also continuing to work towards a zero waste value chain.

Unilever’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, Pier Luigi Sigismondi said: “Our zero waste to landfill goal is essential to Unilever’s sustainable growth ambitions and we aspire to see an industry wide movement here.

“In June this year we partnered with peer companies, experts and key stakeholders to get people personally connected with this environmental and social issue. We are convinced that only together can we eliminate waste on an unprecedented scale across the globe. Our European teams have reached an important new milestone and proven that the model and mind-set that drove our factory achievements is repeatable outside of a manufacturing environment.

As the world focuses on the United Nations Global Goals - an ambitious set of goals to end extreme poverty, fix inequality and tackle climate change by 2030 – the time for us all to drive more action on waste is now”.

Unilever’s President of Europe, Jan Zijderveld added: “We are very proud that all our sites in Europe now send zero waste to landfill. Achieving zero waste company is complex as we do not own or even majority occupy many of the non-manufacturing sites and our teams have invested a lot of energy, shown real entrepreneurship and initiative to overcome multiple challenges.

“The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is deeply embedded in the organisation and progressively represented in our brands. With sustainable brands delivering more growth and savings made through greater resource efficiency and better use of materials, the business case for sustainability is becoming increasingly clear”.

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Helen Dodd at or call +44 (0) 7920 254 650.

  • 1 Hazardous waste represents a very small percentage of total factory waste. The types of materials that make up hazardous waste vary due to differing local waste regulations around the world.
  • 2 The European zero waste company achievement means that in addition to manufacturing sites all Unilever owned or fully operated offices, distribution centres and warehouses now send no waste to landfill. We now plan to go further and are working to achieve zero at multi-use distribution centres and offices where Unilever is neither the owner nor the sole customer and facilities where Unilever occupies less than 35%.
  • Unilever announced that it had reached zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across its global network of 242 manufacturing sites in 67 countries in January 2015 – believed to be a global first for achieving zero waste on this scale.
  • For information on the January 2015 announcement see the press release: Unilever achieves zero waste to landfill across global factory network
  • For information on the Unilever/2degrees Zero Waste Mindset event in June 2015 see the press release
  • 2degrees is the leading collaboration platform and service for sustainable business with over 43,800 members from 177 countries. 2degrees have also featured Unilever’s zero waste programme on their global collaboration map.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Beauty & Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 172,000 employees and generated sales of €48.4 billion in 2014. Over half (57%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) commits to:

  • Decoupling growth from environmental impact.
  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2015 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the fifth year running, and in 2015 was ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard.

Unilever has been named in LinkedIn’s Top 3 most sought-after employers across all sectors.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit For more information on the USLP:

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