Unilever issues first ever green sustainability bond

London/Rotterdam, March 19th 2014. Unilever announced today the issuance of the first ever green sustainability bond. The £250,000,000 2% per cent Fixed Rate Notes due 19 December 2018 (the “Notes”) are issued by Unilever PLC and guaranteed by Unilever N.V. and Unilever United States, Inc.

Unilever’s green sustainability bond is the first green bond in the sterling market, and the first by a company in the FMCG sector.

Jean Marc Huet, Unilever’s Chief Financial Officer, explains: “We have a clearly defined ambition in Unilever, articulated by our Sustainable Living Plan. By issuing our first Green Sustainability Bond, our intention is to invite investors to support our vision for sustainable growth, while investing in the Unilever credit.”

Unilever has worked with DNV GL, an independent leading environmental consultancy, to develop a Green Sustainability Bond framework, based on the Green Bond Principles. This framework, which is based on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, provides clarity and transparency around the use of proceeds. It includes a set of clearly defined criteria on GHG emissions, water use and waste disposal for the projects selected; and outlines a yearly reporting structure to provide full traceability of the funds.

The current pipeline of projects in which the proceeds of the bond will be invested includes: a laundry liquid detergent factory in Johannesburg, South Africa; a laundry powder facility in Sichuan, China; a Home and Beauty & Personal Care factory in Selcuklu-Konya, Turkey; an ice cream factory in Johannesburg, South Africa; the expansion of a spreads factory in Kansas, US; and the ‘Lean & Green Freezer’ cabinets project in Turkey, Russia and the US.


Notes to editor

The criteria for project selection are as follows:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions - The design of the project will result in operational reduction in CO2 emissions from energy of 50% for new factories and 30% for retrofitted factories. Where achievable, energy used for the operation of the factory will in part be sourced from renewables, contributing to the company target to source 40% of energy from renewable sources. The project will replace HydroFluoroCarbon (HFC) freezer cabinets with cabinets using natural hydrocarbon refrigerants, significantly reducing GHG emissions compared to the HFC based 2008 baseline model.

  • Water - The design of the project will result in operational reductions of water used of 50% for new factories and 30% for retrofitted factories.

  • Waste - The design of the project will result in waste generation reductions of 50% for new factories and 30% for retrofitted factories. The operational phase of the project will result in sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill.

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. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. 

Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/.

Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2013 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the third year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn’s third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.

Important Notices

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or other jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

This news release is only being distributed to and is only directed at (i) persons who are outside the United Kingdom or (ii) to investment professionals falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the “Order”) or (iii) high net worth entities, and other persons to whom it may lawfully be communicated, falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order (all such persons together being referred to as "relevant persons"). The securities are only available to, and any invitation, offer or agreement to subscribe, purchase or otherwise acquire such securities will be engaged in only with, relevant persons. Any person who is not a relevant person should not act or rely on this news release any of its contents.

This news release does not constitute an offer of securities for sale in the United States. The securities described herein have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and may not be offered, sold or delivered within the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. person (as defined in Regulation S under the Securities Act) absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act. No action has been made or will be taken that would permit a public offering in the United States of the securities described herein.

Unilever PLC

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London EC4Y 0DY
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 207 822 5252

Unilever NV

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+31 (0) 10 217 4000

Safe Harbour

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', 'looks', '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 Unilever group (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; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find 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; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high ethical standards; and 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, NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2013 and Annual Report and Accounts 2013. 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.

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