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Climate action Taking a stand

There’s no time to lose. We’re taking urgent action across our business – and beyond.

This issue relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action

Average read time: 4 minutes

The fight for a liveable planet must be won this decade

We believe a net zero emissions world where nature thrives is within reach. We’ve set ambitious science-based targets and we’re calling on governments, businesses, and other partners to join us and accelerate climate action.

Boy holding placard protesting about climate change

The time to act is now

Global climate scientists have sounded the ‘code red alarm’ for humanity. Humans have unequivocally warmed the planet by more than 1.1°C since pre-industrial times and we’re on track to exceed 1.5°C within two decades, if not before. That’s not a world we want to live in – no one does.

We’ve set ambitious science-based targets and we’re doing all we can to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C. We’re working to eliminate carbon emissions from our own operations by 2030 and to reach net zero emissions across our value chain by 2039.

What do we mean by 'net zero'?

Net zero means ensuring that emissions from our business and products are reduced to zero as far as possible, with residual emissions balanced by carbon removals to achieve a 'net zero' position.

Carbon removals could be natural (such as reforestation) or technical (such as carbon capture and storage). We believe that it's critical to have science-based short- and medium-term targets to drastically reduce our emissions, as well as a long-term net zero emissions target. We have two science-based targets, both of which have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. These are:

  • Zero emissions in our operations by 2030
  • Halve the greenhouse gas impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2030

We’re switching to 100% renewable energy in our operations. Working closely with our suppliers, we’re innovating to find new lower carbon ingredients, reformulating our products to offer plant-based alternatives and fossil-fuel-free cleaning products. We’re also taking action to end deforestation in our supply chain and help nature to flourish, which will benefit the climate too.

Our Climate Transition Action Plan (PDF 10.14MB) sets out the steps we’ll take to achieve our goals – and our shareholders overwhelmingly support our plan. We want every business to do the same and set ambitious climate goals, which will help halve global emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest. And share their climate plans and report progress along the way.

Solar panels with a city skyline background

Changing hearts and minds

Today’s levels of consumption of products across the world have a huge environmental impact and greenhouse gas footprint. Around 2.5 billion consumers use our products every day. We want to make affordable, effective products that don’t cost the earth.

We’re working hard to decarbonise our own operations by 2030 and engaging our suppliers to join us in our efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2039.* Two-thirds of our products’ greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint is from consumer use and we take responsibility for reducing this impact as well. That’s why one of our medium-term goals is to halve our GHG impact per consumer use by reformulating products to cut GHG emissions in use, helping consumers lower their GHG footprint by reducing food waste or choosing plant-based foods, and through helping them understand the GHG footprint of products they purchase.

Consumer concern about climate change is at an all-time high. Our brands are dramatically rethinking what they do to respond to consumer concerns, and to stay relevant for the future. And we’re advocating for a global transition to renewable energy, that will in turn help to reduce consumers’ climate impact at home.

Transforming systems

We know we can’t achieve our climate goals alone. We’re inextricably linked to the wider world around us – to the energy, transport, food and waste systems we rely on – we need governments and other partners to accelerate wider change. That’s why we’re using our influence to encourage others to join the race to zero emissions.

By helping to drive a faster transition to low-carbon, resilient economies, businesses can empower policymakers to be more ambitious. In turn, by creating the right combination of incentives, policies and frameworks, governments will help to propel business action to get the world on track to 1.5°C.

We want to see regulation to phase out coal and other fossil fuels, a price on carbon that reflects its true cost to society and nature, and a switch to renewable energy and electric vehicles. This should be coupled with an immediate roll-out of nature-based solutions and policies, which have a huge role to play in tackling climate change.

Nothing is more powerful than demonstrating that we can decarbonise our business and remain profitable. And we believe climate action is an opportunity that every business must seize.

*

Our net zero goal covers Scope 1, 2 and mandatory downstream Scope 3 emissions such as aerosol propellants and the biodegradation of chemicals in the disposal phase. It does not include emissions from consumer use of our products e.g. emissions associated with hot water used with our products. Our goal to halve the greenhouse gas impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2030 covers consumer use.