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Sustainable Living

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple our growth from our environmental footprint, while increasing our positive social impact. Our Plan has three big goals to achieve, underpinned by nine commitments and targets spanning our social, environmental and economic performance across the value chain. We will continue to work with others to focus on those areas where we can drive the biggest change and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We have three big goals

Improving Health
and well-being
for more than

1 billion

By 2020 we will help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.

Explore our big goal
UN Sustainability Development Plan

We are taking action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals


By 2020 we will help more than a billion people to improve their health and hygiene. This will help reduce the incidence of life-threatening diseases like diarrhoea.

601 million people reached by end 2017

  • Reduce diarrhoeal and respiratory disease through handwashing

  • Provide safe drinking water

  • Improve access to sanitation

  • Improve oral health

  • Improve self-esteem

  • Help improve skin healing

Find out more about health & hygiene
  • Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Partnership For The Goals

We will continually work to improve the taste and nutritional quality of all our products. The majority of our products meet, or are better than, benchmarks based on national nutritional recommendations. Our commitment goes further: by 2020, we will double the proportion of our portfolio that meets the highest nutritional standards, based on globally recognised dietary guidelines. This will help hundreds of millions of people to achieve a healthier diet.

39%† of our portfolio by volume met highest nutritional standards in 2017

  • Reduce salt levels
Saturated fat:
  • Reduce saturated fat

  • Increase essential fatty acids

  • Reduce saturated fat in more products
  • Remove trans fat
  • Reduce sugar
Reduce calories:
  • In children's ice cream
  • In more ice cream products
  • Provide healthy eating information

Find out more about improving nutrition

Taking action on the SDGs:

  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Partnership For The Goals

Reducing
environmental
impact by

half

By 2030 our goal is to halve the environmental footprint of the making and use of our products as we grow our business.*

Explore our big goal
UN Sustainability Development Plan

We are taking action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our products' lifecycle:

Our products’ lifecycle: Halve the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2030.

Our greenhouse gas impact per consumer use has increased by around 9% since 2010*

Our manufacturing:

By 2020 CO2 emissions from energy from our factories will be at or below 2008 levels despite significantly higher volumes.

-47% reduction in CO2 from energy per tonne of production since 2008

Become carbon positive in manufacturing:
  • Source all energy renewably

  • Source grid electricity renewably

  • Eliminate coal from energy mix

  • Make surplus energy available to communities

  • New factories

Reduce GHG from washing clothes:
  • Reformulation
  • Reduce GHG from transport

  • Reduce GHG from refrigeration
  • Reduce energy consumption in our offices
  • Reduce employee travel
Find out more about greenhouse gases
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Climate Action
  • Life on Land
  • Partnership For The Goals

Our products in use:

Halve the water associated with the consumer use of our products by 2020.+

Our water impact per consumer use has reduced by around 2% since 2010*

Our manufacturing:

By 2020 water abstraction by our global factory network will be at or below 2008 levels despite significantly higher volumes.

-39% reduction in water abstraction per tonne of production since 2008

Reduce water use in manufacturing process:
  • New factories

Reduce water use in the laundry process:
  • Products that use less water

  • Reduce water use in agriculture

Find out more about water use
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Partnership For The Goals

Our products:

Halve the waste associated with the disposal of our products by 2020.

Our waste impact per consumer use has reduced by around 29% since 2010*

Our manufacturing:

By 2020 total waste sent for disposal will be at or below 2008 levels despite significantly higher volumes.

-98% reduction in total waste per tonne of production since 2008

Reduce waste from manufacturing:
  • Zero non-hazardous waste to landfill
  • New factories
  • Reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging

  • Reduce packaging

Recycle packaging:
  • Increase recycling and recovery rates

  • Increase recycled content

  • Tackle sachet waste

  • Eliminate PVC

Reduce office waste:
  • Recycle, reuse, recover

  • Reduce paper consumption

  • Eliminate paper in processes

Find out more about waste & packaging
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Partnership For The Goals

By 2020 we will source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably.

56% of agricultural raw materials sustainably sourced by end 2017

  • Sustainable palm oil

  • Paper and board

  • Soy beans and soy oil

  • Tea

  • Fruit

  • Vegetables

  • Cocoa

  • Sugar

  • Sunflower oil

  • Rapeseed oil

  • Dairy

  • Fairtrade Ben & Jerry’s

  • Cage-free eggs

  • Increase sustainable sourcing of office materials

Find out more about sustainable sourcing

We are taking action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • Zero Hunger
  • Climate Action
  • Life on Land
  • Partnership For The Goals

Enhancing
Livelihoods
for

millions

By 2020 we will enhance the livelihoods of millions of people as we grow our business.

Explore our big goal
UN Sustainability Development Plan

We are taking action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals


By 2020 we will advance human rights across our operations and extended supply chain.

55% of procurement spend through suppliers meeting our Responsible Sourcing Policy’s mandatory requirements

We continued to embed human rights, focusing on 8 salient issues in our Human Rights Report

Our Total Recordable Frequency Rate for safety improved to 0.89 per million hours worked

  • Implement UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

  • Source 100% of procurement spend in line with our Responsible Sourcing Policy

  • Create framework for fair compensation

  • Improve employee health, nutrition and well-being

  • Reduce workplace injuries and accidents

Find out more about fairness in the workplace
  • Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Partnership For The Goals

By 2020 we will empower 5 million women.

1,259,000 women enabled to access initiatives aiming to promote their safety, develop their skills or expand their opportunities*

  • Build a gender-balanced organisation with a focus on management

  • Promote safety for women in communities where we operate

  • Enhance access to training and skills

  • Expand opportunities in our retail value chain

Find out more about opportunities for women
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Partnership For The Goals

By 2020 we will have a positive impact on the lives of 5.5 million people.

716,000† smallholder farmers and 1.6 million small-scale retailers enabled to access initiatives aiming to improve agricultural practices or increase incomes*

  • Improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers

  • Improve incomes of small-scale retailers

  • Increase participation of young entrepreneurs in our value chain

Find out more about inclusive business

Taking action on the SDGs:

  • No Poverty
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Partnership For The Goals
Key to our performance
  • Achieved

    This is the number of targets we have achieved

  • On-Plan

    This is the number of targets we are on track to achieve

  • Off-Plan

    This is the number of targets we are currently not on track

  • %

    Of target achieved

    This is the percentage of the target we are on track to achieve

Independently assured by PwC.
* Our environmental targets are expressed on a 'per consumer use' basis. This means a single use, portion or serving of a product.
+ In seven water-scarce countries representing around half the world's population.
• In 2017 around 370,000 women accessed initiatives under both Opportunities for Women and Inclusive Business.

Our Sustainable Living Report Hub

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The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple our growth from our environmental footprint, while increasing our positive social impact.

Our strategy for sustainable growth

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Unilever has, from its origins, been a purpose-driven company. Today our purpose is simple but clear - to make sustainable living commonplace.

What matters to you

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Sometimes we are asked specific questions about our business. Here we address some of the topics that matter most to you.

News

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