Reducing environmental impact
Decoupling growth from our environmental impact
Part of our Vision is to grow our business whilst decoupling our environmental impact from our growth. We consider the reduction of our greenhouse gas (GHG), water and waste impacts across our value chain, from sourcing our raw materials to within our own manufacturing and operations and consumer use. We also aim to source our agricultural raw materials sustainably.
Reducing the environmental impact of how consumers use our products continues to prove difficult, as our performance on reducing GHG and Water impact per consumer use demonstrates. However, in those areas where we have control over our impacts – such as our own manufacturing - we are making excellent progress.
Our performance: GHG, water, waste & sustainable sourcing
Our environmental targets for GHG, water and waste are expressed on a ‘per consumer use’ basis. This means a single use, portion or serving of a product, such as the impact of one load of laundry. Our performance is measured against a baseline of 2010.
Our performance: Manufacturing
Our performance is measured against a baseline of 2008.
We want to play our part in tackling climate change and reduce the depletion of natural resources. It makes business sense to reduce our risk by securing sustainable sources of supply for raw materials, to cut costs through reducing packaging materials and higher manufacturing efficiencies, and to appeal to more consumers with sustainable, purpose-led brands.
Our approach, which directly supports a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, focuses on:
- Taking global climate action and protecting our forests
- Championing sustainable agriculture, focused land use and food security
- Helping consumers to recycle more and use less water and less energy through producing products with a lower environmental impact
- Making our manufacturing and distribution more eco-efficient
- Advocating public policy to tackle climate change.
The environmental pillars of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan are supported by our Environmental Policy (PDF | 168KB).