We have made limited headway in reducing emissions associated with consumers using our products since we launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan six years ago.
Our acquisition of skin cleansing and hair care brands has increased the share of our products associated with a higher greenhouse gas impact per consumer use. These products are being used by consumers while taking heated showers and baths.
We are therefore dependent on a wide range of external factors, such as the energy used in consumer appliances, the carbon intensity of the energy supplied to people’s homes and consumer behaviour. Innovative products, such as our compressed deodorant sprays and concentrated laundry detergents which wash clothes at lower temperatures, are making a contribution but much more needs to be done. Large-scale change will only come when governments across the world set commitments for long-term reductions in GHG emissions and for financing the process of change.
The Greenhouse gases pillar of our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan contributes to a number of the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and will play a role in shifting these external factors. The Global Goals that relate to climate include Goal 7 – Affordable and clean energy; Goal 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure; Goal 12 – Responsible consumption and production; and Goal 13 – Climate action.
We are contributing to the Global Goals in a number of ways, for example:
- Our manufacturing commitments include a pledge to source 100% of our energy from renewable sources which is aligned with Goal 7, 8 and 9.
- Innovative products, such as our climate-friendly ice cream freezers, compressed deodorant sprays and concentrated laundry detergents which wash clothes at lower temperatures, are making a contribution to Goal 12, but much more needs to be done.
- Our ambition to eliminate deforestation from the world’s commodity supply chains (aligned to Goal 13) also presents major challenges. Positive progress is being made. Over 90% of globally traded palm oil is now covered by ‘no deforestation’ pledges. The challenge is to turn those promises into action. Our advocacy work on climate change and deforestation is therefore crucial.
Read more about how the USLP aligns to the Global Goals here.
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