Setting targets & data scope

Our eco-efficiency data helps us to make the best use of resources to achieve the biggest impact.

Tracking performance and setting targets

Eco-efficiency data is used to track performance, set targets and identify the best opportunities to drive reductions in each of our key indicators.

Many of our manufacturing sites also make use of real-time eco-efficiency data. This is collected through automated systems – known as measurement, monitoring and targeting (MM&T) systems. This helps our manufacturing sites to better track their performance and identify reduction opportunities.

How we set & report targets

Our external reporting focuses primarily on our performance against long-term targets. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan commits us to long-term targets for CO2 from energy, renewable energy, water and total waste.

We also follow a robust annual target-setting process for all indicators to keep us on track. Each year we set global targets for each of our eco-efficiency performance indicators to drive year-on-year improvement. Our regions and categories are then able to assign targets to specific manufacturing sites in order to deliver the overall target.

Scope of data

In 2015, 261 manufacturing sites reported environmental performance data. We also collect data on environmental prosecutions and resulting fines, including from our corporate head offices and research laboratories, which together represent an additional ten sites.

The data does not currently include third-party companies that manufacture or pack our products. These account for approximately 15% of production.

Assurance of data

We have been independently assuring our eco-efficiency data since 1996. As we have moved towards integrated reporting by including more of our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan achievements in the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts, we aligned this assurance process with our financial reporting timetable.

To accommodate the new reporting timetable in 2013, we adjusted our reporting period from 1 January - 31 December to 1 October - 30 September. This enables us to publish data assured by PwC in our Annual Report and Accounts, published in February each year. Prior to this change, we published preliminary data in March with assured data published in April/May. In line with this adjustment, our 2014 reporting period is measured from 1 October 2013 – 30 September 2014. The reporting period in the years prior to 2013 are calendar year (1 January to 31 December).

In 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) provided independent limited assurance of six environmental manufacturing indicators. Our environmental indicators for manufacturing are crucial for our business and will always be considered for assurance. PwC's work in 2015 included visiting a sample of ten manufacturing sites around the world and reviewing the data collection, aggregation, validation and reporting processes used for these indicators.

The definitions and basis of reporting of the environmental manufacturing performance indicators shown on these pages with a † are described in Unilever's Basis of Preparation 2015 document. See Downloads for this and the PwC Independent Limited Assurance Report 2015.

External recognition

The different kinds of external recognition we receive provides proof that we’re moving in the right direction and helps us identify further areas of year-on-year improvement.

In 2015, we retained our leadership of the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Industry Group in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), with a score of 92. We gained the best industry score for our manufacturing eco-efficiency programme.

In 2015, for the eleventh consecutive year, CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) recognised our climate change disclosure and carbon performance. Unilever scored maximum Disclosure points - 100 out of 100 - up one point from our 2014 score and 15 points on our 2013 score. We maintained our Band A performance rating. This result placed us in the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) for the fourth year running.

In 2015, our Haridwar factory in India won Gold in the 15th Annual Greentech Environment Award.

In October 2015 we were awarded the Salzberg Medallion by The Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University for our performance in supply chain sustainability.

Our Covington, US factory was again awarded the 2015 Environmental and Energy Award by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce for its contribution to energy, water and waste efficiency.

In 2015, our Belen, Costa Rica factory was awarded the "Bandera Azul Ecológica"(Ecology Blue Flag), special recognition given by local government to eco-friendly companies.

In 2015, the Bolivian Government awarded our Cochabamba factory a National Quality Certification for environmental practices.

In 2015, our Cikarang, Indonesia factory achieved a Green Industry award from the Ministry of Industry for good environmental management.

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