Unilever - Sustainable Living Place



Targets exceeded just one-year after the launch of its 10-year strategy

Unilever has published a report on the progress it’s making towards meeting its Sustainable Living Plan targets. The plan, published in November 2010, broke new ground by committing to take responsibility for the company’s impacts across the entire supply chain.

As part of the update, Unilever announced that by the end of 2012 it will reach its target of 100% certified sustainable palm oil covered by Green Palm Certificates, a full three years ahead of schedule. Whilst this is strong progress, the company recognises that the Green Palm Scheme is only a step along the road towards sustainable palm oil, not the end game.  Although it will be even more difficult to achieve, Unilever has now set a new target of purchasing all its palm oil from traceable sources by 2020. This means it will be able to track all of the certified oil it buys back to the plantation on which it was originally grown.

The first year progress report outlines the achievements Unilever has made towards its targets, to which Unilever Food Solutions has contributed. Areas the business is making good progress in are:

Sustainable sourcing

o 24% of total agricultural raw materials are now being sourced sustainably, versus 14% in 2010.

o In the UK, all PG tips bags are now fully Rainforest Alliance Certified and Hellmann’s uses only cage-free eggs


o Over 90% of Unilever’s leading spreads now contain less than one-third saturated fat.

o In the UK, Unilever Food Solutions has been working with the Government and other stakeholders to help meet public health targets – and as a business, has signed up to 12 voluntary pledges as part of the Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, including reducing salt and calories.

o The saturated fat content in Flora Original and Light has been reduced further to contain 80% less saturated fat than butter

Eco efficiency

o 100% of electricity purchased in Europe is now from renewable sources

o In the UK, the Burton Marmite factory has an anaerobic digester, which uses waste by-product of the manufacturing progress to produce biogas.

o All of its UK sites are zero (non-hazardous) waste to landfill.

o  Unilever has also constructed a new effluent treatment plant at its Purfleet spreads factory, which recovers 40% of waste water for re-use in cooling towers and irrigation.

Unilever Food Solutions has contributed towards the Sustainable Living Plan’s success by launching a series of impactful initiatives to help customers address growing global issues such as obesity, foods waste and energy consumption. Last September, it launched its United Against Waste campaign and Wise Up on Waste Toolkit, developed in association with the government’s waste advisory body WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Designed to help operators minimise and manage food waste and to improve efficiency in the kitchen, it has since been downloaded by hundreds of chefs and caterers across the country.

The report also includes challenges Unilever has faced on its sustainability journey – such as encouraging people to eat foods with lower salt levels and how it plans to overcome them to meet its targets. Unilever Food Solutions will be supporting its efforts by continuing to develop products and services to support operators, including expanding its school nutrition programmes; food safety training; and waste campaign coalitions globally. 

Tracey Rogers, Managing Director of Unilever Food Solutions, says, “The old view of growth at any cost is unacceptable; today the only responsible way to do business is through sustainable growth. It’s for this reason that the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is not just a bolt-on strategy; it’s our blue-print for the future. At Unilever Food Solutions, operating sustainably is key to everything we do.

“We’ve made a fantastic start to our 10-year strategy embedding sustainability into every area of our business, but there’s still more to do. The success so far has inspired us to keep working hard to meet our three overarching goals: to halve the environmental footprint of our ingredients; source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably; and help a billion people take action to improve their health and wellbeing.”

For more information on the Sustainable Living Plan and its full first-year report, visit: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living

For more information on the United Against Waste campaign and Wise up on Waste toolkit, visit www.unileverfoodsolutions.co.uk/wastetools


For further press information please contact:
Donna White, William Murray Communications

Email: donna@williammurray.co.uk

T: 0208 256 1360

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