The owner of brands like Dove, TRESemmé, Ben & Jerry’s and Knorr revealed it reached an important milestone yesterday when it announced more than 50% its factories across the globe send zero waste to landfill.
Unilever’s goal was achieved as it reported annual sales of €51 billion (£43.4bn) – up from €40 billion (£34bn) – when it set out its new strategy of doubling the size of its business whilst reducing environmental impact. The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company revealed 100% of its sites in 18 countries, including all of Unilever’s factories in the UK and Ireland, are sending zero waste to landfill. This it claims is equivalent to removing more than one million household bins of waste every year.
Tony Dunnage, Unilever Eco-Efficiency Manager said: “This is a significant achievement for Unilever as we make progress towards reaching our ambitious sustainability goals. It’s a great example of how we are putting our sustainability strategy into action – by decoupling the growth of our business from its environmental impact. Today’s landmark demonstrates how our factories are more environmentally responsible, which is helping us to save money to invest in our business. Having over 130 sites not sending waste to landfill equates to a cost saving of almost €70 million (£59.6m), all achieved without the need for capital expenditure.”
Under its Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever had announced that by 2020, total waste sent for disposal would be at or below 2008 levels. However, it has stretched its original target further by bring the 2020 commitment five years ahead. A total of 252 factories across the world will now not send any non-hazardous waste to landfill by the end of 2015.