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Unilever Sustainable Living Plan: reducing environmental impact .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
  • Submitted by: Unilever
  • Topic: Sustainable consumption and production
  • Keywords: waste, greenhouse gases, water
  • Location: worldwide
  • Date of completion: 2020
  • Click for more information
Deliverables & Resources
Action network
  • This voluntary initiative came from Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All)
Unilever Sustainable Living Plan: reducing environmental impact


We are working with other organisations, such as the Consumer Goods Forum, the World Economic Forum, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, NGOs and governments, to drive concerted, cross-sector change.

Description/achievement of initiative

By 2020 our goal is to halve the environmental footprint of the making and use of our products as we grow our business.

Implementation methodologies

We have developed a metric which measures the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the whole lifecycle of a product on a ‘per consumer use' basis, e.g. the GHG impact of making a single cup of tea. Sourcing of raw materials and consumer use together account for over 90% of our footprint, so we are aiming to reduce the GHG from skin cleansing, hair washing and washing clothes. We also have targets to reduce GHGs from manufacturing, transport and refrigeration, for example, we aim to more than double our use of renewable energy to 40% of our total energy requirement by 2020 – this is a first step towards a long term goal of 100% renewable energy.

In seven water-scarce countries representing around half the world's population (China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and USA).

Deliverable Date
Waste: halve the waste associated with the disposal of our products. 2020
Greenhouse gases: halve the greenhouse gas impact of our products across the lifecycle. 2020
Sustainable sourcing: we will source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably, including 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2012 and 100% traceable sustainable palm oil by 2020. 2020
Water: halve the water associated with the consumer use of our products. 2020
Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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