Unilever makes one million tonnes of CO2 savings

Unilever has announced it has cut more than one million tonnes of CO2 from its manufacturing and logistics operations since 2008.

Manufacturing activities provided the majority of the savings, shedding 838,000 tonnes of CO2, while improving the efficiency of its logistics operations helped Unilever cut emissions by a further 211,000 tonnes since its 2008 baseline.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the central targets in the Anglo-Dutch company’s high-profile Sustainable Living Plan, which has introduced a raft of eco-efficiency programmes cutting the company’s operating costs by €300m (£256m) since 2008.

During this period, the company has also grown sales by 26 per cent from €40.5bn (£34.5bn) to €51.3bn (£43.8m).

John Maguire, Unilever’s group manufacturing sustainability director, said in a statement that while tackling emissions provided challenges for the business, it also provided opportunities.

“Eco-efficiency isn’t just about reducing the environmental footprint it also makes good business sense,” he said.

“Since 2008 our eco-efficiency programmes have avoided more than €300m of costs – almost €100m in energy; €186m in materials; €17m in water; and €10m in waste disposal. The benefits are very clear in a world where energy prices are increasing.”

The one million tonnes of carbon savings is the latest in a series of milestones the company has announced over the past few months.

This has included confirmation 133 of its manufacturing sites now send zero non-hazardous waste to landfill and news that it is sustainably sourcing over a third of its agricultural raw materials.

The milestones form part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which is due to be published in as a more detailed analysis of the company’s progress on 22nd April.