In 2010, the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan was introduced as a set of goals that we would achieve through changing our practices over the next 10 years. Proudly, we’re seeing the progress take shape, and are happy to provide an update.
When Unilever North America President Kees Kruythoff opens the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan progress report by saying "Unilever is a different kind of company," it's not with a new line of products on his mind. By taking responsibility to ensure our production methods and packaging reduce waste and pollution, while also striving towards more sustainable and healthier ingredients, Unilever hopes to set the standard that will ultimately inspire others to change -- be it a small family or large corporation.
"We were founded on the belief that businesses can act as agents for social change and that it is necessary to balance profit with responsible behavior," Kruythoff continues. Our goal of making Unilever a more sustainable business was broken down into three pillars: Improving Health and Well-Being, Reducing Environmental Impact and Sustainable Sourcing. The updated numbers released on April 28, 2014 show that progress is being made toward our goals, with major strides achieved.
For instance, since 2010, Unilever U.S.’s manufacturing processes have been overhauled to create a massive reduction in our operational footprint. Compared to 2008 levels, the levels of CO2 produced per ton of production has been reduced by 68%, while water use has dropped to 33% per ton of production. We have also achieved our U.S. goal of sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfills.
Making strides in our manufacturing is just the beginning of our dedication toward ensuring a cleaner and safer planet. By the end of 2013, 48% of our agricultural raw materials were sustainably sourced globally, with the goal of being 100% by 2020. Going further in the U.S., 2013 saw Hellmann's® using more than 50% of American Humane™ certified cage-free eggs in its mayonnaises, while all onions used by Knorr® were sustainably sourced. By 2015, 100% of our top 13 vegetables and herbs used in our various food brands will be from sustainable sources.
Similarly, 93% of tea bags from Lipton® Tea in the U.S. were sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ estates, with the goal of increasing that number to 100% across the globe by 2015.
"We believe that there has never been a better time to create a brighter future," Kruythoff says about the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. We encourage others to participate by taking small steps that will lead to big changes for us and our planet.