The announcement comes in time for Climate Week Paris this week and comes just months after the Dove skin care maker achieved zero waste to landfill across its global factory network.
The CO2 savings have been part of a plan launched in 2008 and energy consumption has also been reduced by 20%, contributing to the multi-million cost savings.
The only long-term option
“We’re delighted to have hit this milestone in our CO2 reduction,” says Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer, Pier Luigi Sigismondi.
“Reducing our energy consumption not only cuts our greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent in carbon of 800,000 acres of forest each year – but also cuts our costs. Since 2008, we’ve saved over €244m by reducing our CO2 emissions.”
To achieve these goals Unilever has revamped its whole supply chain across all industries, increasingly turning to energy provided by wind, solar and biomass, converting heat from its manufacturing processes into power for its factories.
“We are on track to reach our target of 40% renewable energy by 2020,” adds Sigismondi.
“Climate change is having a huge impact on the environment and on business. Ahead of Climate Week in Paris, we are continuing to show that sustainability is a driver for growth, and the only long-term option for business in a volatile world.”
The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant says it will continue to reduce its energy consumption, and will switch to renewable energy where cost effective; particularly in Europe and North America where all of the electricity purchased by Unilever factories is from renewable sources.
Across the globe, 28% of the energy used by Unilever factories comes from renewable sources, with 39% of electrical energy produced from this source.
The company has a target to reach 40% renewable energy by 2020 and will work towards 100% of renewable energy in the future.
Unilever has also joined RE100 campaign to accelerate the scale-up of renewable power to create a healthier and more sustainable environment. The goal is for at least 100 of the world’s most influential businesses to join RE100 and commit to going 100% renewable for electricity.