Unilever Pledges ‘Carbon Positive’ Operations


by | Nov 30, 2015

UnileverAs the COP21 climate change summit starts in Paris today, Unilever has announced it will become “carbon positive” in its operations by 2030.

The company says it will achieve this goal by:

  • Sourcing 100 percent of its energy across its operations from renewable sources by 2030.
  • Sourcing all electricity purchased from the grid from renewable sources by 2020.
  • Eliminating coal from its energy mix by 2020.
  • Directly supporting the generation of more renewable energy than consumed and making the surplus available to the markets and communities in which Unilever operates.

The company says this is the first time it has put a deadline on its Unilever Sustainable Living Plan goal of sourcing 100 percent renewable energy for operations.

The new commitment is in line with the call made through the B-Team for the world to reach net zero emission by 2050 as well as the RE100 initiative, of which Unilever is a member.

To date, Unilever has reduced CO2 from energy in manufacturing by 40 percent per metric ton of production since 2008 — the equivalent of 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually.

In absolute terms, the company has reduced CO2 from energy in manufacturing by 65 percent since 1995.

Unilever CEO Paul Polman is one of 78 heads of major global companies who, ahead of the COP21 talks, signed a letter urging governments to reach an ambitious climate deal in Paris.  The company is also a founding member of the White House-led American Business Act on Climate Pledge as well as a climate change corporate leader, according to the GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey released last month.

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