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Unilever cuts factory waste in 2012

Unilever cuts factory waste in 2012
Unilever factory in Mexico (Photo from Unilever)

Over half of Unilever’s factories sent no waste to landfill in 2012.

The multinational consumer goods company has achieved a milestone of having 100 percent of their sites across 18 countries send zero waste to landfill. This is equivalent to removing more than one million household bins of waste annually.

Tony Dunnage, Unilever Eco-Efficiency Manager, said the achievement shows how its sustainability efforts provide a win-win situation, delivering environmental benefits and financial gains.

“Having over 130 sites not sending waste to landfill equates to a cost saving of almost €70 million ($93.5 million), all achieved without the need for capital expenditure,” he said.

According to Unilever, the key driver for this landmark is the elimination of waste in the factories, where they are instead reduced, reused, recycled and recovered. Under its Sustainable Living Plan, by 2020 their total waste sent for disposal will be at or below 2008 levels, regardless of massive production.

The company, which hit an annual sale of €51 billion ($68.22 billion) last year - up from €40 billion ($53.5 billion), said it is currently expanding the original target by bringing the 2020 goal five years ahead. By the end of 2015, a total of 252 factories worldwide will not send any non-hazardous waste to landfill.

In addition, new factories will be designed to generate 50 percent less waste than five years ago and send zero waste to landfill.

Unilever is widely recognized as one of the world’s environmentally responsible companies. In the recent report by consulting firm KPMG and investing specialists RobecoSam, Unilever has been named sustainability “sector leader” together with Pepsi and Adidas. – EcoSeed Staff

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