For nearly three decades, the United Nations (UN) has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’.
Last November, the global community gathered in Glasgow at the UN’s 26th Conference of Parties (COP26). Following COP26, our commitment at Unilever to help tackle the climate crisis has never been stronger. We’re eliminating emissions from our operations by 2030, and working with our brands, suppliers, retailers, and consumers to reach net zero across our value chain by 2039. We have reduced our manufacturing carbon footprint in the UK and Ireland by two thirds since 2018, four of our sites are carbon neutral, and we use 100% renewable grid electricity.
As a principal partner, our hope is that we can use our voice and influence to help accelerate climate action globally. Find out more here.
Climate Action in the UK & Ireland
We believe you can’t have a healthy business on an unhealthy planet. Not only is climate action critical for our business and important to our people and teams, but our consumers also expect our brands to take direct action.
In the UK & Ireland, our food brands are taking a stand as part of our Future Foods ambitions. Ben & Jerry’s advocates for climate justice, Hellmann’s is supporting households to reduce food waste and The Vegetarian Butcher and Knorr are inspiring more plant-based meals.
Our Beauty and Personal Care teams are taking action for a more Positive Beauty, with commitments to do less harm and more good for the natural world. Our Simple team have supported The Woodland Trust to restore 58 hectares of ancient woodland and our Dove team have moved all their bottles to be made with 100% recycled plastic.
When it comes to our Home Care brands, we’re working towards a Clean Future. Comfort is advocating for a slow fashion revolution and Persil is removing carbon from their formulas and encouraging young people to take climate action in their communities.
Across all our brands, we’re innovating our packaging to ensure that by 2025 our products can be recycled, reused or composted. And we’re taking action across our full business too, working to reduce and replace our carbon footprint with greener and renewable processes from our factories and supply chains through to our offices and the way we make our adverts.
Read more about our climate action and progress in the UK & Ireland below
With record rainfall in Europe, extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest and devastating wildfires in Greece this year, we have been starkly reminded of the impact that climate change has on people and the planet. As Unilever UK & Ireland, we’re continuing to look at all aspects of our business and operations, with our focus on reducing the carbon impact of our factories and offices, tackling plastic waste, and helping people transition towards healthier diets, whilst reducing the environmental impact of the food we produce. With our brands at the heart of our business we will use their reach to action progress towards a net zero future and make it easier for shoppers to make sustainable choices with the products they buy.Sebastian Munden, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Unilever UK & Ireland
Read Sebastian’s full blog on Unilever UK & Ireland’s climate commitments, progress, and challenges here.
Our Global Climate Commitments
The climate crisis is affecting people all over the world, but we believe in a better future. One in which the health of the planet is as important as the stability of the global economy. The science is clear: act now or it will be too late.
That’s why we’ve set ambitious science-based targets to play our part in keeping global temperature rises to 1.5°C. We’re working to eliminate carbon emissions from our own operations and to reach net zero emissions from all our products by 2039 – from the sourcing of the materials we use, up to the point of sale of our products in the store. We’re transitioning to renewable energy across our operations, finding new low-carbon ingredients, expanding our plant-based product range and developing fossil-fuel-free cleaning and laundry products.
We’re harnessing our power to encourage change well beyond our business. Our brands are working to make it easier for people to make sustainable choices. And we’re calling on governments, businesses and other partners to raise their ambitions and join the race to zero emissions.