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Decarbonising Our Business

Image shows a sign saying ‘There Is No Planet B’

When it comes to climate action, every tonne of carbon counts. That’s why we’ve carefully measured our greenhouse gas footprint to understand where our emissions come from so we can target our efforts.

The greenhouse gases we emit come from energy used to make our products, fuel to distribute them to our customers, and energy and refrigerants to keep our ice creams cold.

We’re transitioning to renewable energy across our operations, finding ways to de-carbonise our advertising processes and reformulating our products to offer plant-based alternatives like vegan foods and fossil-fuel-free cleaning products.

Read our global strategy and goals here and learn more below about the progress we’ve made in the UK & Ireland across our business and brands.

In the UK & Ireland

  • We’ve reduced our manufacturing carbon footprint by two thirds since 2008

  • We use 100% renewable grid electricity across all our sites

  • Four of our sites are carbon neutral

  • In 2020, over 50% of the food waste generated in our factories was converted into bio-gas used to power our factories and the national grid

Our operations are powered by 100% renewable grid electricity

All our Unilever sites in the UK & Ireland, and in our operations worldwide, have sourced 100% renewable grid electricity since the start of 2020. This means we now buy renewable grid electricity to power all our factories, offices, R&D facilities, data centres, warehouses and distribution centres.

Generating our own renewable power

In addition to buying 100% renewable grid electricity, we generate our own renewable power on-site too. Last year over half the food waste generated in our food factories in the UK was used to power our factories or the national grid.

Spreading the love for our planet with every jar of Marmite

Driving into a zero-carbon future

In 2017, Unilever was the first FMCG organisation to join The Climate Group’s EV100 global initiative. As part of EV100, we have committed to a phased integration of electric vehicles into the fleets that we directly control – the ones we own or lease. In the UK & Ireland, we’re working towards shifting 100% of our fleets to hybrid by the end of 2022.

Reformulating for a cleaner future

Through our Clean Future commitment, we’re transforming the way our cleaning and laundry products are created, manufactured and packaged, to give people superior, affordable experiences with our brands, with the peace of mind that they are kinder to the planet.

Core to this programme is a carbon revolution and a new ambition we have set for the business - to replace 100% of the carbon derived from fossil fuels in our cleaning and laundry product formulations with renewable or recycled carbon by 2030.

We’re already making progress in the UK & Ireland, led by the reformulation of our Persil laundry detergents. The new liquid formulation is made with plant-based stain removers and biodegradable ingredients, which come from renewable or recycled sources. With the formula concentrated by 23%, the bottles are smaller allowing for approximately 19% less trucks on the road each year - both of which lower the carbon footprint of the product further.