Reducing waste sent for disposal is a critical component of Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan. Established in 2010, the Plan aims to halve Unilever's environmental footprint of the making and use of its products by 2020. As part of this ambitious plan, Unilever is striving to be at or below 2008 levels of total waste from manufacturing facilities by 2015 (five years earlier than originally announced), despite producing significantly higher volumes.
At present, more than half of Unilever's 252 global factories are ZLF. The key driver for this achievement of ZLF in both North America manufacturing and non-manufacturing headquarter facilities is the elimination of waste. Where reduction of waste is not sufficient, the company's facilities reuse, recycle, or recover waste to reach zero waste to landfill.
For example, at the Owensboro, Kentucky facility, which produces pasta sauce under the Ragu and Bertolli brands, paper and plastic are sent for recycling, which is eventually converted into tissues and composite lumber, respectively. The Clearwater, Florida plant, which makes frozen ice cream novelties under the Klondike, Breyers, Popsicle, and Good Humor brands, has a "reuse program" that includes reusing cookie liners as trash bags throughout the facility, donating office furniture to Habitat for Humanity, donating used shoes to Pinellas Hope Charity, and selling five-gallon plastic buckets to local stores. The Englewood Cliffs, NJ, headquarter facility implemented waste centralization to increase office recycling.
Unilever is implementing best practices from all over the world, actively using its global supply chain network, to create more environmentally responsible factories. By using the "design once and deploy everywhere" philosophy, the company is driving a sustainable model that is good for the environment and saves costs.
"By eliminating waste, our employees are demonstrating our sustainable business model in action," said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever North America. "This achievement is an important milestone for Unilever as we continue to fulfil our vision of significantly reducing our environmental impact while doubling our business."
About Unilever North America
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Our products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by over 2 billion people on a daily basis. In the United States and Canada the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Good Humor, Hellmann's, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond's, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Ragu, Simple, Slim-Fast, Soft & Beautiful, St. Ives, Suave, tcb, TIGI, TRESemmé, Vaseline, and Wish-Bone. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.
Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals are more than 50 time-based targets. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at http://www.unileverusa.com/sustainable-living/ or http://www.unilever.ca/sustainable-living/.