London, UK – Nine months after achieving zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across its global network of 242 factories – believed to be a world first – Unilever has announced it has become a zero landfill company in Europe. This means that in addition to manufacturing facilities, no waste from Unilever owned or fully operated premises, logistic operations, distribution centres or offices goes to landfill in Europe.
Unilever outlined its ambition to become a zero waste to landfill company in January 2015. The European operation is the first to meet this new target with 63 additional facilities now sending no waste to landfill. Unilever is aiming to become a zero waste company globally around the end of the year and is also continuing to work towards a zero waste value chain.
Unilever’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, Pier Luigi Sigismondi said: “Our zero waste to landfill goal is essential to Unilever’s sustainable growth ambitions and we aspire to see an industry wide movement here. In June this year we partnered with peer companies, experts and key stakeholders to get people personally connected with this environmental and social issue. We are convinced that only together can we eliminate waste on an unprecedented scale across the globe. Our European teams have reached an important new milestone and proven that the model and mind-set that drove our factory achievements is repeatable outside of a manufacturing environment.
As the world focuses on the United Nations Global Goals – an ambitious set of goals to end extreme poverty, fix inequality and tackle climate change by 2030 – the time for us all to drive more action on waste is now”.
Unilever’s President of Europe, Jan Zijderveld added: “We are very proud that all our sites in Europe now send zero waste to landfill. Achieving zero waste company is complex as we do not own or even majority occupy many of the non-manufacturing sites and our teams have invested a lot of energy, shown real entrepreneurship and initiative to overcome multiple challenges. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is deeply embedded in the organisation and progressively represented in our brands. With sustainable brands delivering more growth and savings made through greater resource efficiency and better use of materials, the business case for sustainability is becoming increasingly clear”.
In September 2015 Unilever was awarded leadership of the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Industry Group in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) results – one of only 24 companies to be named as Industry Group Leader.