As Unilever clocks up another year of moving towards its sustainability goals, the company has announced plans to 'listen more'.
The company is looking beyond its current environmental targets by carrying out its largest-ever 'listening exercise' on the future of sustainable business.
Over 40,000 employees and 250 stakeholders responded to Unilever's recent ‘Have Your Say’ project, setting out their views on the priorities they would like Unilever to focus on after 2020, and what future success would look like.
In Australia, the top three priorities were revealed to be zero food and packaging waste; access to water; and climate change.
The company's Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) was launched in 2010 and aimed to "decouple Unilever’s growth from its environmental impact, while increasing its positive social impact", according to the company.
The plan includes making 100 per cent of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
As well as providing a progress update on the USLP recently, Unilever also launched its Young Entrepreneur Awards, which recognise young innovators tackling environmental and social challenges.
Fast facts on Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan
- Globally, Unilever now has 26 sustainable living brands (up from 18 in 2016). New entrants include household names such as Vaseline, Sunlight, and Sunsilk. The list also includes Unilever’s top six brands – Dove, Lipton, OMO/Persil, Rexona, Hellmann’s and Continental – and its B-Corp certified brands such as Ben and Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, and Pukka Herbs.
- Unilever Food Solutions Australia’s Food Collective program, in partnership with OzHarvest, has generated 49,453 meals to date. Unilever’s corporate partnership with Foodbank donated 630,900 meals and 6,598 kilograms of non-food items in 2017.
- In 2017, Australian manufacturing sites reduced CO2 emissions per tonne of production by a further 13% compared to 2016, and 30% compared to Unilever’s 2008 baseline. Total waste per tonne of production has been reduced by 94% since 2008.
- To date Unilever’s partnership with RedCycle has diverted over 2 million packs (3.3 tonnes) of flexible plastic.
- Unilever Australia was amongst the first companies to commit to the voluntary Australasian Recycling Label alongside Woolworths, Officeworks, Australia Post and others.
- By the end of 2017, women accounted for 48% of Unilever Australia’s workforce and 52% of managers.