Our commitment to a nature-positive future
We cannot solve the climate crisis alone or prosper without protecting the natural ecosystems that we depend on. To do so, we need everyone on board: that means bringing people, partners, and technology together.
Through our Compass strategy that includes timebound , we are working towards a nature-positive future. That’s a future where forests are protected and restored, agricultural systems are regenerated, water systems are preserved, a better waste-free future is ensured, and smallholder farmers are empowered.
Transforming our vision into reality
Moving towards a waste-free world
Initiatives in our operations
Our commitment to waste reduction reflects in our supply chain, with our factories having witnessed a 55% decrease in total waste generated when compared to our 2008 baseline – this has been made possible through several interventions such as setting up pre-processing facilities related to waste segregation and waste reduction at source, thereby enhancing recyclability.
Collecting and processing plastic waste
This year, we have collected and processed over 1,00,000 tonnes of plastic waste, from across India, which is more than the plastic we use in packaging our finished products.
Encouraging circularity of waste in rural India
Prabhat, our sustainable community development initiative, focuses on the circularity of both wet waste and plastic waste. The programme undertakes various activities such as awareness sessions for waste segregation, the creation of community biogas plants, conducting cleaning drives by riversides, and upcycling plastic waste into value-added products.
Developing holistic waste management centres for cities
To champion the collection and segregation of waste and drive behaviour change, we partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for end-to-end waste management projects in Mumbai. We also have reached out to more than 1 lakh households in the city and created awareness on waste segregation at source.
In partnership with Xynteo, the State Bank of India, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, we have set up Material Recovery Facilities in Mumbai and Aurangabad with an aim to help recycle waste and transform waste management behaviours in communities through education and awareness modules. Through our ‘Waste No More’ Curriculum for school children, we have reached out to more than 92 lakh students through direct school training interventions and 27 lakh children digitally.
Building a deforestation-free supply chain
Nature is vital to our business, and we have devised a focused strategy to protect and regenerate the land, forests, and water systems we rely upon. We have committed to a deforestation-free supply chain in palm oil, paper and board, tea, soy and cocoa by 2023. Through focused programs, we have achieved sustainable sourcing for 95% of our total paper and board, 82% of our tomatoes and 69% of our tea procured.
Securing water for all
In 2010, we established the Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) to address India's water challenges, particularly in rural communities that rely on agriculture. Since its inception, HUF has delivered a cumulative and collective water potential of over 2.6 trillion litres; over 1.7 million tonnes of additional agricultural and biomass production; and over 110 million person-days of employment, with the help of its partners.
In our own operations as well, we have witnessed a 48% reduction in water usage against our 2008 baseline with a strategic focus on reducing freshwater abstraction, implementing captive rainwater harvesting systems and maximising the utilisation of reverse osmosis (RO) plants.
Transitioning to renewable energy
We source 100% of our total electricity from renewable sources with a combination of solar/wind and IREC green certification. Energy is bought through solar power plants and invested in windmills to reduce the real-time requirement of grid power. We have also eliminated coal usage across our operations, replacing it with green alternatives such as biomass and biodiesel. Our CO2 emissions have been reduced by 97% across our manufacturing operations (in m3/tonne of production) against our 2008 baseline.