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Championing water security for a sustainable future


Water, the precious resource for life on our planet, holds not only the key to survival but also the essence of sustainable operations. In an era where water scarcity looms large, it is crucial for businesses to adopt proactive strategies to safeguard this vital resource.

Image of a farm pond in Osmanabad, Maharashtra built though the intervention of Hindustan Unilever Foundation

'Day zero', a wake-up call

A couple of years ago, Chennai city officials declared a 'Day Zero' – a distressing nomenclature for a day when almost no water was left, as all the four main reservoirs supplying water to the city had run dry. The bustling metropolis was brought to its knees due to water scarcity, serving as a stark reminder of our country’s water crisis and shattering the illusion of water’s seemingly infinite abundance.

Conserving water in our operations – A step in the right direction

The fight against water scarcity starts at home. For us, at HUL, it is imperative that we take decisive steps to ensure our factories lead the charge in sustainable water management. Through innovative conservation initiatives, various HUL factories are not only reducing water consumption but also enhancing their resilience to water-related challenges.

  • HUL’s stride towards a water-positive factory in Doom Dooma, Assam

    At Doom Dooma, through rooftop rainwater harvesting and modular filtering systems, we capture nearly 100% of rainfall for high-quality water reuse in production. With over 65,963 KL collected and reused in four years, borewell extractions have decreased significantly.

    Our 11,000 KL capacity pond, lined with clay and advanced materials and complemented by solar panel catchments, triples our collection capacity. Installing ten recharging wells onsite prevents surface runoff, projecting over 2 lakh KL annual recharge, advancing us towards water positivity. At Doom Dooma, we lead Unilever's water stewardship agenda, embodying sustainability, and responsible water management. This is how HUL is striding towards making Doom Dooma a ‘Water-Positive Site.’

    An image of a rainwater harvesting pond at HUL’s Doom Dooma Site in Assam, India.
  • Reduction in groundwater consumption in Chhindwara

    In HUL’s Chhindwara factory, our initiatives continue to lead in water stewardship. We have installed a 15,000KL rainwater storage pond and five harvesting pits within the factory premises. These significantly reduce reliance on external water sources, whereas off-site efforts include the construction of stop dams and recharge structures to reduce groundwater consumption and promote community engagement.

    A man sitting beside a rainwater storage pond and a harvesting pit.
  • Water conservation efforts at HUL’s Horlicks Factory, Sonepat

    Our Horlicks factory in Sonepat draws much of its water from a shared aquifer. By implementing water recycling and reuse practices, the factory is significantly advancing its conservation efforts and continually expanding interaction with stakeholders to improve water security in the area.

    Alongside major water-saving projects, the site also features five recharge ponds covering 360 square meters, contributing to sustainable water management practices. The factory actively participates in watershed development initiatives, such as community ponds in nearby villages and rainwater harvesting in schools.

    A picture of a rainwater harvesting pond at HUL's factory in Sonepat

Every drop matters, from manufacturing to consumer use

We are on our journey to reduce water consumption during the consumer use of our brands as well through our sustainable innovations. For example, our Rin (powders and bars) are designed with proprietary water-saving technology that helps save water in rinse.

Our Surf excel Quick wash powder, is designed to address the quantum of water requirement in the consumer use phase. The breakthrough product technology allows automatic foam reduction during the rinse stage of the hand washing process, thereby reducing amount of water required for rinsing.

Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF)

A picture if happy women farmers alongside a water pond

Through the Hindustan Unilever Foundation, we are committed to focusing efforts towards securing our nation’s water security.

This year’s theme for World Water Day (March 22, 2024) is ‘Water for Peace.’ Not a surprise, considering the ever-growing need for water conservation across the globe. At HUL, we are constantly striving for water sustainability, clear from our efforts towards reducing freshwater abstraction – a 48% reduction in usage compared to 2008.

The path toward sustainability is long, but at HUL we are determined to take action across our operations and continue to advocate for water and safeguard this natural resource.

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