Working towards Planetary health

Illustration of a man holding a plant

Increased urbanisation, deforestation, agricultural intensification, and non-renewable energy consumption have led to large-scale environmental degradation. Unsustainable use of natural resources and pollution have led to an increased risk of natural disasters such as cyclones, landslides and floods.

A World Bank report estimates that the climate catastrophe along with the impact of COVID-19 could increase the total number of people living in extreme poverty globally by up to 150 million . This will reverse all the progress we have made this far.

We at Hindustan Unilever, realise that without nature we have no business. With the Unilever Compass Strategy at the heart of our business, we have committed to improving the health of our planet by setting bold ambitions. But we can’t do this alone; we are working with our partners, suppliers and smallholder farmers across the country. We are also collaborating with the industry, NGOs and governments to form partnerships, promote advocacy and carry out work on the ground to drive the systemic change that’s needed to protect – and regenerate – the natural world.

Responsible use of Plastic

  • We are committed to make 100% of our plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and we will help collect and process more plastic packaging than we sell.
  • Since 2018, HUL has facilitated safe disposal of more than 1.2 lakh tons of post-consumer use plastic waste with the help of collection and disposal partners across India.
  • In partnership with the Government of India and United Nations Development Programme, HUL has set up four material recovery facilities called Swachhta Kendras in Mumbai ensuring end to end plastic waste management from collection, segregation and processing including behaviour change among consumers. Through the project we have reached out to over 40,000 households, collected over 4000 tonnes of plastic waste and trained more than 800 Safai Saathis (sanitation workers).
  • We have also partnered with international organisation Xynteo, where along with the Education Department of Maharashtra, HUL and Xynteo have rolled out ‘Waste No More’ - a digital school curriculum focused on the importance of segregation, collection, and safe disposal of waste. The programme has reached out to more than 1 lakh students.

Water Stewardship

  • We will implement water stewardship programmes for local communities in 100 of our most water-stressed locations by 2030 and will join the 2030 Water Resources Group a multi-stakeholder platform that builds resilience in water management through long-term system transformation to further scale water resilience programmes.
  • Around 40% of our manufacturing sites are located in areas classified as water stressed. Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) along with our partners has created a cumulative water conservation potential of about 1.3 trillion litres of water across India and will make an additional contribution of 1.5 trillion litres of water potential by 2025.
  • Along with improved water supply and demand management, we have also created 1 million tonnes of agricultural and biomass production, and generated over 30 million person-days of employment.
  • Water usage across our manufacturing operations have reduced by 54% per tonne of our production compared to 2008 baseline.

Net Zero Emissions by 2039

  • We are committing to net zero emissions from all our products by 2039 – from the sourcing of the materials we use, up to the point of sale of our products.
  • We have reduced CO2 emissions per tonne of our production by 91% compared to 2008 baseline through reduction in total energy footprint across factories, expansion of renewable energy footprint (solar, wind) in our sites, and by replacing fossil fuel with green fuel.
  • We will achieve zero emissions in our operations and halve the greenhouse gas impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2030.
  • We will replace 100% carbon derived from fossil fuels in our cleaning and laundry product formulations with renewable or recycled carbon by 2030.
  • We continue to maintain the status of ‘zero non-hazardous waste to landfill’ in all our factories and offices with 100% of the non-hazardous waste generated at our factories was recycled or reused or sent for energy recovery in environment friendly ways.

Deforestation Free Supply Chain by 2030

  • HUL is committed to achieving a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023 to protect high carbon ecosystems like forests, peatlands, and tropical rainforests.
  • We are focusing on our supply chains for palm oil, paper & board, tea, coffee and fruits & vegetables to ensure sustainable sourcing.
  • We are leveraging various industry and NGO partnerships to drive market transformation and traceability of the supply chain.
  • 100% of paper & board and chicory are sourced from sustainable sources in India.
  • 93% of tomatoes used in Kissan ketchup continued to be sourced sustainably.
  • In 2020, over 67% of Tea in India procured for Unilever brands was sourced from sustainable sources.
  • We are empowering a new generation of farmers and smallholders to protect and regenerate their environment.
  • We will also be introducing a new Regenerative Agriculture Code for all our suppliers, which builds on our existing Sustainable Agriculture Code.

1https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/10/07/covid-19-to-add-as-many-as-150-million-extreme-poor-by-2021

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