Climate change is now a climate crisis. With the planet warming at an unprecedented pace, there’s no time to waste. As a global leader in sustainable business, every day, we strive towards a greener future powered by purpose, innovation, and integrity. We are taking action across our business and value chain.
Our goals on Climate Action
- Net zero emissions for all our products from sourcing to the point of sale by 2039.
- Halve the greenhouse gas impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2030.
- Zero emissions in our operations by 2030.
- Replace fossil-fuel-derived carbon with renewable or recycled carbon in all our cleaning and laundry product formulations by 2030.
- Communicate a carbon footprint for every product we sell.
Our journey so far
- The Hindustan Unilever Foundation has created a collective and cumulative water potential of 2.6 trillion litres to date.
- Reduced water usage by 48% in our operations by focusing on freshwater abstraction, implementing captive rainwater harvesting, and maximising the use of RO plants*.
- 97% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of production.*
- An aggregated reduction of 44% in energy consumption per tonne of production in factories pan-India.*
- Working towards a detailed reduction roadmap based on LCA (Life Cycle Assessment).
*Compared to the 2008 baseline
Decarbonising our business
We’ve been taking climate action across our operations for decades and now we’re working towards eliminating fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy.
Towards renewable energy
A turn to renewable energy was made possible by switching to renewable sources, such as wind, biomass, and solar energy. Achieved through the I-REC (International Renewable Energy Certificate) purchased for our factories in Nashik, Chiplun, Khamgaon, DDF, Rajpura, and Hosur, this reduction also led to a reduced energy footprint across factories. 100% of our electricity is from renewable sources.
Energy-saving capital projects
- Installation of energy-efficient pumps.
- Variable voltage, variable frequency drives.
- Condensate recoveries in plants.
In addition, we use air compressor heat recovery systems, steam expanders, energy AC systems, air handling devices, motor-sensor, and LED lighting. At present, all the electricity used comes from renewable sources, driving eco-consciousness and reducing expenditure. Furthermore, infrastructural improvements and interventions have enabled us to eliminate the use of coal at all manufacturing sites.
Expanding our renewable energy footprint
- Direct purchase agreements with small-scale hydropower schemes and large-scale hydro, wind, solar, and geothermal in areas where we don’t generate our own renewable electricity.
- Biomass briquettes in our boilers at Haridwar, Bhuj, Chiplun, Dapada, Haldia, and Nashik.
- Initiating the replacement of fossil fuels with biofuel at Amli and Hosur.
- Harnessing solar energy using on- and off-site solar panels and PPAs (power purchase agreements).
Transportation and logistics
- A ‘Load More, Travel Less’ strategy for efficiency and reduced emissions, distance travelled, and truck count.
- Exploring the use of natural gas (LNG/CNG) as an alternative, globally.
- Moving towards net zero emissions through active engagement with EV suppliers for our last-mile operations.
- A reduction of 60% in carbon emission intensity is already delivered by 2022 and a further 10% intensity reduction is expected by 2025.
- Fewer structural changes in manufacturing and distribution networks.
- Ensuring higher operational efficiency through load-more, fuel-efficiency technologies.
- Completed trials for mobile solar-powered ice cream cabinets.
- Manufacturing sustainable freezer cabinets that use hydrocarbon refrigerants in place of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants.
- Collaborating with manufacturers to locate renewable energy for improved freezer efficiency.
Partnering with purpose
We are committed to reducing the use of virgin fossil carbon in our products by using renewable and recycled carbon sources.
To do this, we have partnered with Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd (TFL) and Carbon Clean Solutions (CCSL) who have developed cutting-edge technologies, to capture the CO2 from the use of energy in their production processes and turn it into soda ash (Sodium Carbonate). The soda ash from this partnership is an important ingredient in our detergent products like Rin, Wheel, Surf, and Vim.
Using our voice for a zero-carbon future
We at Unilever are calling on everyone – businesses, governments, and international alliances – to come together to tackle climate change.
The race to achieve a net zero carbon economy and society must be a collective effort, and business alone cannot drive the transition at the speed that is required. We are calling on all governments to set ambitious net zero targets, as well as short-term emissions reduction targets, supported with enabling policy frameworks such as carbon pricing. This is both a moral and business imperative.
Progress on our own climate change targets means nothing in an overheated world. Unilever advocates for national climate policies that advance the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to limit global temperature increases to well below 2°C, and ideally no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, by the end of this century.
We believe the world must reach net zero emissions by 2050, and preferably much earlier – to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
This is an enormous task. Nothing is more powerful than demonstrating to governments that accelerated progress in decarbonising the economy is possible.
That’s why we’ve set ambitious goals to eliminate emissions from our operations, to achieve net zero emissions across our value chain, and to halve the greenhouse gas emissions from consumer use of our products. We want other companies to join hands and set science-based emissions goals, including our suppliers.
We’re also working in partnership with others to scale up action around the world through multiple private sector groups and coalitions.
At a group level, Unilever is also working in partnership with others to scale up action around the world through multiple private sector groups and coalitions. For information on these partnerships, visit & see sections titled “International climate advocacy”, “Issue-specific climate alliances“ & “Aligning lobbying activities with 1.5°C”
Our position on carbon pricing/tax
Carbon pricing – the concept of applying a cost to each tonne of carbon emitted – is a cost levied by governments to encourage polluters to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas they emit. It is a way to encourage investment in low-carbon solutions and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Many experts believe it is the single most effective way to reduce emissions.
Unilever has consistently advocated in favour of carbon pricing policies at levels in line with the delivery of the Paris Agreement. Unilever has signed the World Bank’s carbon pricing statement to encourage others to do the same. We support the Coalition’s High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices ($40–80 per tonne by 2020 rising to $50–100 per tonne by 2030, provided a supportive policy environment is in place). We also support the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, as these act as negative carbon prices.
Forward-looking companies are also setting their own internal price voluntarily. Unilever’s internal carbon price – which is used to inform our investment decision-making – is currently set at €70 per tonne of CO2. This is aligned with expert recommendations and our ambition to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.