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Hindustan Unilever Limited Change location

Climate Action

As a responsible organisation, we are committed to taking smaller steps that will collectively and positively impact climate change.

This issue relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

UN Sustainable Development Goals 12 & 13

Rapidly rising product level consumption across the world is currently having a huge impact on the environment as well as the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. By the end of this century, global temperatures will increase by over 4°C since pre-industrial levels.

While building brand loyalty and providing sustainable options, we are constantly rethinking how to address consumer concerns.

Our goals

  • Net zero emissions from all our products (from sourcing to the point of sale) by 2039.
  • Halve 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 products by 2030.
  • Share the carbon footprint of every product we sell.

Decarbonising our business

solar panels

Over the years, there has been a rising demand for renewable electricity, and we are committed to increasing its availability at lower prices. Investing in new technologies, switching to renewable sources, and innovating to transform our factory operations, we are focused on improving the efficiency of reducing emissions from the transportation of our products and freezers across retail stores.

Utilizing 100% renewable power

In an attempt of switching to alternative energy such as wind, biomass, solar, we reduced our output of carbon dioxide emissions per ton by 91% in 2020 against the 2008 baseline. This was achieved through IREC purchase for Grid electricity and solar capacity enhancement in our Nashik, Chiplun, Khamgaon, DDF, Rajpura, Hosur factories.

We lowered our overall energy footprint across factories by installing various energy-saving capital projects that include installing energy-efficient pumps, VVVFDs (variable voltage, variable frequency drives) and condensate recoveries in plants. We also use air compressor heat recovery systems and steam expanders.

Currently, 100% of our electricity is derived from renewable sources. We eliminated coal in our Bhuj, Garden Reach and Orai factory in 2020. Only the newly acquired nutrition units - Sonipat, Rajahmundry and Nabha, use coal now. We aim to eliminate coal in these three units during 2021.

Expanding renewable energy footprint

In areas where we do not produce our own renewable electricity, we have put in place direct purchase agreements with small-scale hydropower schemes and large-scale hydro, wind, solar and geothermal installations.

The share of renewable energy increased to 79% in our manufacturing units. Driven to make an environment-friendly choice, we continue to use biomass briquettes in our boilers at Haridwar, Bhuj, Chiplun, Dapada, Haldia, Nashik. We have also started using biofuel instead of fossil fuel in our units at Amli and Hosur; further expanding our renewable energy footprint by harnessing solar energy by on-site or off-site solar panels installation and via power purchase agreement (PPA model).

Leaner, greener, cleaner workspaces

Continuing to further reduce energy usage by installing energy AC systems and air handling devices, we use motion sensor lighting and have installed LED lights in our offices. Such programs have contributed to reducing the expense of power and operating our offices in an environment-friendly manner. These initiatives have also made it possible for us to achieve 100% renewable electricity across all our offices in India.

Efficient transport that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Working towards using alternative fuel, we are globally exploring the option of liquefied natural gas. However, a lack of well-equipped fueling acts as an obstacle during long-distance journeys. In India, we are using compressed natural gas as an alternative to diesel.

The CO2 emissions from our logistics network have reduced by over 60% since 2010. Our “Load More Travel Less” strategy clubbed with increased efficiency of processes, along with a reduction in the count of trucks by using bigger truck types, and reduction in distance travelled; have helped us reduce CO2 emissions.

Climate-friendly refrigeration options

We have continued our drive to roll out environment-friendly freezer cabinets that use hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants instead of Hydrofluorocarbons refrigerants. There are currently over 1,38,720 freezers with HC technology in our fleet in India.

To improve the efficiency of the freezers that we purchase, we have been collaborating with manufacturers to find renewable energy power. In India, we have completed trials of mobile solar-powered ice cream cabinets, and we are also in the pursuit of developing solar-powered static freezers.

Creating net zero carbon products

Maximising our knowledge and R&D, we strive to provide our consumers with sustainable products that help reduce carbon footprint. We are also constantly striving to radically reduce our GHG impact at every step – Be it across manufacturing, production, packaging, supply chain, or distribution of products; every decision we make is an opportunity for us to reduce our climate impact.

We have reduced CO2 emissions per tonne of our production by 91% compared to our 2008 baseline. This significant reduction has been achieved through coal elimination in our sites (excluding new acquisition), reduction in total energy footprint across factories by implementing energy-efficient projects and optimising baseload, expansion of renewable energy footprint (solar, wind) in our sites, replacing fossil fuel by green fuel and IREC purchase for grid electricity. We are also working on water saving formulations for Rin laundry powders and bars that reduce the water needed for rinsing in every consumer use.