Reduction in water use and waste
Reducing water use in manufacturing
Water usage (cubic meter per tonne of production) in our manufacturing operations has reduced by 55% compared to the 2008 baseline. Initiatives such as the reduction in freshwater abstraction, implementation of captive rainwater harvesting and use in processes and utility make-up, increase in condensate recoveries, and maximising use of RO plants, contributed substantially to the reduction of water use in our manufacturing process.
Reducing waste from our manufacturing
Total waste generated from the factories reduced by 58% in 2018 as compared to 2008. We maintained the status of ‘zero non-hazardous waste to landfill’ in all HUL factories and offices. 100% of the non-hazardous waste generated at our factories was recycled in environmentally friendly ways.
Reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging
The USLP commits to ensuring 100% of our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. HUL has done significant work in this area. We have collected and safely disposed of more than 20,000 tonnes of plastics in partnership with NGOs and start-ups in more than 20 cities across India. We are also working closely with the government and other partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for end-to-end pilot projects for plastic waste management.
We have also partnered with international organisation Xynteo and have developed a curriculum “Plastic Safari” to create awareness and drive behaviour change on waste segregation and recycling among school children and people in housing societies. The pilot conducted in Mumbai has reached nearly 30,000 people so far.
Innovations in packaging led to a reduction in the use of plastic in 2018. Our polymer use optimisation techniques helped us to save over 2,765 tonnes of polymer. Brand specific initiatives such as the transition from current 500 gram glass bottle to 450 gram Kissan doy pack coupled with packaging modifications like removing stiffeners (internal plastic packaging) in soap packaging and switching to flow wrap in packaging helped achieve this substantial reduction in packaging.
In continuation of our programme in 2017, we added saving of 948 tonnes of paper across categories through material usage optimisation in 2018.
We are partnering with industry, governments and NGOs to increase recycling and recovery rates in our packaging. We are using r-PET (80% recycled PET) in our blister packs for personal care brands such as Pepsodent toothbrush and Fair & Lovely. This ensures there is an application for newly available r-PET resin in the market thereby promoting circular economy thinking.
Reduce office waste
In 2018, all our offices achieved the status of ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ status for non-hazardous waste. We achieved this by small but significant steps like usage of ceramic cups instead of paper cups, usage of the hand drier instead of tissue paper in washrooms, usage of recycled A4 sheets for printing, replacing paper records and files with digital records etc. We also used sludge drying beds in effluent treatment plants to reduce hazardous waste significantly by over 30% in some of our offices.