Unilever commits to “low-carbon future”

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 18th July 2011

Pauls ProductsUnilever has released a statement encouraging political leaders to take “ambitious steps” to tackle climate change, and rejecting media suggestions that it will oppose the Government’s carbon tax.

“Climate change is likely to have a growing impact on our business and we are planning ahead and reshaping our business on the assumption that we will be operating in an environment where there is a price on carbon,” said a release from the company. “Media reports questioning our position on carbon pricing or suggesting that we will participate in a campaign against the Government’s carbon tax are misleading and false.”

“We strongly encourage political leaders to take ambitious steps to tackle climate change, both in Australia and elsewhere. In fact, our European business recently signed up to a declaration calling on the European Union to increase its climate ambition and move to a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 from 1990 levels.”

Unilever said it supports action that incentivises industry to pursue lower carbon solutions, and that pricing carbon and emissions trading schemes have a role to play in doing this.

The company recently published its Sustainable Living Plan, which sets out “ambitious and wide-ranging” goals in relation to growing the business while reducing environmental and social impacts.

“Reducing our carbon emissions is an essential element of this strategy. We have set ourselves a target to halve the greenhouse gas impact of our products across the full lifecycle – from the sourcing of raw materials, in our production processes, through to consumer use of the product and its disposal,” said the company.

“We are contributing to the Australian Government’s target to reduce carbon by 25% by 2020 (2000 baseline) and to date, we’ve reduced carbon emissions across our manufacturing operations by 63.3% per tonne of production and 77.8% in absolute figures since 1995 (despite production increases). We have reduced our impact in many ways – in manufacturing, transport, the design of our products and their packaging, and by encouraging consumers to use and dispose of our products in more environmentally sustainable ways.

“While we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved to date, we know there’s more work to do. We’re committed to continuing to seek opportunities to reduce our impact where we can, across all our brands and all stages of our brands’ lifecycles.”