Zero waste to landfill at 600 Unilever sites

Unilever Australia

Thursday, 26 May, 2016

Unilever has announced that it is currently sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across more than 600 sites in 70 countries, including factories, warehouses, distribution centres and offices.

The achievement was confirmed in February this year — just 13 months after the company revealed that over 240 factories globally had achieved zero waste to landfill status. Replicating this zero waste model in other parts of its business, nearly 400 additional sites have now eliminated waste to landfill, including Unilever’s Australian head office sites.

Having identified the different non-hazardous waste streams in its operations, the company found alternative routes for the waste from the 600 sites — from converting factory waste to building materials to using organic waste for green energy generation. Eliminating waste has contributed to cost benefits of $300 million and created hundreds of jobs globally.

“Unilever’s zero waste goal underpins our sustainable growth ambitions, as well as our commitment to become resource resilient and tackle climate change,” said Clive Stiff, chairman and CEO of Unilever Australia and New Zealand. “Eliminating waste is one of our biggest global challenges, and we are very pleased to be able to show that Unilever is leading the way.”

Unilever’s priority is to continually reduce waste and embrace circular models. As well as maintaining zero waste status at these 600 locations, work continues to bring all sites in line, including all future site openings and acquisitions. The company ultimately aims to achieve zero waste across the value chain.

Unilever believes that its own goals, and moving other businesses and industries to zero waste, can only be realised by working with, and learning from, suppliers, partners and other organisations. For that reason, the company has announced a new global collaboration with the value-chain platform 2degrees to help bring organisations together to leverage the zero waste model. The new collaboration program will go live some time in the next few months.

“Unilever is continuing to demonstrate the leadership necessary to tackle the biggest resource efficiency and sustainability challenges that businesses face,” said Martin Chilcott, founder and CEO of 2degrees. “To achieve bold goals, such as zero waste in the value chain, we need equally bold action and collaboration at scale. I’m delighted to be working with them to co-create a program to help make this happen.”

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