What is sustainable?
Unilever has a habit of leading the way when it comes to revolutionary, nature-minded adaptations: they set the standard for reducing or eliminating environmental impact across the board. Whether it’s setting goals to create a more sustainable environment on a global scale, or constantly challenging the norms of what is sustainable and what isn’t, Unilever has high standards.
We are here to tell you about four ongoing sustainability initiatives that impact everything involved in cleaning our homes: greenhouse gases, sourcing, waste and packaging, and water use.
A sustainable world
These four initiatives have a clear goals, strategies, and public results – even when it hasn’t gone perfectly: In the course of making big changes, there are years where the learning curve is steep, and no improvement is seen. This is a sign of Unilever’s commitment to taking action. After all, trial and error is a great way to learn!
- Greenhouse Gases: The goal here is to halve the impact of greenhouse gasses in all of their products by 2020, from the start to the finish of their supply chain. This will be realised by not only designing innovative products, but by inspiring and educating us, the consumers. The next step for them is to eliminate deforestation from the process entirely. They have struggled to control the consumer side of things, with small breakthroughs in compressed spray cans and similar items.
- Sustainable Sourcing: Less is more in this regard. The goal of sustainable sourcing is to reduce the impact on local water supply and keep the soil in good condition for reuse, all while keeping the farmer in mind. Unilever has had the same ideas about this part of their supply chain for more than 15 years, effectively setting the tone for sustainable agriculture. Since 2010, there has been an almost 40% increase in the percentage of raw materials sourced sustainably. They readily provide status reports in this initiative and the progress they have made is genuinely encouraging.
- Waste and Packaging: Recycling plastic is the first thing that comes to mind for many of us when we see green bins! The plastic that our cleaning products come in is there for several reasons: it protects them, allows them to stay safe for use for longer, provides a place for companies to list ingredients and methods of use, and can be recycled when the product is finished. On the whole, Unilever focuses on innovation to use fewer resources and create smarter packaging – their own personal recycling project initiative. Companies that choose to use more recycled and renewable materials in production also enrich the impact of recycling in the world. Unilever has gone so far as to create refillable bottles and eco-packs to ensure one purchase lasts longer than ever before
- Water Use: The stress that large-scale cleaning product production puts on water supply is remarkable, and as such, Unilever focuses on the areas in which they can make the biggest difference. This results in observation and adaptation in water use in their factories and agricultural sources, in addition to planning for a future without abundant water. The most impactful initiative, however, is addressing water use at home. By teaching people how to use less water at home for showers, baths, and dishwashing, we can make a difference in the global water supply much sooner.
Want to know more about brands pushing for more sustainable cleaning and living? Have a look here.