Unilever Plc (ULVR.L), one of the world’s major manufacturers of cleaning and laundry products, has recently announced its promise. to accelerate the sustainability of their brands.
According to Reuters, instead of petrochemicals, their products would use constituents created from plants and other biological sources, marine sources such as algae and waste materials. Chemicals in its cleaning and laundry products make up 46% of its Home Care division’s carbon emissions across their life cycle. The switch – which Unilever said it is the first company to commit to – will cut those emissions by a fifth.
Unilever’s move to sourcing 100% of the energy needed for their formulations to renewable to recyclable sources is a bold, and hopefully influential, move to shift away from fossil fuels. The pledge to net-zero emissions from all their products by 2039.
“As an industry… we must stop pumping carbon from under the ground when there is ample carbon on and above the ground if we can learn to utilize it at scale. We’ve seen unprecedented demand for our cleaning products in recent months and we are incredibly proud to play our part, helping to keep people safe in the fight against Covid-19. But that should not be a reason for complacency. We cannot let ourselves become distracted from the environmental crises that our world—our home—is facing… This is the home we share, and we have a responsibility to protect it,” said Peter ter Kulve, Unilever’s President of Home Care.
This new promise is part of Unilever’s ‘Clean Future’ project which is a ground-breaking innovation program designed by the company’s Home Care division to fundamentally change the way that some of the world’s best-known cleaning and laundry products are created, manufactured, and packaged.
Under their ‘Clean Future’ umbrella is also their ‘Carbon Rainbow’ which is their way to diversify the carbon used to make their product formulations:
As BBC reports, this year the Carbon Disclosure Project, a global non-profit group, ranked Unilever as one of only seven of 182 major companies to achieve an A rating based on its governance around climate change, water, and forests.