Unilever has achieved its goal of sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across more than 600 of its global facilities located in 70 countries.
The company explained that 240 of its factories had achieved zero waste to landfill status by January last year, and that by replicating this zero waste model in other parts of the business, nearly 400 additional sites have now eliminated waste to landfill.
Having identified the different non-hazardous waste streams in its operations Unilever said that it has now found alternative routes for the waste from these sites, including factories, warehouses, distribution centres and offices.
According to the company it has been achieved its target by continuing with the four ‘R’ approach of reducing, reusing, recovering or recycling. However, it said that its priority is to continually reduce waste and embrace circular models.
As well as maintaining zero waste status at these locations, Unilever said that work continues to bring all sites in line, including all future site openings and acquisitions.
Ultimately the consumer goods giant said that it aims to achieve zero waste across the value chain. Continued efforts on zero waste provide a strong business case for sustainability – eliminating waste has contributed to cost-benefits of €200million and created hundreds of jobs.
Such zero waste goals can only be realised by working with, and learning from, suppliers, partners and other organisations, the company said.
For that reason, Unilever has launched a new collaboration with the value-chain platform 2degrees to help bring organisations together to leverage the zero waste model. The new collaboration programme will go live in summer 2016.
“The global challenge of a growing population relying on limited resources is very real. Our zero waste goal underpins Unilever’s sustainable growth ambitions, as well as our commitment to become resource resilient and tackle climate change,” commented Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Unilever chief supply chain officer.
“While I am proud of what our employees and partners have achieved across our manufacturing operations and the wider business, there is a lot more to be done to inspire a wide-scale movement,” he continued.
“It is time to accelerate efforts to move towards a zero waste world and our new collaboration with 2degrees will allow us to share lessons and experiences, and to encourage other businesses and industries to take up the zero waste challenge. By building a network of partners and working together, we can eliminate waste on an unprecedented scale across the globe,” concluded Sigismondi.
Martin Chilcott, founder and CEO, 2degrees added: “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 programme, launching in summer 2016, to help make this happen.”
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