UNILEVER
Over 99% of shareholders back Climate Transition Action Plan / Target of net zero emissions by 2039 / Packaging technology receives RecyClass approval
Unilever plans to reduce operational emissions by 70%, by 2025 (Photo: Unilever)
At the May 2021 annual general meeting of consumer goods giant Unilever (London / UK; www.unilever.com), 99.56% of shareholders voted in favour of the Climate Transition Action Plan, which defines the steps the company will take to reduce emissions to zero for its own operations by 2030 and to net zero across the value chain by 2039.

“Climate change represents a clear and present danger to our value chain,” said CEO Alan Jope at the virtual meeting. “The overwhelming vote shows support to our ambitious emission reduction targets.”

As part of the company’s primary focus in the 2020s and 2030s, Unilever said it plans to transition to renewable energy sources, eliminate fossil fuels from its cleaning products, and reduce corporate travel and refrigeration emissions. The company’s short and medium-term emissions-reduction targets – approved by Science Based Targets initiative (www.sciencebasedtargets.org) – include a 70% decrease of operational emissions by 2025, and a 100% cut by 2030 versus a 2015 baseline.
In-house developments support sustainability
Unilever is one of the few consumer-good giants that has been scoring well in environmental responsibility. In 2019, the company committed to halve virgin plastics use by 2025 (see Plasteurope.com of 16.10.2019). In As You Sow’s 2020 report, Unilever ranked the highest among 50 companies in the beverage, quick-service restaurant, consumer packaged goods and retail sectors (see Plasteurope.com of 14.07.2020).

Starting in 2022, Unilever has proposed to report annually on progress made in implementing the plan, and to submit an updated plan for shareholder approval at the annual meeting every three years.

In keeping with its sustainable strategy, Unilever’s own “Parkes” packaging technology for toothpaste tubes has recently been approved by RecyClass (Brussels / Belgium; www.recyclass.eu), under its recyclability evaluation protocol for HDPE containers. The German testing laboratory, the Institute for Plastics Technology and Recycling (IKTR, Weißandt-Gölzau; www.iktr-online.de), said the new technology is fully compatible with the recycling stream of high-density polyethylene containers. The same was not applicable for packaging’s caps, RecyClass said.
27.05.2021 Plasteurope.com 1076 [247685-0]
Published on 27.05.2021

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