Unilever praised for sustainability target

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive
Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive

Related tags Climate change Renewable energy

Unilever has won praise for committing to becoming carbon positive by 2030 ahead of the United Nations Climate change conference in Paris today (November 30), by the WWF.

The multinational manufacturer won plaudits for recognising the link between sustainability and growth, as world leaders gathered to forge a legally binding agreement on remedying climate change.

WWF-UK chief executive David Nussbaum said: “This is welcome news from one of the world’s biggest companies.

“On the eve of the UN Climate Summit in Paris it shows strong leadership from a company that can clearly see the link between sustainability and business growth.”

100% of energy from renewable sources

Unilever aims to eliminate fossil fuels from its operations, with 100% of its energy coming from renewable sources and making surplus energy available to markets and communities it operates in, it claimed.

The Paris climate talks represented a “window of opportunity” ​to tackle climate change, Unilever’s ceo Paul Polman claimed.

Unilever’s goals

  • Source 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2030
  • Source all electricity from the grid from renewable sources by 2020
  • Eliminate coal from its energy mix by 2020

“We all have a responsibility to act now by turning aspirations into practical solutions,”​ he said.

“That’s why today we will be stepping up our own efforts by announcing that Unilever will be ‘carbon positive’ by 2030, eliminating fossil fuels from our business and directly supporting the generation of more renewable energy than we consume.”

‘Unprecedented risks and immense benefits’

The Paris climate talks came at a “unique moment” ​in which businesses were facing “unprecedented risks” ​from dangerous climate change and “immense potential benefits” ​from avoiding it, Forum for the Future’s ceo Sally Uren claimed.

Paul Polman CLimate Change

“Leading corporations are recognising the fact that individual action alone won’t be enough to avert the massive threat that unmitigated climate change poses for business and society,” ​she said.

“We need to see more pioneering businesses such as Unilever advocate for a deal in Paris that will give them and the rest of society a stable climate in which to flourish.”

Meanwhile, protestors have marched in cities across the globe to campaign for action to combat climate change. In London, 50,000 marched and were addressed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday (November 29).

In Paris, people prevented from marching due to the national state of emergency left their shoes at the Place de la Rebulique.

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