9 July 2010 | Angeline Albert
Consumer goods giant Unilever intends to source 75 per cent of its paper and board packaging from sustainably managed forests or recycled material by 2015.
At the moment 62 per cent of paper and board packaging comes from sustainable sources. By 2020, this figure will rise to 100 per cent, the company said.
Unilever said the policy makes it the first global company with forest management certification through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to commit to sustainably sourcing all its paper and board packaging within a set timeframe. Currently 42 per cent of its total packaging is made up of paper or board – which equates to 1 million tonnes a year.
To meet the firm’s requirement for paper, preference will be given to supplies delivered through the FSC certification scheme. Unilever will also accept other national schemes provided they comply with the policy’s implementation guidelines. Suppliers will be encouraged to sign up to these schemes.
Marc Engel, Unilever’s chief procurement officer, said: “We are committed to working in partnership with all of our suppliers to progressively increase the proportion of paper and board packaging which comes from recycled materials or sustainably managed forests in order to achieve this ambitious target.”
Forest management certification scheme logos will begin to appear on the packaging of Unilever’s brands to increase consumer awareness and promote the expansion of certified forests.
The remainder of its total packaging is made up of plastic, glass, metal, mixed or other materials. The company said it also has a target of removing PVC from all packaging by 2012.