Unilever saves €200 million by eliminating landfill waste

17 February 2015

Unilever said it has achieved its target of sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill.

The company has more than 240 factories in 67 countries making products for brands such as Magnum, Knorr, Dove and Domestos and set the zero waste to landfill target in 2012.

Unilever said it has adopted the four ‘R’ approach to meet the target. The priority is reducing waste at source then reusing, recovering or recycling any non-hazardous waste that remains.

The entire supply chain was examined including reusing packing materials from supplier deliveries. Unilever said it has now eliminated landfill waste saving €200 million (£150m) of costs and creating hundreds of jobs.

The zero waste to landfill target is part of the company’s sustainability ambitions, which also include finding innovative solutions for waste. In Ivory Coast waste has been turned into low cost building materials while in India, organic waste is being composted and shared with the local community to grow vegetables.

Unilever said that it wants to double the size of its business as well as reduce its environmental impact

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Unilever chief supply chain officer, said reaching the target was the result of shift in mind set.

“Our focus now is on becoming a zero waste company and working towards a zero waste value chain by encouraging our suppliers and customers to join us on this mission,” he said.

The company added it was also committed to sharing its zero waste framework and experience with other organisations.

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