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Unilever winning battle against waste

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever United States and Canada has achieved 100% zero waste to landfill in all 26 of its manufacturing and non-manufacturing headquarter facilities. Other countries in which Unilever has achieved this milestone include the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Japan.

Reducing waste sent for disposal is a critical component of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan. Established in 2010, the plan aims to halve Unilever’s environmental footprint of the making and use of its products by 2020. As part of this ambitious plan, Unilever is striving to be at or below 2008 levels of total waste from manufacturing facilities by 2015 — five years earlier than originally announced — despite producing significantly higher volumes.

At present, more than half of Unilever’s 252 global factories are ZLF. The key driver for this achievement of ZLF in both North America manufacturing and non-manufacturing headquarter facilities is the elimination of waste. Where reduction of waste is not sufficient, the company’s facilities reuse, recycle or recover waste to reach zero waste to landfill.

For example, at the Owensboro, Ky., facility, which produces pasta sauce under the Ragu and Bertolli brands, paper and plastic are sent for recycling, which is eventually converted into tissues and composite lumber, respectively. The Clearwater, Fla., plant, which makes frozen ice cream novelties under the Klondike, Breyers, Popsicle and Good Humor brands, has a reuse program that includes reusing cookie liners as trash bags throughout the facility, donating office furniture to Habitat for Humanity, donating used shoes to Pinellas Hope Charity and selling five-gallon plastic buckets to local stores. The Englewood Cliffs, N.J., headquarter facility implemented waste centralization to increase office recycling.

“By eliminating waste, our employees are demonstrating our sustainable business model in action,” said Kees Kruythoff, president, Unilever North America. “This achievement is an important milestone for Unilever as we continue to fulfill our vision of significantly reducing our environmental impact while doubling our business.”

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, home and personal care products with sales in more than 190 countries. Its products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by more than 2 billion people on a daily basis. In the United States and Canada its portfolio includes brand icons such as Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort for Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Ragu, Simple, Slim-Fast, Soft & Beautiful, St. Ives, Suave, tcb, TIGI, TRESemmé, Vaseline and Wish-Bone. 

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