Global CPG giant Unilever says its factories, offices, R&D facilities, data centres, warehouses and distribution centres across five continents are now powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity.
Some 38 per cent of its consumption is via power purchase agreements (PPAs), whereby firms contract directly with generators. For the remainder, Unilever said it had opted for renewable energy certificates – traded instruments linked to renewable power generation (though some of these instruments have been criticised by industry participants as a fudge).
Sustainability = profit
Unilever aims to become carbon neutral by 2030. The company continues to demonstrate that sustainability can be a profitable exercise: its sustainable products now deliver the three quarters of its top line growth.
“Our team have worked hard to secure renewable energy contracts for our sites across five continents, accelerating the delivery of our 100 per cent renewable energy targets,” said chief supply chain officer, Marc Engel.
“Of course, there is more work to do, but we hope that today’s announcement will inspire further action elsewhere and help to prove that it is possible to combat the climate crisis and hold global warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius. Renewable is doable.”
Unilever said energy efficiency programmes had enabled it to achieve its goal early. The firm said it has cut total energy consumption by 28 per cent and halved carbon emissions per tonne of production since 2008. On site solar has also contributed.
The company said it has achieved 100 per cent renewable grid electricity ‘at no net on-costs’