Continuing with the four ‘R’ approach of reducing, reusing, recovering, recycling

Unilever ties up with 2degrees to achieve zero waste across the value chain

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Continuing with the four ‘R’ approach of reducing, reusing, recovering, recycling
Pier Luigi Sigismondi, chief supply chain officer, Unilever

Unilever has reached a new industry-leading achievement of sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across more than 600 sites, in 70 countries, including factories, warehouses, distribution centres and offices. Having identified the different non-hazardous waste streams in its operations Unilever has now found alternative routes for the waste from these site

In January 2015 Unilever announced that over 240 factories had achieved zero waste to landfill status –  by replicating this zero waste model in other parts of the business, nearly 400 additional sites have now eliminated waste to landfill. This has been achieved by continuing with the four ‘R’ approach of reducing, reusing, recovering and recycling, proving that waste can be seen as a resource with many alternative uses – from converting factory waste to building materials, to composting food waste from staff cafeterias.

Unilever’s priority is to continually reduce waste and embrace circular models. Apart from maintaining zero waste status at these locations, work continues to bring all sites in line, including all future site openings and acquisitions. Unilever ultimately aims to achieve zero waste across the value chain.

Unilever believes that its own goals, and moving other businesses and industries to zero waste, can only be realized by working with, and learning from, suppliers, partners and other organizations. For that reason, Unilever has also announced a new collaboration with the leading value-chain platform, 2degrees, to help bring organizations together to leverage the zero waste model. The new collaboration programme will go live in summer 2016.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Unilever chief supply chain officer, said, “The global challenge of a growing population relying on limited resources is very real. Our zero waste goal underpins Unilever’s sustainable growth ambitions, as well as our commitment to become resource resilient and tackle climate change.”

According to Martin Chilcott, founder and CEO of 2degrees, “Unilever is continuing to demonstrate the leadership necessary to tackle the biggest resource efficiency and sustainability challenges that businesses face. To achieve bold goals, such as zero waste in the value chain, we need equally bold action and collaboration at scale. I’m delighted to be working with them to co-create a programme, which will be launched in summer 2016, to help make this happen.”

Unilever sustainable living plan
Unilever has stated that its ambition is to double the size of its business while reducing its environmental impact. The company is the Food Products Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and was awarded a Gold Class distinction for its excellent sustainability performance by RobecoSAM in their Sustainability Yearbook 2015. The zero non-hazardous waste to landfill target forms a key element of Unilever’s sustainable growth ambitions.

Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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