FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has eliminated coal usage across its operations, replacing it with green alternatives such as biomass and biodiesel. To facilitate this, the company has collaborated with biomass suppliers and local farmers to ensure a sustainable supply of green fuel and made the necessary changes for the renewable transition in its coal-fired boilers.
The shift from coal to renewable energy sources has also resulted in savings for the company. For example, one of HUL’s largest home care plants found solutions to eliminate coal usage, which has helped achieve Rupees 3.5 crore in fuel savings while reducing 4 million kilograms of CO2 emissions and increasing fuel efficiency as well.
“This is a milestone achievement in our compass journey and our commitment towards achieving zero emissions in our operations by 2030. As a company, we have always strived to be people and planet positive and firmly believe that responsible business is the only way forward,” Sanjiv Mehta, chairman, and managing director, HUL, said.
Hindustan Unilever’s new initiative will also benefit the farmers
The journey towards zero coal had started over five years ago, with Unilever committing to eliminating coal across its manufacturing operations by 2020. The company achieved its goals as committed and has now successfully transitioned its three nutrition factories acquired as part of the GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare merger in April 2020 to zero coal. The newly acquired nutrition manufacturing units had boilers running on coal which were converted into biomass/biodiesel boilers.
“I’m delighted that we could move our new factories from our GSK acquisition into renewable energy usage quickly. The impact of this transition not only increases HUL’s green footprint but also improves the quality of air around its factories and enhances the income of farmers through the buying of biomass,” Willem Uijen, executive director supply chain, HUL, said.
100% renewable grid electricity
HUL’s manufacturing units have already been operating with 100% renewable grid electricity since 2019 through on-site solar generation, offsite solar and wind generation, and hydro-based grid power purchase.
The company’s food and refreshment manufacturing unit in Nashik has onboarded three offsite wind turbine generators for captive consumption in addition to the on-site solar photovoltaic plant as well as a new tank installation.
The move from coal to green fuel shall provide an impetus to Hindustan Unilever’s endeavor to ensure that 100% of energy across its operations comes from renewable sources. The company will directly support generating more renewable energy than it consumes.