Waste reduction saves Unilever Ksh20 billion

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UNILEVER LOGO

Unilever has achieved a key sustainability target of eliminating non-hazardous waste from its global network of factories, which has saved the leading consumer goods company €200 million

(Ksh20 billion).

More than 240 factories operating in 67 countries making products for brands such as OMO, Blueband and Vaseline have reduced landfill waste to zero.
Mr Marc Engel, Unilever CEO for East Africa and emerging markets, said this has been achieved through innovations in waste management as part of the firm’s responsibility to consumers and environment.

“We are reducing waste throughout our operations. I am particularly pleased by our Nairobi
factory team for their efforts in ensuring that we send zero non-hazardous waste to landfill. Our vision to halve the environmental footprint of our products is on track.”
At the Kenyan manufacturing plant in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, he said, product wrappers waste are shredded and used for incorporation into recycled boards. Also, spent bleaching Earth from the filter press process in soap making is sent to Unilever Tea factory for use as fuel in the
boilers.

The zero waste to landfill target forms a key element of Unilever’s sustainable growth ambitions. Eliminating waste has resulted in more than €200 million of cost reduction and created hundreds of jobs as it pursues its ambition of doubling the size of its business while reducing
environmental impact.
To achieve zero-waste to landfill, Unilever has adopted what it calls the Four ‘R’ approach. First, reducing waste at source then reusing,recovering or recycling any non-hazardous waste that remains.

“It has meant reconsidering every single material that is consumed in a factory -from reusing packing materials from supplier deliveries to food waste from staff cafeterias,” said Mr Angel.
Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer Pier Luigi Sigismondi its employees – code named ‘zero-makers’ – from across the business have developed innovative solutions to eliminate waste. “We are also committed to developing an open-source approach and sharing our ‘zero waste framework’and experience with other organisations to drive global change and create
a more sustainable future,” he said.