Global consumer goods major Unilever on Wednesday said it will transition away from fossil fuel-derived chemicals in cleaning and laundry products by 2030, as part of its Euro 1 billion Clean Future investment initiative.
Unilever said it will replace 100 per cent of the carbon derived from fossil fuels in its cleaning and laundry product formulations with renewable or recycled carbon.
The move is set to transform the sustainability of global cleaning and laundry brands including Surf, Sunlight, Vim and Domex.
“Euro 1 billion Clean Future investment will drive a complete transition away from fossil fuel-derived chemicals in Unilever’s cleaning and laundry products by 2030, while also unlocking new ways of reducing their carbon footprint,” Unilever said in a statement.
This investment will also be used to create biodegradable and water-efficient product formulations, to halve the use of virgin plastic by 2025, and support the development of brand communications that make these technologies appealing to consumers.
The leading manufacturer of cleaning and laundry products said the chemicals used in its cleaning and laundry products make up the greatest proportion of their carbon footprint (46 per cent) across their life cycle.
“Therefore, by transitioning away from fossil fuel-derived chemicals in product formulations, the company will unlock novel ways of reducing the carbon footprint of some of the world’s biggest cleaning and laundry brands.
“Unilever expects this initiative alone to reduce the carbon footprint of the product formulations by up to 20 per cent,” the company added.
Unilever is ring-fencing Euro 1 billion for Clean Future to finance biotechnology research, CO2 and waste utilisation, and low carbon chemistry – which will drive the transition away from fossil fuel derived chemicals.
“Clean Future is our vision to radically overhaul our business. As an industry, we must break our dependence on fossil fuels, including as a raw material for our products.
We must stop pumping carbon from under the ground when there is ample carbon on and above the ground if we can learn to utilise it at scale,” said Peter ter Kulve, Unilever’s President of Home Care said.
The Clean Future investment, which is additional to Unilever’s new Euro-1 billion Climate and Nature Fund, is focused on creating affordable cleaning and laundry products that deliver superior cleaning results with a significantly lower environmental impact.
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