Blijf niet aan de zijlijn staan in strijd tegen klimaatverandering

Unilever heeft alle bedrijven die worden geconfronteerd met stijgende kosten door klimaatverandering, en vooral de voedingsmiddelenindustrie, opgeroepen hun commitment om dit probleem aan te pakken te vergroten. (Bericht alleen uitgegeven in het Engels.)

Step off the sidelines in fight against climate change

London/Rotterdam, 20 May 2014.- Unilever today issued a call for all companies affected by the growing costs of climate change, and in particular the food industry, to step up their commitment to tackling the issue. The risk to the food industry from climate change is severe, with some analysts predicting that the external environmental costs of climate change could exceed the earnings of the entire food industry by 2030 unless action is taken.

The call coincides with a report released by Oxfam International today arguing that the ‘Top 10’ food companies, including Unilever, should be among those leading the charge to address climate change both in their own operations, in their supply chains, and in the wider public policy arena.

Miguel Veiga-Pestana, Vice President Sustainability Strategy and Global Advocacy comments, "Unilever has been at the forefront of industry efforts to tackle climate change since the mid 1990s. We were the first to establish the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Programme to address carbon emissions from agriculture and deforestation, and more recently we were the first to launch a comprehensive plan with time-bound targets reported on annually to drive progress towards sustainable sourcing.

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, was launched in November 2010. We are currently ahead of our self imposed target on sustainable sourcing and broader CO2 emissions from energy in our operations – down by 32% since 2008."

Unilever has also sought to improve its footprint along the full breadth of the value chain, and to play a catalytic role within the industry and the wider private sector. 

For example:

  • Committing to sourcing 100% of agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, including tropical commodities, such as palm, soy and the paper and board used in its packaging.
  • Working with the United Nations Environment Programme and Greenpeace to eliminate highly damaging HFCs from commercial refrigeration
  • Actively contributing to the work of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, which has made the case for progressive public policy to bring down emissions and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.
  • Sourcing 100% renewable electricity for sites in Europe and North America
  • Co-Chairing the Sustainability Committee of the Global Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), an industry group with combined turnover of $3 trillion, with specific programmes now in place on deforestation and refrigeration. 
  • Unilever also led the process which resulted in the creation of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) a public-private partnership between the 400 companies of the CGF, the governments of the USA, UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Liberia and a large number of international NGOs. The principal goal of the TFA is to eliminate any trace of deforestation from the supply chains of consumer goods companies.

None of this could come too soon. With less than 20 months until world leaders meet in Paris to agree a global climate change agreement, Unilever has also stepped up its advocacy efforts, with Unilever CEO Paul Polman recently addressing the Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting – a preparatory meeting convened by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to build momentum towards an ambitious intergovernmental deal. At the event, Unilever CEO Paul Polman called for joint efforts to scale up action to tackle climate change, urging politicians to lead with "clarity, confidence and courage" in the international climate change negotiations.

"If every major company affected by climate change – not only in the food and beverage sector, but other impacted sectors such as tourism, insurance and transport – were to address the issue as one of business survival, and step change their efforts for delivery, we could together make a significant impact. We hope that Oxfam’s report will encourage other businesses to recognise the urgent need to future proof their operations, provide for the long term needs of their consumers, step off the sidelines and move into action." concludes Miguel Veiga-Pestana.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). 

Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined nine commitments, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/

Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. 

Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2014 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the fourth year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn’s third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com

Unilever NV

Weena 455
3013AL Rotterdam

http://www.unilever.nl

+31(0)10 217 4844 (na 17.30 +31(0)10 2174000)
mediarelations.rotterdam@Unilever.com

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