GHG Emissions, Industrial - September 3, 2020
Unilever to invest in fossil fuel removal from cleaning product chemicals
Unilever announced Sept. 1 that they will be replacing 100% of the carbon derived from fossil fuels in their cleaning and laundry product formulations with renewable or recycled carbon by 2030 as part of their €1 billion Clean Future investment.
The consumer goods parent company is focused on using the Clean Future program to embed circular economy principles into their cleaning and laundry product formulations and packaging. The chemicals used in Unilever’s cleaning and laundry products make up 46% of the carbon footprint of the products’ lifecycle. By making this change, the company expects the carbon footprint of the product formulations to be reduced by up to 20%.
Unilever has been pursuing such changes in order to achieve their goal of net-zero emissions from their products by 2039.
“Clean Future is our vision to radically overhaul our business,” Peter ter Kulve, Unilever’s President of Home Care, said in a statement. “As an industry, we must learn from brands such as Seventh Generation and 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 utilize it at scale.”
Unilever’s Clean Future investment will focus on biotechnology research, CO2 and waste utilization and low carbon chemistry to drive the transition away from fossil fuel-derived chemicals. They have already begun implementing such research through projects in Slovakia and India.