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Last Updated : Sep 02, 2020 11:42 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Unilever to spend €1 billion to eliminate fossil fuels from cleaning, laundry products by 2030

The chemicals used in Unilever’s cleaning and laundry products make up 46 percent of the company’s home-care division across their life cycle.

The Anglo-Dutch firm, Unilever will completely replace carbon derived from fossil fuels in its cleaning and laundry product formulations with renewable or recycled carbon by 2030.

This move will transform the sustainability of global cleaning and laundry brands including Surf, Sunlight, Vim and Domex.

Most cleaning and laundry products available contain chemicals made from fossil fuel feedstocks, a non-renewable source of carbon.


A slew of FMCG companies have been taking initiatives to reduce usage of plastic across the world but Unilever is the first one FMCG firm that has taken the lead to eliminate fossil fuels from cleaning products.

“This new ambition is a core component of Unilever’s ‘Clean Future’, a ground-breaking innovation programme designed by the company’s Home Care division to fundamentally change the way that some of the world’s most well-known cleaning and laundry products are created, manufactured, and packaged,” the company said in a press release today.

The chemicals used in Unilever’s cleaning and laundry products make up 46 percent of the company’s home-care division across their life cycle.

The company will spend, €1 billion under Clean Future investment to drive a complete transition away from fossil fuel-derived chemicals in Unilever’s cleaning and laundry products by 2030, This investment will also unlock new ways of reducing their carbon footprint. Unilever expects this initiative alone to reduce the carbon footprint of the product formulations by up to 20 percent.

The 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 company stated.

Peter ter Kulve, Unilever’s President of Home Care, said, “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.

“We have seen unprecedented demand for our cleaning products in recent months and we are incredibly proud to play our part, helping to keep people safe in the fight against COVID-19. But that should not be a reason for complacency. We cannot let ourselves become distracted from the environmental crises that our world – our home – is facing. Pollution. Destruction of natural habitats. The climate emergency. This is the home we share, and we have a responsibility to protect it”, Kulve added.

Clean Future is a critical step towards Unilever’s pledge of net zero emissions from its products by 2039, as per the company.

Unilever also calls on other businesses to adopt the new ‘Carbon Rainbow’ approach to transition to renewable and recycled carbon sources from plant, air, marine sources, and waste.
First Published on Sep 2, 2020 11:28 am