Unilever to invest 1 billion euros in climate change fund over 10 years
By Siddharth Cavale
(Reuters) - Unilever Plc announced on Monday that it will invest € 1 billion in a fund to invest in climate change projects and zero greenhouse gas emissions of all of its products by 2039, 11 years before the Paris Agreement expires to lower.
Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company, whose brands include Dove soap and Knorr soup, responded to the "scale and urgency" of the climate crisis.
The fund will invest in projects such as reforestation, water conservation and carbon sequestration over the next ten years.
The net zero emissions target is an extension of the ongoing efforts to reduce emissions in the company by 2030 - for example, the reduction of electricity consumption in offices.
Unilever's total greenhouse gas footprint was around 60 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, according to its website.
"We are now going a lot further in our commitments, we call it a cradle of shelf engagement ... along the value chain," said Marc Engel, Unilever's chief supply chain officer.
Unilever, which has annual sales of € 52 billion, said it would prioritize partnerships with suppliers who set emission reduction targets and set up a system in which suppliers would have to provide the carbon footprint of the goods and services provided. All packaging from 2039 shows the product's carbon footprint, the company said.
Together with a handful of companies, Unilever promises net zero emissions from its supply chain.
Kit Kat manufacturer Nestle and German elevator manufacturer Thyssenkrupp AG are different, although their goals are set for 2050. This is the deadline set in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Unilever also said on Monday that it aims to make all product formulations biodegradable and to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023, along with a number of other measures to combat climate change.
The company announced plans to use satellite monitoring, geolocation tracking, and blockchain, among other digital technologies, to improve traceability and transparency in its supply chain.
(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
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