Unilever’s next step in sustainable sourcing of raw materials

June 14, 2011 11:53

Unilever announced a small but important step towards 100% sustainable sourcing of its agricultural raw materials by 2020. Unilever, a founding member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), bought some of the first available certificates for sustainable soy. This follows the recent introduction of the RTRS certification scheme, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Unilever.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Chief Supply Chain Officer Unilever said: "Certification is an essential first step towards sustainably grown soy and sourcing sustainably grown soy will help Unilever meet the environmental commitments in its Sustainable Living Plan. That's why this first batch is so significant, both for the RTRS and Unilever.

"We can't change agricultural practices across the world overnight, but by working closely with others - suppliers, farmers, NGOs, and other businesses - we can begin to precipitate change".

Unilever Brazil bought certificates that cover 5,000 tonnes of sustainable soy oil - mainly for use in North and South America and specifically in dressings and margarine products. Unilever aims to stimulate farmers to move their agricultural practices towards the RTRS criteria. At the moment only one company has received certification. Global production in soy oil is around 40 million tonnes and Unilever buys around 1%.

Sustainable sourcing is an important part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. With this unique plan Unilever has set three goals to achieve by 2020 - halve the environmental footprint of its products, help more than one billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, and source 100 percent of its agricultural raw materials sustainably. Today's milestone supports the commitment to sustainably source all our soy beans by 2014 and all soy oils by 2020.

For an overview of the sustainable sourcing commitments in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, please visit http://www.sustainable-living.unilever.com/the-plan/sustainable-sourcing/

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