Improving our environmental impact
Climate change caused by human-made greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges of our time for the planet, people, society and businesses. Against this backdrop, we’re more aware than ever of the role we must play in preserving the Earth’s natural resources and respecting animal welfare.
Reducing carbon emissions
We continue to focus on reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption, as well as increasing the use of renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint. Having surpassed our 2020 target (with 53 percent GHG emissions reductions from 2005 baseline), we aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 and to continue the use of renewable energy where possible.
Overall water consumption per unit has decreased by 38 percent since 2005, close to our target of a 40 percent reduction by 2020. This was a bold ambition when it was set, and we’re pleased with the progress we have made towards this, through continued optimisation of equipment cleaning practices. We’ve set a new goal to further reduce our water intensity by 5% from 2020 levels by 2025.
Waste and recovery
Our recycling rate globally is now 93.4 percent, which means we have exceeded our target of 90 percent by 2020. We continue to educate and train our manufacturing associates around the world on the importance of a responsible approach to waste reduction. We’ve also implemented waste reduction programmes, such as converting waste into energy and reusing wastewater sludge. Our goal is to increase recycling to 95 percent by 2025 and strive for zero waste to landfill. Our sites in the UK and Brazil have already achieved zero waste to landfill.
We’re committed to reducing our environmental footprint through our approach to product design: packaging and formulations. By 2030, we want all of our packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable. We’re aiming to increase postconsumer recycled content in our plastic bottles to 30 percent by 2025. We’re also striving for 100 percent of our carton packaging to be made from recycled materials or certified sustainable sources by 2025 as an extension of our Paper Promise.
It’s important to us to consider the environmental impact of the way in which we source our products and packaging, as well as the way we manufacture them. We’re committed to supporting responsible and sustainable production of palm oil and its derivatives through our continued membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), as well as the paper that we use in our brochures and packaging.
Our Paper Promise
To promote the protection and responsible use of forests, we continue to abide by our Paper Promise policy and have made significant progress towards our goal of purchasing 100 percent of our brochure paper from certified or post-consumer recycled content sources by 2020. At the end of 2019, 98.7 percent of our brochure paper met our Paper Promise goal, sourced from certified sustainable sources. We’re working to find certified sources for some types of paper where there is a lack of sustainable supply, in order to achieve our goal of 100 percent by the end of 2020.
In 2019, we chose to extend our Paper Promise, which previously applied only to our brochures, to include packaging cartons. We have set a goal to use 100 percent certified sustainable carton in packaging by 2025.
Palm oil’s association with peatland depletion and tropical deforestation is something that we take seriously. Although we predominantly use ingredients that are derivatives of palm oil and are a relatively small user of palm oil or palm kernel oil (PKO) as a whole, we’re committed to ensuring that we source these sustainably. We’re a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and in 2019 we were 100 percent RSPO compliant.
We also inserted a requirement for No Deforestation, Peat or Exploitation (NDPE) commitments into our procurement process as a further filter for decision making and holding our suppliers accountable.