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Unilever to invest €1 bn in climate change projects to hit net zero emissions for products by 2039

Unilever Plc said on Monday it will invest 1 billion euros (£900 million) in a fund to invest in climate change projects and reduce to net zero greenhouse gas emissions from all its products by 2039, 11 years ahead of the Paris Agreement deadline.

Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer products company whose brands include Dove soap and Knorr soup, said it was responding to the “scale and urgency” of the climate change crisis.

The fund will invest in projects including reforestation, water preservation and carbon sequestration over the next ten years, it said.

The net zero emission target is an extension of efforts already underway to cut emissions within the company by 2030 - such as reducing electricity consumption within offices.

Unilever’s total greenhouse gas footprint was around 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019 according to its website.

“We are now going much wider in our commitments, we call it a cradle to shelf commitment...across the value chain,” Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer, Marc Engel said.

Unilever, which has an annual turnover of 52 billion euros, said it would prioritise partnerships with suppliers who have set emission reduction targets and has set up a system where suppliers must declare the carbon footprint of goods and services provided. All packaging will show the carbon footprint of the product in the future, the company said.

Unilever joins a handful of companies in promising net zero emissions from their supply chain.


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