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Climate change is a significant threat to people and our planet. It is also a material risk to our business. We’re taking action across our business and our value chain. And our brands are on the front line with game changing product innovations.

Person holding up sign saying ‘There is no Planet B”

Our ambition is to reach net zero across our value chain by 2039, and our focus is on reducing our emissions by 2030 in line with what science says is needed. We have three near term targets:

  • Our operations

    Reduce absolute operational GHG emissions (Scope 1 & 2) by 100% by 2030 from a 2015 baseline

  • Our value chain – energy and industrial

    Reduce absolute Scope 3 energy and industrial GHG emissions[a] by 42% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline

  • Our value chain – forest, land and agriculture

    Reduce absolute Scope 3 forest, land and agriculture (FLAG) GHG emissions[b] by 30.3% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline

We are guided by our updated Climate Transition Action Plan which focuses on ten action areas where we can best drive positive impact by 2030.

10 icons representing the actions underpinning our Climate Transition Action Plan

Alongside these actions, we’re pushing hard for system-level change. Change that will address barriers to faster emissions reduction, in each of our ten action areas and overall.

You can read more about our global climate goals here and check out the progress we’ve made in Australia and New Zealand below.

Our operations

Wind turbines on a hill

In January 2020, we switched to 100% renewable electricity to power our Australian factories. Our renewable electricity supply is met through a five-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which directly supports wind and solar farms across NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

As a result of making this switch, we’re reducing our greenhouse emissions by about 27,470 tonnes of CO2, each year. This is equivalent to the emissions generated by powering more than 1,500 Australian homes or 5,900 cars annually.

Now, we’re looking at how we can electrify more processes and exploring alternatives to gas for our heating processes. For example, we’re using solar thermal in our Tatura factory – this means we use stored hot water to help in our heating processes, reducing our reliance on gas.


Unilever employee in hybrid vehicle

In 2017, Unilever was the first fast moving consumer goods organisation to join The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, which brings together companies committed to switching to electric vehicles by 2030.

We are also part of EV100+, which brings together companies to phase out the heaviest and most polluting vehicles on the roads.

We’ve shifted 100% of our New Zealand fleet to hybrid vehicles which has resulted in a 28% reduction in emissions from our fleet compared to 2019.

We’re also taking steps to increase truck and container utilisation. This means filling the containers and trucks that carry our products to the brim so that we can reduce the number of trucks on the road and ships at sea. And where we can, we prioritise low emission vehicles over heavy vehicles, as well as using rail transport over road transport.

Reformulating products

Bottle of Omo laundry liquid

We’re transforming the way our laundry products are made so that they’re less carbon-reliant and wasteful, while still delivering the same or even better performance, convenience and affordability.

Laundry products contain surfactants which help create the cleaning action and remove stains. Surfactants are typically derived from fossil fuels however we’re reformulating our laundry products to use innovative lower-GHG ingredients.

In Australia and New Zealand, we’ve reformulated some of our Omo and Persil laundry detergents to contain naturally derived stain removers. This reduces their dependence on surfactants made from fossil fuels and makes them less carbon intensive.

Globally, we’re testing out new products which use renewable or recycled carbon ingredients. Sunlight dishwash, for example, was relaunched in Thailand and now includes plant-based cleaning agents. We’re also exploring the viability of new ingredients, such as soda ash derived from carbon capture which has the potential to be used as a cleaning ingredient in our laundry powders. We hope to be able to bring these progressive innovations to our locally made products in the coming years.

Ice cream cabinets

Greener Streets freezer

When it comes to ice cream, one of our challenges is reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our freezers.

Many freezers contain hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants which are greenhouse gases. Although freezers are designed to keep refrigerants sealed inside, if released they can be harmful.

In 2004, Unilever scientists started pioneering the use of freezers with natural hydrocarbon refrigerants. These freezers are environmentally safe, and they demand less energy. Around 90% of our freezers across Australia and New Zealand now contain natural hydrocarbon refrigerants and we have an ambition to reach 100% by 2026.

Globally, we’re also trialing “warming up” our ice cream freezers from the industry standard -18°C to -12°C. By warming up our freezers, our aim is to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our freezers by 20% to 30% per freezer. This would be a huge step towards achieving net zero emissions across our value chain by 2039.


Range of Unilever brands in a trolley.

Emissions from packaging are a significant contribution to our total emissions and predominantly arise during two lifecycle stages: at feedstock creation, for example, where plastics traditionally use fossil fuels, and at end of life, particularly if disposed of through incineration or landfill.

Our progress within this action area is demonstrated through our continued use of post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR), thereby further reducing our dependence on virgin fossil-fuel derived plastics. To learn more about the progress we’re making on Plastics, visit here.


Energy and industrial emissions from purchased goods and services (associated with ingredients, packaging), upstream transport and distribution, energy and fuel-related activities, direct emissions from use of sold products (associated with HFC propellants), end-of-life treatment of sold products, and downstream leased assets (associated with ice cream retail cabinets).


FLAG emissions from purchased goods and services (associated with ingredients).

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