Multinational food and toiletries giant Unilever has achieved zero waste to landfill at all of its factories in the UK and Ireland.
Unilever has announced that during 2012 the milestone was reached in 18 countries in which it operates - more than half of all of their factories globally. This is the equivalent of diverting one million bins of household waste from landfill each year.
The multinational has also brought forward its worldwide waste target by five years to 2015.
In 2012 the number of Unilever factories sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill rose by 57% - from 74 to 130 factories.
Unilever attributes this achievement at factories around the world - from Costa Rica to Japan - to reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering waste. The company says it is using a ‘design once and deploy everywhere’ philosophy and using its vast global supply chain to drive waste arisings down.
In 2010, Unilever launched its Sustainable Living Plan and committed to send less waste to landfill than at 2008 levels - despite producting higher quantities of products.
In all, 252 factories across the world will not send any non-hazardous waste to landfill by end of 2015.
Unilever reported annual sales of €51bn in 2012, up from €40bn when Unilever in 2010.
Tony Dunnage, group environmental engineering manager at Unilever, called the achievement “a great example of how we are putting our sustainability strategy into action - by decoupling the growth of our business from its environmental impact. Today’s landmark demonstrates how our factories are more environmentally responsible, which is helping us to save money to invest in our business.”