Unilever’s Vice President for Sustainability Discusses their Sustainable Living Plan with just-food.com

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After the recent launch of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, just-food.com spoke with Karen Hamilton, Unilever’s vice president for sustainability and now have exclusive insight into the new strategy and how its ambitious targets set the plan apart from corporate rhetoric.

Generally in the past we have focused largely on our manufacturing impacts when it comes the environment. Now what we’re saying is that we’re extending our approach across the whole life cycle, the sourcing of raw materials, through to the manufacturing,

After the recent launch of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, just-food.com spoke with Karen Hamilton, Unilever’s vice president for sustainability and now have exclusive insight into the new strategy and how its ambitious targets set the plan apart from corporate rhetoric.

The new strategy, which aims to "decouple" growth from environmental impact and sets ambitious sustainability targets, has been hailed by some as a game changer and likened to Marks and Spencer's ground-breaking ‘Plan A’ initiative.

Many food manufacturers and retailers have announced plans to alleviate their impact on the environment but Hamilton argues Unilever's plan takes the thinking on sustainability to a new level. "Generally in the past we have focused largely on our manufacturing impacts when it comes the environment. Now what we’re saying is that we’re extending our approach across the whole life cycle, the sourcing of raw materials, through to the manufacturing, through to the way in which the consumer consumes and throws away the product."

As Unilever points out that manufacturing only accounts for 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with a typical product, while consumer use accounts for 70% and raw materials 26%.

"The second thing that's different is that we're looking at all of our brands and all of the 170 countries where we sell. This is a genuinely new approach. I believe it would be very difficult to find any other large company which is making as comprehensive plans for decoupling growth and environmental impact."

With Unilever keen to point out that this plan is different to others, Hamilton agrees that ultimately what will differentiate the plan from the general rhetoric is action. "This is a plan and now we need to be judged by the way in which we execute that plan," says Hamilton. "What we will do is report back in a year's time on what progress we have made and we will have that externally audited as well so that then we can start to be judged on our actions.”

This exclusive insight into Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, is available as part of the just-food Open House which is running until 2 December. To read the full article, visit just-food and register for free.

The Open House includes access to food industry daily breaking news, comment, analysis and market intelligence. Over a ten-year history, just-food has built an unrivalled reputation as the premium provider of food industry intelligence.

This is a unique opportunity to see why it is an integral tool for over 90,000 business executives in the food manufacturing, retailing and supplier sectors.

Delivering an online platform that tracks and interprets key trends, events, mergers and acquisitions, financial results, marketing strategies, NPD and personnel moves, just-food's readers are the most informed in their fields.

Furthermore, just-food is using the opportunity of the open house to demonstrate its enviable record as an intelligence provider by giving away four up-to-the-minute reports into the sector.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for executives within the food industry, from retailing and manufacturing, to get their hands on some of the best insight into the trends and events affecting the sector there is around," said Chris Brook-Carter, just-food's editorial director. "just-food has been a subscription service for over eight years now and it is a model that has allowed us to invest heavily in our content. On top of a breaking news service that is accurate, timely and comprehensive, our dedicated in-house team of analysts and reporters provide daily strategic insight into how that news affects the industry.

"By opening our doors for this exclusive two-week period, we want to demonstrate why we are the most trusted source of intelligence to over 90,000 professionals."

About just-food:
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As a result, every month we help more than 90,000 executives to keep abreast of the very latest industry developments.

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