Persil Announces Cleaner Planet Plan

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New Zealand’s #1 laundry detergent launches plan to halve the environmental impact of doing laundry

Persil has announced a commitment to halving the environmental impact of Persil products by 2020. The goal is part of Persil’s Cleaner Planet Plan, which is working towards reducing the impact of its laundry products from raw materials sourcing through to consumer use and disposal.

The Cleaner Planet Plan is being fronted by well-known Kiwi mum Greer Robson-Kirk, who is encouraging New Zealanders to make some small changes in the laundry to create big change.

Robson-Kirk says, “It’s been interesting for me to learn that New Zealanders do around 390 million loads of laundry every year. That’s 390 million opportunities to take small steps at home to save water, energy and packaging that can mean a big difference for the planet. ”

One of the biggest steps in the Cleaner Planet Plan is Persil’s recent removal of phosphate from its New Zealand manufactured washing powders - significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with ingredient sourcing. The removal of phosphate began in 2008 across the Persil liquids range, with the brand’s washing powders now phosphate-free.

According to Sebastian Lazell, Chairman of Unilever Australia and New Zealand, “The removal of phosphate from Persil equates to an approximate 32% reduction in the greenhouse gas footprint of the product.

“New Zealanders are at the forefront of many sustainable practices and we recognise the opportunity to help Kiwis continue to make small sustainable steps. For instance if all New Zealand households used new Persil washing powder, it would save 14,400 tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent of taking 5,647 cars off the road – compared to using a phosphate product,” says Lazell.

The Persil range now carries the Cleaner Planet Plan logo on-pack, so consumers know they are purchasing a product with no phosphate.

To tackle the problems associated with packaging waste, Persil pioneered the compaction and concentration of powders and liquids within New Zealand in 2009. The introduction of Persil Small & Mighty, a three-times concentrated liquid and two-times concentrated washing powder has resulted in 40% less packaging - saving the equivalent of 9.9 million plastic shopping bags every year! Not only this but reduced packaging has also led to 130 delivery trucks being taken off the road annually, which is great for reducing noise pollution and carbon emissions.

In order to improve water efficiency, Persil is encouraging households to wash full loads with Small & Mighty washing products, as the concentrated formulas use less water to manufacture. In the first year of launching the concentrated formals alone, Persil saved around 1.3 million litres of washing liquid.

For further water savings, Persil advises using a short or eco wash cycle, which could save up to 50% of the water used in a regular wash*. If all New Zealand households washed with short or eco cycles, the result would be a savings of 39 billion litres of water a year, which is just over 15 thousand Olympic swimming pools.

In order to reduce energy usage, Persil is encouraging households to wash full loads in cold water, which helps save power because most of the energy used in washing clothes is for heating the water.

“As a busy mum I know that the key when you’re doing your laundry is results! The great thing for me is knowing I can make some small changes like doing full loads on the short cycle, without compromising on wash performance. Persil gets my family’s clothes clean, while treading lighter on the planet,” says Robson-Kirk.

Every small step you take in the laundry can make a big difference. Visit http://www.cleanerplanetplan.co.nz for more information about Persil’s Cleaner Planet Plan.

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About Unilever
Unilever is Food Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for the 12th year running. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. We are also ranked 7th in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, a list compiled by Corporate Knights Magazine. We achieved Platinum Plus standard in the UK’s Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index 2009, and were named Company of the Year in 2010.

Unilever works to create a better future every day. We help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 180. Consumers buy 170bn Unilever packs around the world every year, and our products are used over two billion times a day.

Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most loved brands including twelve €1 billion brands, and global leadership in many categories in which we operate. The portfolio features iconic brands such as: Continental, Lipton, Dove, Vaseline, Persil, Jif and Rexona.

We have around 167,000 employees in over 100 countries, and generated annual sales of €44.3 billion in 2010. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit http://www.unilever.com

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Jenna Drinkwater
Spark PR
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