Auckland, New Zealand (PRWEB) July 06, 2011
Following the global launch of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan in November 2010, Unilever Australia & New Zealand has announced the first local execution of the initiative, which targets the laundry category in New Zealand via the Cleaner Planet Plan.
The Cleaner Planet Plan aims to halve the environmental impact of doing laundry across the product lifecycle by 2020, outlining steps for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water usage, saving energy and promoting recycling.
A key step in the Cleaner Planet Plan is Unilever’s recent removal of phosphate across all of its New Zealand manufactured washing powders, including Persil (NZ’s number one laundry brand) Surf and Drive - significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with ingredient sourcing. The removal of phosphate began in 2008 across the Unilever liquids range, with Unilever washing powders now hitting the shelves as phosphate-free.
According to Chairman for Unilever Australia & New Zealand, Sebastian Lazell, New Zealand has already played a significant role in reducing the environmental footprint of doing the laundry.
“All Unilever washing powders are locally produced in Petone and with New Zealand’s widespread use of hydro-electric power combined with minimal transportation required, just manufacturing in New Zealand alone help us minimize the environmental footprint of our laundry range.
“The removal of phosphate from Persil – replacing it with lower greenhouse gas alternatives that do not require CO2 emissions-intensive drilling – 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, 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,” said Lazell.
The Persil range now carries the Cleaner Planet Plan logo on-pack, so consumers know they are purchasing a product with no phosphate.
With an estimated 390 million washes occurring in New Zealand every year, Unilever believes the collective action of many consumers making small changes will make a big difference. Through the Cleaner Planet Plan, Unilever aims to help New Zealanders take simple steps to save energy and water when washing clothes with the knock-on benefit of helping households save money too.
In 2009, Unilever pioneered the compaction and concentration of powders and liquids in New Zealand. The introduction of Persil Small & Mighty, a three-times concentrated liquid and two-times concentrated powder, resulted in a yearly saving of the equivalent of 9.9 million plastic shopping bags in reduced packaging. New Zealand’s laundry detergents are now among the most concentrated in the world.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, which the Cleaner Planet Plan falls under, sets out 50 social, economic and environmental targets in three key areas including health and wellbeing, reducing environmental impact and enhancing livelihood, all to be achieved by 2020.
The Sustainable Living Plan aims to address the issue of health and wellbeing by helping more than one billion people improve their hygiene habits through education programmes, bringing safe drinking water to 500 million people and working to reduce the saturated fat, salt and sugar content of their food products.
To create more environmentally friendly products Unilever has committed to halving the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and packaging waste associated with its products across their entire lifecycles – from ingredient sourcing to consumer use. In addition to this Unilever is also reviewing their entire supply chain to ensure that 100% of raw materials are sourced sustainably by 2020.
Finally, the programme strives to enhance the livelihoods of more than 500,000 small-hold farmers by linking them directly to Unilever’s supply network, where they will be given agricultural knowledge to help them increase productivity and therefore their incomes.
For more information about Persil or the Cleaner Planet Plan, visit http://www.cleanerplanetplan.co.nz, or to learn more about Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan go to http://www.sustainable-living.unilever.com.