Unilever Bangladesh has recently announced that the Company’s factory in Kalurghat, Chittagong produces zero waste to landfill. The local unit joins the league of Unilever’s global factories, 100% of which are zero waste to landfill sites.
The Company undertook some audacious environmental targets under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) launched in 2010. Eliminating waste to landfill was one part of the plan which aims to reduce the Company’s environmental impact across its value chain.
“Our factories play a major role in achieving this target. A lot of waste is generated regularly in our manufacturing processes – be it fuel waste, chemical or food waste and even packaging waste,” says Aminur Rahman, Supply Chain Director, Unilever Bangladesh.
Over the years, Unilever Bangladesh’s Kalurghat factory has taken focused steps to transform into a Zero Waste to landfill site. In 2015 this dream became a reality with the factory recycling and reusing all the waste that would otherwise go into landfill.
The food waste generated on site – be it from the canteen or kitchen waste – is composted and used for gardening in and around the factory. This helps cut down the environmental impact of the waste as well as beautifying the factory surroundings.
Process waste from manufacturing glycerin – has also been systematically reduced. The raw material used has been suitably changed to lower waste generation in production. The lower amount of waste produced is being recycled through several initiatives such as selling it as an input to a low grade soap producer. As a result, glycerine waste has been eliminated completely.
The other major source of waste, raw material and packaging material waste, was reduced mainly through employee generated ideas. Ideas crowdsourced from the employees helped reduce laminate waste alone to 50% of 2008 levels.
Unilever Bangladesh remains passionate about their efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their manufacturing process. “In addition to eliminating waste we have also halved the consumption of water in our manufacturing process,” Aminur Rahman informs “we are also working towards reducing our energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission. These are our small actions to give back to the community we operate in.”
Uniliver Sustainable Living Plan
Launched in 2010, the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is Unilever’s blueprint for sustainable growth. The Plan is helping to drive profitable growth, reduce costs and fuel innovation. The Plan sets out three big goals.
1. IMPROVING HEALTH AND WELL-BEING for more than 1 BILLION By 2020
2. REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT of making and use of our products by 1/2 by 2020
3. ENHANCING LIVELIHOODS for MILLIONS By 2020 as we grow our business.
By the end of 2014, four years into the USLP, Unilever Bangladesh has,
• helped 17.8 MILLION people to improve their hygiene habits with the Lifebuoy hand washing program
• provided safe drinking water to 1.4 MILLION people with Pureit
• completely ELIMINATED waste to landfill from their factory in Kalurghat, Chittagong
• HALVED water consumption in manufacturing at their Kalurghat factory, compared to 2008 levels
To learn more about the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan please visit www.unilever.com.bd