Thursday, May 23, 2024

Unilever launches sustainability report

Business Desk :
Unilever Bangladesh unveiled its sustainability report for the year 2021, titled ‘Partnering Bangladesh’.
The report demonstrated the company’s work and impact on the health, environment, and society, said a press release on Saturday.
Unilever Bangladesh has saved around 3.3 lakh megawatts per hour on energy consumption and reduced its carbon dioxide emission by nearly 70,000 tonnes in 10 years, which is equivalent to planting 30 lakh trees each year, the multinational company said in the report.
“As an important step to fulfilling the aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, the company is now adopting ground-breaking technology,” it added.
Zaved Akhtar, chief executive officer and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh, provided this information while unveiling the company’s sustainability report for 2021, titled “Partnering Bangladesh”.
The report was launched through an event at The Westin Dhaka on Saturday, where Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, the minister for industries, and Robert Chatterton Dickson, British high commissioner in Bangladesh, were present.
The company reduced its energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions at its Kalurghat Factory (KGF) by 23 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
“We are also planning to increase the factory’s solar energy capacity from 105 to 890 kilowatt-peak (KWp), which is 8 times its current capacity,” the report said, adding that this will ensure that more than 5 per cent of the total energy consumed by KGF is generated from solar power.
Unilever, one of the oldest and largest multinational companies operating in Bangladesh, also recovered energy from 1,006 tonnes of plastic since 2018, when the company started recovering energy from plastic waste produced by its manufacturing sites.
In 2021, in collaboration with its partners, Unilever launched two plastic collection initiatives in Narayanganj and Dhaka. Currently, they have established the technical capacity to ensure that 75 per cent of the plastics used to package their produces are recyclable. The company aims to make it 100 per cent within 2022.
At the programme, Zaved Akhtar said that over the last five decades, Unilever has always been a forerunner in doing good for the country’s people and building a sustainable Bangladesh.
“The company has invested more than Tk 43 crore in order to cover the 10 different Sustainable Development Goal agendas, impacting millions through these sustainability initiatives,” he said.
The three key focuses of Unilever Bangladesh are to improve the planet’s health as well as the peoples’ confidence and wellbeing while also contributing to a fairer, more socially inclusive world.
Akhtar went on to say that they use their brands to improve peoples’ lives. For example, the company helped introduce about 80 per cent of the population to oral hygiene while also teaching more than 10 million school goers proper handwashing since the 1990s.
“We are now focusing on replicating these experiences for toilet hygiene, habit of safe water consumption and mental wellbeing as we identified these to be areas where there are barriers or taboos,” he added.
Industries Minister Humayun said the government is proud of its partnership with Unilever and so, they wish for the company’s overall success and expansion.
During its more than five-decade span of operations in Bangladesh, Unilever has been working with its partners to ensure social and environmental progress in the country as an ethical and responsible organisation.
“The company is working with about 1 million local entrepreneurs and as a result, it is making a huge contribution in creating employment,” he added.
British High Commissioner Dickson said there is a deep systemic crisis that affects everyone known as climate change.
“And we desperately need to bend the curve towards the reduction in CO2 emissions. Of all the companies I’ve worked with, I think Unilever has the most sustained, and mainstream commitment to this crucial agenda,” he added.
At the event, Unilever Bangladesh conveyed appreciation for its five partners: FRIENDSHIP, UNDP, Bhumijo, brac and PLAN International Bangladesh, which worked with the company to achieve its social commitments throughout 2021.

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