Unilever has announced that it will stop using coal energy by 2020, and plans to use only renewable energy by 2030. Unilever’s announcement comes ahead of COP21.
Unilever, along with 80 other companies, signed a pledge last month to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. The British-Dutch company said it is aiming to become “carbon positive” by 2030 through investing in producing more renewable energy than it requires, while selling the excess and making it available to markets and locals in areas where Unilever managed its operations, the Guardian reported.
“We obviously want Paris to be ambitious and successful,” Paul Polman, Unilever’s CEO, told the Guardian. “[It will be] if the agreement has the right things in there, like a zero goal, a decarbonization goal. I’m for 2050. Perhaps if we’re lucky they will say by the end of this century, but that’s a starting point.”
“If we don’t tackle climate change we won’t achieve economic growth. This is an issue for all businesses, not just Unilever. We all have to act,” Polman, said, in a statement, according to Reuters.
Sally Uren, CEO at Forum for the Future, said: “Renewables are now outcompeting fossil sources of energy for businesses around the world. Unilever’s commitments to end their use of coal and switch to 100% renewable electricity purchased from the grid by 2020, whilst moving to fully renewable sources for all energy by 2030, shows how confident they are about the benefits this will bring them.”
“The Paris climate talks come at a unique moment in which businesses are facing unprecedented risks from dangerous climate change, as well as immense potential benefits in avoiding it. Leading corporations are recognising the fact that individual action alone won’t be enough to avert the massive threats that unmitigated climate change poses for business and society. We need to see more pioneering businesses such as Unilever advocate for a deal in Paris that will give them and the rest of society a stable climate in which to flourish.”