In January 2020, Unilever Australia joined Unilever globally in switching to 100% renewable electricity to power all of its operations, well ahead of its end-2020 target. The majority of Unilever’s renewable electricity supply is met through a five-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with energy retailer Red Energy, which directly supports a number of wind and solar farms across NSW, Victoria & South Australia. The remainder is covered by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates.
Unilever Australia engaged Schneider Electric’s Energy and Sustainability Services Division as energy advisors to assist them in identifying market participants who would support their global commitment to have no carbon emissions from their own operations by 2030. Schneider Electric evaluated offers for PPAs from a financial and risk perspective, identifying a reliable counterpart and assisting in the negotiation of the final terms and conditions of the agreement.
As a result of making this switch, Unilever will reduce its greenhouse emissions by about 30,840 tonnes of CO2, each year. This is equivalent to the emissions generated by powering more than 3,600 Australian homes or 6,600 cars annually.
Unilever Australia and New Zealand CEO, Ms. Sparshott, explained:
“Our switch to renewable electricity is not only good for the environment, but it also makes good business sense by delivering a combination of flexibility, cost savings and certainty on energy costs. It also gives our consumers reassurance that they are purchasing sustainably produced products, for which demand is increasingly growing.
“This local milestone demonstrates how we are decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. But there is still more to be done and we recognize the ongoing urgency of addressing climate change. Our next step will be looking at electrifying more of our manufacturing processes and exploring alternatives to gas.”
Earlier this year, Unilever set out a range of new measures and commitments designed to improve the health of the planet by taking even more decisive action to fight climate change. Building on its existing science-based targets to have no carbon emissions from their own operations, and to halve the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of products across the value chain by 2030, Unilever will achieve net zero emissions from all products by 2039 – from the sourcing of materials, up to the point of sale in-store. For more information on Unilever’s bold commitments, see here: https://www.unilever.com.au/news/news-and-features/2020/unilever-sets-out-new-actions-to-fight-climate-change.html