CASE STUDY

United Kingdom

Unilever PLC

APPROACH AND KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

At Unilever, we have been working to deliver a sustainable deforestation-free supply chain, especially for the raw materials with the highest environmental and social risks, such as palm oil. By the end of 2023, we achieved a remarkable 97% deforestation-free score for our direct palm oil supply chain, independently verified. We're a leading buyer of certified palm oil and smallholder credits, supporting responsible production. With over 25,000 smallholders mapped, our inclusive approach fosters sustainable livelihoods and environmental stewardship. Moving forward, we'll continue to drive innovation and collaborate for a more sustainable future.

Roadblocks and solutions

Our progress in achieving sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil highlights the challenges, particularly in securing enough sustainable palm kernel oil. To enact meaningful change, we've moved beyond relying solely on limited certified sources. Instead, we're engaging with independent mills and smallholders, often overlooked in certified supply chains. By directly purchasing from mills, we drive demand for sustainable production, incentivising smallholders and mills to adopt higher standards. This approach fosters inclusive supply chains, ensuring that smallholders aren't marginalised in an ever-changing industry landscape.

Action Plan for the next 5 years

Unilever remains steadfast in our commitment to sustainability, collaborating with partners and industry peers to implement our People and Nature Policy for a sustainable palm oil supply chain.

  • We will continue to invest in our infrastructure to sustain and strengthen the impact of our deforestation free supply chain.
  • We will leverage technology partnerships to drive exponential progress in traceability and transparency.
  • We will seek to strengthen and expand our impact on sustainable livelihoods through our investment in smallholder development hubs working with 40,000 smallholder farmers.
  • Advancing change beyond our own supply chain with our strategy to invest in landscape and jurisdictional approaches that seek to protect and restore natural ecosystems, drive responsible production at scale and empower whole communities.
  • Invest in product innovation and reformulation to ensure growth with diversified and sustainable feedstocks and manage a just transition to net zero.

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