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Why we’ve updated our Climate Transition Action Plan


Our updated Climate Transition Action Plan (CTAP) sets out Unilever’s ambitious new climate targets. Discover how we’re focusing our efforts so we can deepen our impact by 2030, and why we believe taking urgent climate action now is good for our business in the long term.

Unilever employees walking next to solar panels.

Sustainability has been important to Unilever for many years and responding to climate change has been a key part of this. We’ve reduced our operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 74% since 2015, largely through our transition to renewable electricity, and we’ve also lowered the climate impact of our products.

But as we look to our long-term ambition of reaching net zero across our value chain, the challenges we’re facing are changing and our solutions need to change too. We’re entering an era which rightfully places more scrutiny on how and when corporate climate action happens and we needed to evolve our strategy so that by 2030 we can achieve deep cuts in the emissions outside our direct control, while simultaneously growing our business.

Making sure we focus our efforts

Over the years, we’ve learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t. We plan to use that experience, coupled with new developments in science, technology and innovation, and working in collaboration with others, to focus our efforts where we can have most positive impact.

Our updated Climate Transition Action Plan (CTAP), which was supported by 97.5% of our shareholders at our 2024 AGM, outlines our strategy for reducing emissions in the short term, while we also put in place the building blocks to deliver in the long term. It includes new stretching near-term science-based targets for lowering our GHG emissions by 2030, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, as well as ten action areas across our value chain.

CTAP is really important, because it enables us to understand where our emissions sit across our business and our value chain. We’ve now got time-bound costed roadmaps that enable us to take action in each of the business groups. That means less exposure to volatility in the energy markets and more security of supply in key crops and commodities.

Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer at Unilever

Driving urgent action: understanding return on investment

To accelerate our delivery, we want to make our CTAP integral to how we assess our business performance, setting key short-term deliverables, and hard-wiring the steps we need to take to reduce our emissions into our strategic planning and budget cycles. We’ve worked with each of our business groups to develop time-bound costed roadmaps, so that their targets and actions are embedded in their respective financial growth plans and, as extra incentive, we’re also linking rewards to the delivery of sustainability performance.

We’re already seeing some of the business benefits. Energy efficiency projects have saved Unilever well over €1 billion since 2008, and in recent years our regenerative agriculture projects have helped to build more resilient supply chains, reducing emissions and costs in the process.

But these returns do require upfront investment. Over the next three years, we will invest €150 million in our manufacturing decarbonisation programme, focusing on the decarbonisation of our thermal and electrical energy, increasing our use of renewable power, and reducing emissions from refrigeration. We’re also investing in protecting nature, putting €325 million into our Unilever oleochemicals facility in Indonesia, which will help us meet current and future demand for deforestation-free commodities. And we’re continuing to invest €1 billion in climate, nature and waste reduction projects by 2030 – of which we had already spent and committed €300 million by the end of 2023.

We will need to be more systemic in our advocacy

We know there are still challenges for delivering on our goals, some of which we cannot overcome without wider systems change. Within the CTAP, we’ve outlined our dependencies and how we will need to work with governments, regulators, industry and consumers to address barriers, drive innovation and scale solutions, now and in the years ahead.

Collaboration with key suppliers to accelerate climate action, with industry to find alternatives to chemical ingredients, with trade associations (PDF 1.39 MB) to align on our positions and with governments as we step up our advocacy will all help us to deliver our vision of a new era of sustainability leadership, under our Growth Action Plan.

By more forcefully using our voice and convening power to address enablers and blockers of our progress, we believe we can move faster towards our goals and help accelerate the transition to net zero – while also driving success for our business.

We can’t do this alone, we need others. Collaboration is at the heart of how we have approached sustainability so far – and that’s something I think we should keep on doing.

Hein Schumacher, CEO of Unilever

Watch Unilever's CEO Hein Schumacher and Chief Sustainability Officer Rebecca Marmot as they discuss the CTAP and explain the business case for urgent climate action.

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