Unilever buys first available certificates for sustainable soy oil

Unilever's Next Step in Sustainable Sourcing of Raw Materials

London - Rotterdam (June 8, 2011) – Unilever today announced a small but important step towards 100% sustainable sourcing of its agricultural raw materials by 2020. Unilever, a founding member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), bought some of the first available certificates for sustainable soy. This follows the recent introduction of the RTRS certification scheme.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Chief Supply Chain Officer Unilever said: “Certification is an essential first step towards sustainably grown soy and sourcing sustainably grown soy will help Unilever meet the environmental commitments in its Sustainable Living Plan. That’s why this first batch is so significant, both for the RTRS and Unilever.

“We can’t change agricultural practices across the world overnight, but by working closely with others – suppliers, farmers, NGOs, and other businesses – we can begin to precipitate change”.

Unilever Brazil bought certificates that cover 5,000 tonnes of sustainable soy oil – mainly for use in North and South America and specifically in dressings and margarine products. Unilever aims to stimulate farmers to move their agricultural practices towards the RTRS criteria. At the moment only one company has received certification. Global production in soy oil is around 40 million tonnes and Unilever buys around 1%.

Sustainable sourcing is an important part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. With this unique plan Unilever has set three goals to achieve by 2020 – halve the environmental footprint of its products, help more than one billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, and source 100 percent of its agricultural raw materials sustainably. Today’s milestone supports the commitment to sustainably source all our soy beans by 2014 and all soy oils by 2020.

For an overview of the sustainable sourcing commitments in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, please visit http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/sustainablesourcing/


About Unilever

Unilever works to create a better future every day. We help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in over 100 countries and sales in more than 180. Consumers buy 170bn Unilever packs around the world every year, and our products are used over two billion times a day.

Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most loved brands including twelve €1 billion brands, and global leadership in most categories in which we operate. The portfolio features iconic brands such as: Knorr, Dove, Lipton, Becel/Flora, Blue Band/Rama/Country Crock, Wall’s/OLA/ Langnese, Hellmann’s, Calvé, Unox, Pond’s, Lux, Axe/Lynx, Sunsilk, Vaseline, Rexona/Sure, Omo, Surf, Cif, Signal and Glorix/Domestos.

We have around 167,000 employees, and generated annual sales of €44.3 billion in 2010. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com

In November 2010, we launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan aiming to halve our overall environmental footprint. Unilever is Food Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for the 12th year running. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. We are also ranked 7th in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, a list compiled by Corporate Knights Magazine. We achieved Platinum Plus standard in the UK’s Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index 2009, and were named Company of the Year in 2010.

The Round Table on Responsible Soy

Established in 2006 in Switzerland, the RTRS is a multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to facilitate a global dialogue on soy production that is economically viable, socially equitable and environmentally sound. The RTRS’ more than 150 members include soybean growers, crushers, traders, food and feed manufacturers and civil society organisations. They work together to market certified soybeans that have been responsibly produced, and to maximise the amount of soybeans that can be RTRS certified. The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) has developed a set of principles and criteria which define the responsible production of soy. They ensure that the fundamental rights of previous land owners, local communities, workers, small farmers and their families are respected and fully taken into account, and that no new land of native habitat or high conservation value areas (forests) have been cleared for soy cultivation since May 2009. The RTRS principles and criteria also state that soybean farmers must adopt best management practices in order to minimise their environmental footprint.

General information on the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) can be found on the RTRS website www.responsiblesoy.org

Unilever NV

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