Unilever commits to U.S. Food Waste Challenge as founding participant
Company joins national initiative to reduce, recover and recycle food waste.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ (June 4, 2013) – Consumer packaged goods giant Unilever, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other founding participants, today announced the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, an initiative to take actions to address food waste in the U.S.
“We are excited to support this important U.S. initiative which aligns closely with our business’ war on waste, our effort to promote global food security, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, where we have committed to significantly reduce waste and to source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably,” said Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America.“To have a truly sustainable food supply, we must work together to take action to reduce the high levels of food waste in our society, which would have social, economic and environmental benefits.”
At the U.S. Food Waste Challenge Announcement, Kruythoff said Unilever is taking actions in its own operations and it's value chain to address food waste:
- Zero Waste to Landfills. In 2013 Unilever hit its target for zero non-hazardous waste to landfill, including food waste, from its 22 U.S. factories and the company’s U.S. head offices. At each site, employee-led teams are in place to continuously identify ways to reduce waste or to divert it from landfills through donations, recycling/composting, or converting waste into energy. Since 2010, Unilever has diverted 11 million pounds of food products to partners Feeding America and Feed the Children.
- Reducing Loss in Agricultural Supply Chain. At the end of 2012, Unilever sourced 36% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably, on its way to the goal of 100% by 2020. The company will be working with its U.S. agricultural suppliers to follow a waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle/compost, energy recovery, or disposal, which is one of the indicators of the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code.
- Engaging Consumers and Customers. Unilever will conduct at least three education initiatives over the next year in the U.S. to support its consumers and customers in reducing food waste. Among these initiatives, Unilever is partnering with Recyclebank, a digital platform that provides incentives to consumers for taking green actions, to sponsor a learning module to provide consumers with creative ways to minimize food waste. Unilever’s food brands will engage consumers on delicious ways to enjoy rather than waste leftovers. The Unilever Food Solutions business, which supplies food products to food service and restaurant professionals, will work with industry and external partners through “United Against Waste,” an initiative to help operators reduce food waste and save money at the same time.
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