The commitment makes Unilever the first global FMCG company to commit to sourcing all its paper and board packaging from sustainably managed forests or recycled material within a clearly defined timeframe.
Unilever will buy paper packaging that comes from well managed forests or from recycled material, whichever is best to ensure product quality. For the company’s requirements for paper from virgin sources, preference will be given to supplies delivered through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.
The move means the logos of the acceptable forest management certification schemes will begin to appear on the packaging of Unilever’s brands as progress is made towards reaching the target, in order to increase consumer awareness and promote the expansion of certified forests.
Says Marc Engel, Unilever’s chief procurement officer: ‘As a leading consumer goods company, we buy considerable quantities of paper and board for packaging to ensure our products are protected and transported safely. It’s important that we promote sustainable forestry practices and help combat deforestation and climate change through responsible sourcing. We’re committed to working in partnership with suppliers to increase the proportion of paper and board packaging which comes from recycled materials, or sustainably managed forests, in order to achieve this ambitious target.’
Unilever is a founding member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, which has some 160 members, including packaging users, producers and retailers. Unilever is also a member of EUROPEN (the European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment), and the Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Packaging Project.