What is Unilever’s new regenerative agriculture initiative?
A new sustainability initiative unveiled by Unilever to mark Earth Day outlines a wholesale rethink of the way the consumer goods giant aims to preserve and regenerate the natural environments in which it sources and grows raw ingredients.
Unilever describes the programme as “a new approach to farming that works in harmony with nature to ensure the long-term viability and resilience of land".
Dubbed the Regenerative Agriculture Principles, it outlines a renewed commitment that extends beyond minimising the environmental impact of its supply chain, instead focussing on improving the quality of soil and water, promoting the use of renewable sources, and other initiatives to help heal the deleterious effect of prolonged exploitation.
“The ingredients for most Unilever products come from nature, so the future of our business is inextricably linked to the preservation and regeneration of natural environments,” said Unilever Chief Procurement Officer Dave Ingram.
“Initiatives like this do more than just benefit the planet. To be considered successful, they should also benefit and improve the livelihoods of our farmers, their families and surrounding communities, creating a cycle of prosperity on our journey to make sustainable living commonplace.”
The initiatives core tenets
The Regenerative Agriculture Principles programme is centred around four key tenets that aim to propagate this “cycle of prosperity”. Each is tied to the renewal of natural resources and arable land, while supporting local communities and workers who bear the immediate impact of environmental damage. They are:
- Have positive impacts from agricultural practices on soil health, water and air quality, carbon capture and biodiversity
- Enable local communities to protect and improve their environment and wellbeing
- Produce crops with sufficient yield and nutritional quality to meet existing and future needs, while keeping resource inputs as low as possible
- Optimise the use of renewable resources while minimizing the use of non-renewable resources
“It is not enough for us to do less harm”
Unilever hopes to use its significant influence to “lead the transformation of global supply chains towards more sustainable and regenerative models”, sparking further reform in the way global businesses source and procure the vital ingredients for their products.
“It is not enough for us to do less harm,” says Hanneke Faber, President, Unilever Foods & Refreshment. “We’re now seeking out opportunities to do more good. With our scale and influence, we have a crucial role to play in leading the systemic change our planet is crying out for.”
DHL partners with Riversimple in sustainability move
Riversimple Movement, a Welsh hydrogen vehicle manufacturer, has found a new partner in the world's 11th largest employer: DHL Supply Chain. The two companies, who have recently signed an MoU, pledge to bring sustainable zero-emission vehicles to the UK, and their targets don’t stop there. The duo looks to be busy, with their sights set on developing sustainability initiatives, securing the necessary finances required to achieve the volume production of hydrogen vehicles, and designing and subsequent trialling of zero-emission transport.
DHL has already begun assisting its new partner in preparing for its first full-scale manufacturing facility, which will house the production of hydrogen-electric vehicles.
“It’s exciting to be partnering with a highly innovative company like Riversimple, which has sustainability at the heart of its mission,” says Managing Director of DHL Manufacturing Logistics UKI, Mike Bristow. “As the world’s leading logistics company, it is our responsibility to guide the industry to a sustainable future.”
DHL has recently launched “The Sustainability Playbook”, designed to create a roadmap to implement the next generation of global supply chain.
“Excellence. Simply delivered. In a sustainable way.”
As one of the leading drivers in global trade, DHL claims to be aware of its immense responsibility to steer innovation. Conscious of the impact their global operations have on the environment, the company initiated “Strategy 2025” - delivering excellence in the digital world. The goal: to focus increasingly on harnessing the potential for sustainable long-term growth and expanding the already-underway digital transformations within the business.
“Strategy 2025” aims to cumulatively invest €2bn in digitalisation through to 2025, in the hope that this will enhance customer experiences. They also predict a €1.5bn yearly run rate by FY’25.
Currently, DHL boasts a large green logistics portfolio, including carbon offsetting, green optimisation, and clean fuel and energy products, all as available ways to make the supply chain industry more sustainable.
“We have repeatedly redefined logistics, from introducing the industry’s first green product to becoming the first logistics company to commit to a zero-emissions target,” says DHL.
“In the past 15 years, we have continuously improved our carbon efficiency while introducing innovative green logistics solutions to make supply chains more sustainable and help our customers achieve their environmental goals.”
DHL move to lead supply chain sustainability
As the world’s 11th largest employer, and with around 570,000 employees worldwide, DHL is in a position to lead the supply chain towards a greener future. Its recent partnership with Riversimple hopes to inspire other companies within the industry to follow.
Hugo Spowers, Founder and Managing Director of Riversimple, acknowledges DHL’s commitment to sustainability.
“We’re very pleased to be collaborating with DHL to help us achieve mass production in the UK in the near term, and hopefully partner with us on a global level as we deliver our goal of systematically eliminating the environmental impact of personal transport.