Unilever has pledged to ditch the use of virgin fossil fuels in its cleaning and laundry products by 2030, as it commits €1 billion towards its ‘Clean Future’ strategy.

The company will instead look to develop formulations using ingredients sourced from renewable and recycled carbon through its ‘Clean Future’ strategy, which encompasses both manufacturing and packaging.

Popular lines including OMO (Persil), Sunlight, Cif and Domestos will be included in the move and is another step in Unilever’s commitment to reach net zero emissions from products by 2039.

Unilever’s Home Care President Peter ter Kulve said Clean Future is the company’s vision to overhaul its business, adding that reducing carbon emission was something the industry as a whole should look to.

“As an industry, we must break our dependence on fossil fuels, including as a raw material for our products. We must stop pumping carbon from under the ground when there is ample carbon on and above the ground – if we can learn to utilise it at scale,” Mr ter Kulve said.

“We’ve seen unprecedented demand for our cleaning products in recent months and we are incredibly proud to play our part helping to keep people safe in the fight against Covid-19. But that should not be a reason for complacency. We cannot let ourselves become distracted from the environmental crises that our world – our home – is facing. Pollution. destruction of natural habitats. The climate emergency. This is the home we share and we have a responsibility to protect it.”

The company has invested €1 billion for the strategy, which will go towards biotechnology research, low carbon chemistry, product formulations and to reduce the use of virgin plastic. This is in addition to the €1 billion it put towards its Climate and Nature fund, announced in June. The new funds will go towards biotechnology research, low carbon chemistry, creating biodegradable formulations and reducing the company’s use of virgin plastic.

Unilever is already working on international initiatives through the Clean Futures fund, including partnering with a Slovakian company to produce a biodegradable surfactant which is used in its Sunlight products in Vietnam and Chile.

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