When it comes to the consumer-manufacturer sustainability dance, it takes two to tango: manufacturers must make green products, and consumers must use them sustainably. Unilever, multi-national corporate owner of numerous food, beverage, and cleaning products, has taken the lead in its dance with consumers: the company is seeking to make consumer habits, as well as more of its products, more eco-friendly.
Unilever is aiming to push consumers to switch to concentrated formulas of several of its laundry brands (including Comfort, Persil, and Surf). When consumers make this switch, they will reduce the environmental impact of product production and consumption.
Unilever is expected to invest approximately 40 percent of its laundry research and development budget on concentrated and compact products, including those that perform well in quicker, cooler washing cycles (which reduce water and energy usage). The company will utilize several techniques to encourage consumers, including the launch of a website (containing tips on being environmentally friendly) this week and the inclusion of similar advice on product labeling this month.
The use-concentrates drive will be part of Unilever’s “Cleaner Planet Plan,” a sustainability strategy aimed at reducing its environmental impact within the laundry industry. Although Unilever has, by improving its manufacturing processes, cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 44 percent, waste by 70 percent, and water waste by 76 percent since 1995 (its Cleaner Planet Plan reports), the company expects to further minimize its environmental impact by improving consumer habits. 70 percent of the company’s laundry product carbon footprint, and 95 percent of its water impact, comes from consumers’ at-home laundering.
Unilever launched the strategy on the heels of a similar one launched by Procter & Gamble, one of its primary competitors.
The company is expected, Marketing Week reports, to begin the switch-to-concentrates push in the UK this week. It has not specified when it will begin the push internationally.