Unilever has signed an agreement with the UK-based firm, GENeco, to supply its facilities in the UK and Ireland with waste-based biogas (biomethane).
Under the agreement, GENeco will supply biomethane to several of Unilever’s facilities, including those in Leatherhead, Surrey, London, Norwich, Cork, Trafford Park, helping them reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While at it, the company will produce the certified and fully traceable biogas from inedible food waste and sewage at its anaerobic digestion facility in Bristol.
Since 2008, the prominent consumer goods company has reduced its manufacturing greenhouse gas footprint by 39% per ton of production with its Sustainable Living Plan, which commenced in 2010. Stating the goals of her company to achieve sustainability, Unilever vice-president Sarah Newbitt said:
“One year ago, as world leaders came together for COP21 (the United Nations Climate Change Conference), for the first time Unilever made a time-bound commitment to making our sites carbon positive by 2030. This is a highly ambitious and stretching target which requires us to take small steps and look at all of our sites through a fresh, sustainability lens.
“However, we need to continue to go further and we hope to be able to build on this great foundation and eventually use the waste from our own operations as feed stock to truly support a circular economy.”
Expressing his opinion on the deal, GENeco managing director Mohammed Saddiq also stated:
“This deal marks a significant step change in the decarbonisation of UK industry and we are very pleased to be working with Unilever to help in their aims to become carbon positive.
“We believe that in order for the UK to meet the 2020 targets as defined in the Renewable Energy Directive, there will need to be an increasing role for biomethane in the UK’s heat networks.”
This agreement by the two companies came one year after Unilever announced its plans to become carbon positive by 2030.