Unilever Gives Back 296000 Liters of Water to the Community Every Day!

Unilever Gives Back 296000 Liters of Water to the Community Every Day!

September 29, 2015

In 2008 Unilever Bangladesh Limited embarked on a remarkable journey of giving back to the society wherever they operate. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan or USLP led to the Company setting the ambitious target of halving its consumption of water, from 5400liters of water per ton of production in 2008 to 2750liters of water per ton of production by 2020. Unilever Bangladesh has recently announced that it has achieved that target 6 years ahead, saving a total of 650 million liters of water from its manufacturing plant at Kalurghat, Chittagong since 2008. This is more than what is required to meet the drinking water requirement of every Bangladeshi in the country for 2 days!

Factory

72500 Bangladeshis can comfortably finish their cleaning, cooking, washing and drinking needs with the amount of water saved from Unilever’s Rain Water Harvesting system!

To achieve this feat the Company went through some drastic transformation of technology, processes and human behaviour. In the first year Unilever managed to reduce water consumption by 6.1%, simply through reevaluating their existing manufacturing process. The Company then inspired teams of engineers within their employees to design water efficiency programs. Big solutions came forward leading to their water consumption to drop sharply to 2750liters of water per ton of production in 2015 – a humungous drop of 50%, as set out by their ambition. 

“Even though we have reached our target, we will continue innovating and continue giving back water to the community, by using less and less of it in our manufacturing process” – Aminur Rahman, Supply Chain Director at Unilever Bangladesh

Heavy investment and high efficiency solutions such as the Reverse Osmosis Plant or the Rain Water Harvesting System were used to drive down the water consumption. The Rain Water Harvesting system, which collects and uses rain water in the Company’s manufacturing process, helped save more than 4.5 million liters of water since its initiation in September 2013.

With this amount of water 72500 Bangladeshis can comfortably finish their cleaning, cooking, washing and drinking needs for a day! The Effluent Treatment Plant whichreduces water usage by purifying and reusing the water from the manufacturing process helps save a whopping 35 millionliters of water every year.

“Our desire is to pass on the philosophy with which we make our products to the users of these products,” says Aminur Rahman, Supply Chain Director of Unilever Bangladesh, “if we could all be a little more diligent in the way we use water, there would not be such a water crisis across the country or the world.” 

Related: Green Business

More initiatives are being put in place by the passionate team at Unilever Bangladesh. Aminur Rahman says “even though we have reached our target, we will continue innovating and continue giving back water to the community, by using less and less of it in our manufacturing process.” He says that is how Unilever will ensure a sustainable future for itself and for the people for whom they make their products.   

The Company’s next project is collecting rain water from the adjacent open ground to their factory. This they will feed into their manufacturing process, making use of less ground water, which will in turn allow more than 300,000 Bangladeshis to obtain water for their daily needs.

Unilever Sustainable Living Plan

Launched in 2010, the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is Unilever’s blueprint for sustainable growth. The Plan is helping to drive profitable growth, reduce costs and fuel innovation. The Plan sets out three big goals.

  1. IMPROVING HEALTH AND WELL-BEING for more than 1 BILLION By 2020
  2. REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT of making and use of our products by 1/2 by 2020
  3. ENHANCING LIVELIHOODS for MILLIONS By 2020 as we grow our business.

By the end of 2014, four years into the USLP, Unilever Bangladesh has,

  • helped 17.8 MILLION people to improve their hygiene habits with the Lifebuoy hand washing program
  • provided safe drinking water to 1.4 MILLION people with Pureit
  • completely ELIMINATED waste to landfill from their factory in Kalurghat, Chittagong
  • HALVED water consumption in manufacturing at their Kalurghat factory, compared to 2008 levels

To learn more about the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan please visit www.unilever.com.bd

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