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Use of Life Cycle Assessment by Unilever Benefits and Consequences PowerPoint Presentation
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Use of Life Cycle Assessment by Unilever Benefits and Consequences

Use of Life Cycle Assessment by Unilever Benefits and Consequences

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Use of Life Cycle Assessment by Unilever Benefits and Consequences

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  1. Unilever SEAC Use of Life Cycle Assessment by Unilever Benefits and Consequences P J McKeown Safety and Environment Assurance Centre Unilever Life Cycle Assessment of Food Products Technological Institute, Aarhus 8th February 2001

  2. Unilever SEAC Outline of Presentation Unilever - Who are they? Unilever Environment Policy and Strategy Life Cycle Assessment - supporting the strategy

  3. Unilever SEAC Unilever - Who are they? Multinational organisation >275,000 employees Factories in >90 countries Sales in over 150 Countries Main product categories Foods and Home and Personal Care Products

  4. Unilever SEAC Unilever - Foods Brands

  5. Unilever SEAC Unilever Environment Policy Unilever is committed to meeting the needs of customers and consumers in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner, through continuous improvement in environmental performance in all our activities

  6. Unilever SEAC Unilever Environment Policy • Measure and report environmental performance of manufacturing sites • Target setting - continuous improvement • EMS - all sites audited with improvement plans • Moving towards external accreditation - ISO 14001

  7. Unilever SEAC Unilever Environment Strategy • Eco-efficiency in the supply chain • Eco-innovation in products and services • Sustainable Development Initiatives • Communication • Life Cycle Assessment helps to support the Strategy

  8. Unilever SEAC Eco-efficiency in the Supply Chain Historically - main focus of environmental improvements on own processes LCA applied to many of our product systems • Started in late 1980s • Identify areas of significant environmental impact • Quantify Unilever’s contribution to the total impact • Broaden focus of environmental improvements

  9. Unilever SEAC Example Product Systems Studied Using LCA • Frozen vegetables • Ice Cream • Tea • Tomato-based sauce • Margarine and spreads • Laundry products • Household cleaners • Shower gels • Toothpaste

  10. Unilever SEAC Position of Unilever in Food Supply Chain Primary Raw Material Extraction Agriculture Raw Material Processor Unilever Factory Distribution/Retail Network Consumer

  11. Unilever SEAC Frozen Vegetable Life Cycle FERTILISERS PESTICIDES DIESEL FUEL LAND, WATER GREENHOUSE GASES RUN-OFF LEACHATE VEGETABLE AGRICULTURE ENERGY ELECTRICITY NATURAL GAS WATER VEGETABLE PROCESSING FACTORY WATER POLLUTION SOLID WASTE PACKAGING MATERIALS EMISSIONS REPACK PROCESS FOR PEAS ELECTRICITY TRANSPORT FUELS RESOURCES FROZEN PRODUCT IN COLD STORE DISTRIBUTION / RETAIL PACKAGING WASTE FUELS CONSUMER TRANSPORT AND STORAGE WATER FUELS ELECTRICITY ELECTRICITY NATURAL GAS CONSUMER USE / WATER HEATING PACKAGING WASTE

  12. Unilever SEAC Outcome of Food LCA Studies Many impacts occur both upstream and downstream of our operations To achieve significant improvements and benefits for the environment a new approach was required: • Engage in partnership with the supply chain • Educate consumer

  13. Unilever SEAC Eco-innovation in Products and Services • Awareness raising - product developers/marketing • Integrate eco-efficiency into design • Include environmental considerations in innovation awards • Improve understanding of consumer attitudes • Work in partnership with industry and retail trade

  14. Unilever SEAC Integrate Eco-efficiency into Design • Use of existing tools to assess environmental impact of innovation projects • Development of a range of tools for use at decision points in Innovation Process Model • Pilot the use of eco-efficiency parameters to enhance creativity

  15. Unilever SEAC Innovation Process Model Decision gates LAUNCH Post Launch Evaln. Launch Prepn. Feasibility Capability Rollout Ideas Full LCA Screening LCA Checklist/ Matrix Environmental Assessment Tools

  16. Unilever SEAC Making Tools Available • LCA - Currently “niche” application • Often seen as “time-consuming”, “expensive” .. • Life cycle approaches must be simplified and made available • Web tool being developed for product/process developers

  17. Unilever SEAC LCA Web Tool EXPERT / SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR (SEAC LCA) Remote PC plus Web browser (e.g. IE5) Create product templates, control panels, standard report formats, database maintenance and access control Experts use system for LCA studies Windows NT Server (Port Sunlight) LCA Web application and tools (to create control panels and standard report formats) Product System Templates, TEAM™ Software, Databases Request submitted via WEB using standard Control Panel Results returned via WEB in selected standard format END USER (Trained) Remote PC plus Web browser (e.g. IE5)

  18. Unilever SEAC Sustainable Development Initiatives Unilever committed to 3 sustainable development themes • Sustainable Fisheries • Sustainable Agriculture • Clean Water Stewardship

  19. Unilever SEAC Background to Sustainability - OBIA Overall Business Impact Assessment (OBIA) - Unilever Imprint • LCA of Unilever’s Global Business • Convert to relevant potential environmental impacts • Scale using estimated total global potential environmental impacts • Compare with normalised economic value added (sales/global GDP) • Identify areas of potential un-sustainability

  20. environment impact less than economic value added Unilever’s Contribution to Environmental Performance Indicators 6 = sales as proportion of Global GDP 5 Bars = Unilever potential impact as proportion of estimated total global potential impact 4 3 environment impact more than 2 economic value added 1 0 solid waste ozone depletion energy acidification nutrification global warming photochemical smog SEAC Unilever

  21. Sustainable Agriculture • The supply chain for over 2/3 of Unilever’s raw materials starts at farms or plantations • There are many problems associated with intensive agricultural systems • Loss of soil fertility • Reduction in biodiversity • Use of water (over 70% of global water abstraction used in agriculture) • Decline in quality of rural life

  22. Unilever SEAC Sustainable Agriculture Pilot Projects • Black leaf tea • Peas • Spinach • Tomatoes • Palm Oil • Other oil seeds

  23. Unilever SEAC LCA and Sustainable Agriculture • LCA methodology applied to each sustainable agriculture pilot crop • Provides understanding of environmental impacts across agricultural supply chains • Places Agricultural stage in context with rest of supply chain • Aids in the development of sustainability indicators

  24. Approach to Sustainability Indicators • Produce high-yield crops while minimising losses during harvest and processing; increase nutritional quality while keeping the amount of inputs (e.g. fertilisers and pesticides) as low as possible • Ensure that soil fertility, water, biodiversity and air are not adversely affected • Use as many renewable resources as possible and minimise the use of non-renewables • Enable communities to protect and improve their well-being and environments

  25. Unilever SEAC Sustainable Agriculture Ten Key Indicators: • Soil Fertility & Health • Soil Loss • Nutrients • Pest Management • Biodiversity • Product Value • Energy • Water • Social and Human Capital • Local Economy

  26. Clean Water Stewardship • Water is used in the supply chain of our ingredients • Water is used in Unilever factories • Water is a vital ingredient in many of our products • Consumers often need water to use our products

  27. Unilever SEAC LCA and Clean Water Stewardship • Water imprint undertaken based on OBIA approach • Regional assessment is now being undertaken • Based on Life Cycle approach across supply chain

  28. Unilever SEAC Communication and LCA Internal • Awareness Raising • Innovation support External • Trade • Regulators • European Commission • Industry • Corporate Environment Report • Unilever Internet Site • Conferences, Presentations • Brochures, publications

  29. Unilever SEAC Summary (1) Individual Product LCA • Identify significant environmental aspects across the life cycle of products • Place Unilever contribution in context • Aid in Internal communication and awareness raising • Support for new product launch (PR) • Uptake of environmental aspects in product development/innovation (ecodesign) • Tool development to extend use of LCA to a wider audience (web)

  30. Unilever SEAC Summary (2) Strategic Level - LCA • Assessment of Unilever’s global environmental impact • Contributed to the initiation of the Sustainable Development projects • Life cycle approach is integral to certain aspects of the Sustainable Development projects • LCA as a tool and concept is a key, integral component of Unilever’s environmental strategy