Global consumer brands company Unilever announced today the launch of the Unilever Climate Promise, an invitation for its suppliers to set a public target to halve absolute GHG emissions by 2030.

The Unilever Climate Promise is open to all of the company’s 56,000 suppliers and it asks willing companies to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, report openly on their progress, and share their emissions and footprint data with the company.

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The new program augments Unilever’s existing climate-related sustainability goals, including 2030 targets to achieve zero emission from its own operations, and a 50% reduction in the average footprint of its products. Last year, Unilever also introduced targets to reach net zero emissions from sourcing to point of sale by 2039, and to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023.

Dave Ingram, Chief Procurement Officer at Unilever, said:

“More and more climate-conscious companies are recognizing that the majority of GHG emissions in their value chains come from outside their own operations. Through our Climate Promise, we’re finding new ways to support our partners to measure, reduce and report on emissions in their own value chains, so that together, we may scale and accelerate our progress for the climate and help make sustainable living commonplace.”

According to Unilever, raw and packaging materials account for more than half of the company’s direct value chain emissions. The company mapped these sources to determine where most emissions arise by material type and used that information to identify 300 suppliers that contribute around two-thirds of the company’s upstream scope 3 footprint.

Unilever stated that even though it encourages all suppliers to consider their emissions, the company will these 300 suppliers through a newly launched Unilever Climate Programme, providing hands-on guidance and access to tools and resources. The program will begin with a pilot involving around 40 companies and plans to reach the 300 from 2023 onward.

Ingram, added:

“When we assess the urgency of climate challenges and the scale of emissions from our upstream value chain, it becomes clear we also need to motivate the entire business sector if we are to collectively achieve the 1.5°C ambition and to halve emissions before 2030, to be able to deliver the Paris Agreement.”