Lipton Factory sets UAE benchmark with Zero Waste status

Unilever’s Lipton Jebel Ali factory based in Dubai, UAE, has achieved its goal of sending zero waste to landfill.

This is a significant milestone for the plant, which is Unilever’s second largest tea production facility globally, producing an astonishing 1.2 million tea bags per hour to total 6 billion tea bags per year.

The factory, which in the past produced up to 450 tonnes or 5.4kg/tonne of waste a year requiring 31,000 sq metres of landfill space, is today generating 0 kg of waste/tonne. This reduction is the equivalent of saving 12,280 trees, and cutting back emissions by 904 tonnes.

“Sending zero waste to landfill is key to achieving our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which calls for halving our environmental footprint by 2020. This is a great example of how we are putting our sustainability strategy into action, by decoupling the growth of our business from its environmental impact. We have achieved this by applying the four R’s of reducing, reusing, recovering and recycling. For instance, tea dust is reused as fertilizers,” said Sanjiv Mehta, Unilever MENA Chairman.

As the last step of achieving zero waste to landfill, Unilever Gulf has installed a composting machine to treat the organic waste output. The machine was inaugurated during the recent visit of Paul Polman, Unilever Global CEO, to Dubai

Global Sourcing hub

With annualised production volumes increasing from 5000 Tonnes to 25,000 Tonnes in 10 years, this site is today a global tea-sourcing hub exporting to 47 countries worldwide.

“By reducing our environmental footprint while promoting business growth, we can ensure that increased product volumes don’t come at the expense of the environment. This enables us to sustainably deliver products to improve the consumer’s quality of life while actually reducing the waste and emissions in absolute terms,” Mehta added.

By end 2012, 130, or over 50 percent of Unilever factories globally, send zero non-hazardous waste to landfill. This is equivalent to removing more than one million household bins of waste every year.

Under its Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever announced that by 2020, global waste sent for disposal would be at or below 2008 levels - despite producing significantly higher volumes. Today, Unilever is stretching the original target even further by bringing the 2020 commitment 5 years forward. A total of 252 factories across the world will not send any non-hazardous waste to landfill by end of 2015.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Its products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by over 2 billion people on a daily basis. Unilever has 173,000 employees around the world, generating annual sales of €51 billion in 2012. Over half of the company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2011). Working to create a better future every day, Unilever helps people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

Unilever’s portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands such as Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s, Lux, Rama, Ponds and Axe.

Unilever’s ambition is to double the size of its business, whilst reducing its overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing its positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals are more than 50 time-based targets. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at

Unilever has been recognized in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. In 2011 Unilever led the Climate Counts Company Scorecard and for the second year topped the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan / SustainAbility latest annual survey (2012). The company is an employer of choice in many of the countries in which it operates and is seen as a symbol for innovation and leadership development.

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