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21 Nov 2015

David Gelles, New York Times

Unilever Finds That Shrinking Its Footprint Is a Giant Task

…As chief executive of Unilever…[Paul] Polman has made sustainable production…the company’s top priority…Not only does the Unilever sustainable living plan pledge to cut the company’s environmental impact in half by 2020, it also vows to improve the health of one billion people and enhance livelihoods…while doubling Unilever’s sales…Unilever’s factories are emitting 37 percent less emissions than in 2008…Waste going to landfills is down 85 percent…revenue is up 22 percent since Mr. Polman took over…He worked with the United Nations to shape…sustainable development goals and will…rally business leaders at the...conference in Paris…[A]mong Mr. Polman’s many goals is ensuring that all its soy…is sourced from sustainable farms by 2017…By participating in the program, [growers] receive an extra 10 cents a bushel of soybeans…have access to additional state subsidies…and receive education about sustainability…Unilever has pledged to take responsibility for the behavior of its consumers, who account for 70 percent of its environmental impact…