Unilever to Stop Using Oil, Gas to Make Cleaning Products

Unilever to Stop Using Oil, Gas to Make Cleaning Products
Unilever headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands (Photo: Reuters)

Unilever Plc will invest €1 billion ($1.2bn) to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in the production of its cleaning products by 2030, the British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company said in its Wednesday press release.

The household goods conglomerate, producing such brands as Cif, Dove and Domestos, said the company would substitute petrochemicals in its products with constituents created from plants and other biological sources, marine sources such as algae, and waste materials.

"As an industry, we must break our dependence on fossil fuels, including as a raw material for our products," said Peter ter Kulve, President of the conglomerate's Home Care division. "We must stop pumping carbon from under the ground when there is ample carbon on and above the ground — if we can learn to utilize it at scale."

Unilever said the €1 billion investment would be used to finance biotechnology research and carbon dioxide utilisation, and create biodegradable and water-efficient product formulations.

According to the company, its products are used by 2.5 billion people each day in 190 countries around the world and seven out of 10 households around the world own at least one product from its 400 brands.