Unilever to purchase International Renewable Certificates (I-RECs) as a part of global renewable ambition

Unilever has for the first time bought traceable renewable electricity in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Africa, a total of 100,000 MWh. Through a collaboration with ECOHZ, Unilever is one of the first major international corporations to secure its renewable energy consumption to this extent using the pioneering International REC Standard.

Building on similar schemes in North America and Europe, I-REC is a new global standard for documenting renewable energy consumption. It is available in a growing number of countries where there was previously no established system available and meets the robust criteria from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and RE100 – the global campaign for 100% renewable energy.

This is an important step on Unilever’s journey to be Carbon Positive by 2030. This ambitious target means 100% of the total energy across its operations will come from renewable sources and it will directly support the generation of more renewable energy than it needs.

“Reliable access to affordable and sustainable renewable energy is critical if we want to realise the Paris Agreement. In our own operations, increasing renewables and decreasing emissions is a priority to becoming Carbon Positive by 2030. We are pleased to have partnered with ECOHZ, allowing us to secure renewable electricity in markets where this was previously impossible. This is an important part of our overall renewable energy programme and puts us firmly on track to meet our 2020 target of sourcing 100% renewable grid electricity,” says Unilever

“Unilever’s move sets a great standard for other major international companies. With I-REC it is now possible to take renewable energy sourcing to another level globally. We are delighted to partner with Unilever helping them reach their 2030 goal”, says Tom Lindberg, Managing Director at ECOHZ.

“Going 100% renewable is just good business sense. That’s why more than 80 major corporates, including Unilever, have joined our RE100 campaign and committed to 100% renewable power. It’s great to see Unilever pushing hard to achieve its target, demonstrating that smart business leadership and bold climate action go hand in hand,” says Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group.

“It is inspiring to see Unilever taking another bold step towards their goal of 100% renewable energy. By being first movers in these new renewable certificates markets, Unilever is sending a clear signal that companies want traceable, credible renewable electricity. Their size and reputation will help spur the creation of new markets for low-carbon energy globally. We urge other leading companies committed to clean power to follow suit” says CDP.


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Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €53.3 billion in 2015. Over half (58%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan commits to:

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2016 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the sixth year running. Unilever was ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard in 2016 for the second year.