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10 Oct 2012


Climate & Environment
Sustainable Dev.

Unilever announced yesterday a new project part-funded by the EU which will reduce the distance its trucks drive on Europe's roads by around 200 million kilometres annually by the end of 2014, compared to 2010 levels.

The company's new transport management scheme will help to significantly reduce the

impact that Unilever's supply chain has on the environment and Europe's roads network.

Under an agreement signed with the European Commission, a new network of transport hubs will be established across Europe and managed by Unilever’s existing operations centre in Katowice, Poland. The project will use cutting edge technology to maximise the load efficiency of the trucks in use.

The scheme is the largest project of its size and scope in the EU, and will make a significant contribution to the delivery of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), which has set out the company's ambition to double the size of its business while reducing its environmental impact.

As part of the USLP, Unilever has committed to ensuring that its CO2 emissions from its global logistics network will be at or below 2010 levels by 2020 - despite the significantly higher production volumes that will be generated as the company grows. This will represent a 40% improvement in CO2 efficiency.

It is estimated that by the end of 2014, the project will remove annually the equivalent of

around 154,000 truck voyages between Brussels and Warsaw or more than 260,000 truck voyages between Berlin and Brussels, compared to 2010 levels. Traffic reduction should happen in almost all EU member states, with particular impact in highly congested areas.

Fewer trucks on the European roads network will also result in less carbon emissions. By the end of 2014, the project also expects to reduce the carbon emissions from our logistics network by around 15,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, compared to 2010 levels.

Jan Zijderveld, President of Unilever Europe, said: “This project is a major step forwards in the delivery of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. Reducing the number of kilometres that our trucks need to travel will result in a significant reduction in the environmental impact of our supply chain operations. But the business benefits of this initiative are equally important and they demonstrate, once again, the business case for driving sustainability into our business. Not only will this reduce our carbon emissions, but the long-term savings we will generate as a result of the reduced kilometres driven will help us become even more efficient and cost effective."

Unilever's logistics centre in Katowice will operate a network of regional hubs located

across Europe. Each hub will be responsible for reducing the number of vehicle kilometres driven by ensuring that trucks are fuller as they travel across Europe from suppliers to factories and from factories to warehouses.

Marco Polo is the EU funding programme for logistic operators that are committed to the sustainable transport of goods across Europe. Between 2003 and 2009 over 500 firms received project funding. The second Marco Polo programme runs from 2007 to 2013 with an expanded budget and even greater ambition. Traffic avoidance is one of its key priorities.

In 2011, Unilever achieved an 8% improvement in the CO2 efficiency of its transport

operations compared to 2010.

Notes to Editors:

For more information contact the Unilever office in Brussels, Mr. Dick Toet on +32491721820 or


About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with operations in over 100 countries and sales in 190. Consumers buy 170 billion Unilever packs around the world every year, and our products are used over two billion times a day. We have more than 171,000 employees, and generated annual sales of €46.5 billion in 2011.

Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most loved brands including thirteen €1 billion brands, and global leadership in most categories in which we operate. The portfolio features iconic brands such as: Knorr, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Dove, Vaseline, Omo, Cif, Signal and Domestos.

Unilever’s ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental impact (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal). We are also committed to doing what we can to improve health, nutrition and hygiene, with a target to help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, as well as sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020. All of these goals are itemised in around 60 time-based commitments in our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Unilever has led the Food Producers sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 13 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 was named #1 in the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders according to the latest survey findings from GlobeScan Inc. and SustainAbility Ltd.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit


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