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Thirteen billion-dollar brands, shockingly little waste.

With Unilever’s number of billion dollar brands totaling a baker’s dozen, it seems almost unavoidable that it would produce an ocean-size amount of waste. CEO Paul Polman, however, has disproved that notion. He reported this year that over 600 of its warehouses and distribution centers now send zero non-hazardous waste to landfills.

The waste reduction is part of the firm’s Sustainable Living Plan, introduced in 2010, with the goal of doubling the size of the business while cutting its environmental footprint in half. Last year, brands in the program grew 30% faster than the rest of the company, proving it’s also “good for the shareholders,” says Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, which advocates for sustainability policies. Oh, and that waste effort? It has saved over $280 million since 2008.

Company Information

Impact Segment
Environmental Impact
Household & Personal Products
Paul Polman
Company Type
Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$59,093
Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$5,445
Market Value ($M)$140,798