Unilever and Dutch dairy giant FrieslandCampina have expanded their existing sustainability partnership with a pledge to co-operate on development and innovation while promoting sustainable production, packaging, and logistics.
Unilever’s Joint Business Development Plan (JBDP) provides a clear framework of how the two companies will work together to support Unilever’s long term strategic business plans, including delivery of its Sustainable Living Plan commitment to reduce carbon emission, costs, and waste.
The firms will also look to improve logistics operations, by adopting innovative processes and sharing best practice globally.
The JBDP is part of Unilever’s ‘Partner to Win’ programme, which encourages closer ties with its key suppliers.
Netherlands-based dairy co-operative FrieslandCampina supplies Unilever with ingredients such as butter, butter oil, cream in aerosol cans, and ingredients for ice cream, soups, and sauces.
According to Unilever, working closely with its suppliers is essential if it is reduce its overall environmental impact.
“For Unilever, it is essential that we work closely together with our strategic suppliers in order to achieve our ambition of doubling the size of the company and halving our environmental impact – we cannot do this alone,” said Unilever’s senior vice president of R&D operations, Hans Dröge.
“Royal FrieslandCampina and Unilever have worked together for many years now and both organisations share the same values, passion and goals. This is why we have chosen Royal FrieslandCampina as preferred supplier for dairy and dairy ingredients to support our plans to sustainably grow our business,” Dröge added.
FrieslandCampina director of sustainability affairs, Frank van Ooijen, added that both firms believe it is imperative that expansion is achieved in a sustainable manner.
“Unilever and FrieslandCampina are each seeking growth in Asian and African markets. For both organisations, it’s imperative that expansion is achieved in a sustainable manner.”
“Our member dairy farmers are therefore involved in various projects to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Joining forces will help both Unilever and FrieslandCampina to fulfil their ambitions and to achieve their sustainability goals,” said van Ooijen.
Sustainable dairy products
The JBDP agreement follows the November 2011 launch of a project by Unilever and FrieslandCampina with the aim of boosting the availability of sustainable dairy products.
The agreement focused on areas including animal welfare, energy use, waste management and a reduction in FrieslandCampina’s carbon footprint.
Farms operated by FrieslandCampina co-operative member farmers were also assessed against the Unilever benchmark. Through these assessments, it was intended that Unilever would be able to buy sustainable dairy ingredients from FrieslandCampina before the end of 2012.
The sustainability partnership runs alongside Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan and FrieslandCampina’s route2020 sustainability strategy.