How to Measure and Manage the Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Impact of a Global Multinational Company

  • Nicole Unger
  • Henry King
  • Siri Calvert
Conference paper


Unilever has recently launched its Sustainable Living Plan. It includes a target to halve the average per consumer use greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of the business by 2020. To set the GHG impact baseline for this target approximately 1600 representative products across 14 countries were measured, representing about 70 % of Unilever's sales. The results showed that less than 5 % of the product life cycle impacts occur in Unilever's own operations; the main contributors occur either with raw material suppliers or in the consumer phase. Thus, whilst programmes to reduce GHG emissions from manufacturing will continue, the largest reduction opportunity exists across the value chain. This paper will describe the approach taken to measure the GHG baseline and the challenges encountered as well as how the information and insights gained has helped guide Unilever's actions on GHG management across the value chain.


Life Cycle Assessment Life Cycle Assess Representative Product Life Cycle Thinking Marine Steward Council 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UnileverBedfordUK
  2. 2.UnileverLondonUK

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