Unilever shareholders to vote on climate change strategy

PA

Consumer goods giant Unilever has said it will put its climate strategy, designed to slash emissions within its operations and supply chain, to a vote by shareholders.

The Marmite and Ben & Jerry’s manufacturer has said it plans to reduce emissions to zero across its operations by 2030 and will reduce the average environmental footprint of its products by 50% by 2030.

It said it is the first time a major global company has voluntarily put its climate targets to a shareholder vote.

Unilever said it believes there needs to be a “greater and deeper level of engagement between companies and their investors about their climate transition plans” for economy-wide targets to be achieved.

It said it hopes the move will encourage other firms to follow suit.

Chief executive Alan Jope said: “Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and we are determined to play a leadership role in accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

“We have a wide ranging and ambitious set of climate commitments – but we know they are only as good as our delivery against them.

“That’s why we will be sharing more detail with our shareholders who are increasingly wanting to understand more about our strategy and plans.

“We welcome this increased transparency and, in the plan we present, we will be clear both about the areas in our direct control where we have a high degree of certainty of our route to net zero, as well as more challenging areas across our value chain where systemic solutions will be required to achieve our targets.”

Earlier this year, Unilever also said it plans to reduce emissions to zero from its original sourcing to the sale of its products by 2039.

Shares in the company moved 0.7% lower in early trading on Monday.

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