Unilever Turns Focus To Renewable Energy (NYSE:UL)

Unilever has announced a pledge to switch to using only renewable energy by 2030. The consumer goods maker also said that it would stop using energy from coal by 2020. The company aims to have renewables meet 50 percent of its energy needs by 2020 and is aiming for 100 percent by 2030. In 2014, 28 percent of its energy came from renewable energy sources.

Unilever says it is eager to make the switch to be completely powered by renewable energy. The company said it will seek to support renewable energy generation and will make any surplus available to markets and communities where it operates. Unilever says it has saved over $424 million since 2008 through eco-friendly measures.

World leaders are set to meet in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 to develop a plan to curb global warming. Many companies believe that there is a business case for sustainability. They say that tackling climate change is key to achieving economic growth. A group of business leaders want governments to commit to zero net emissions by 2050.

Businesses have been vocally highlighting their green credentials ahead of the global climate summit. Unilever was among 81 companies to set emissions targets for their businesses with the aim of limiting global warming. The aim is to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Other companies taking the pledge include Nestle and Procter & Gamble.

IKEA announced plans earlier this year to generate all the energy used in its shops and factories from clean sources by 2020. IKEA is currently the world’s biggest furniture retailer. Nestle highlighted its aim of using more renewable energy, although it has yet to set detailed targets. Unilever is embracing the switch to renewable energy even as its sales have fallen. In recent years, Unilever’s sales have slowed due to a weak margarine business and slowing emerging market economies.