Unilever launches second phase of sustainability scheme

Unilever’s personal and home care brands Radox, Domestos and Persil are to take centre stage in the second phase of its sustainability ‘social experiment’ launching this week.

‘Dirt is good’ ad from Unilever brand Persil

The Bathroom Challenge asks 12 UK households to find ways to reduce water and energy use and minimise bathroom waste while doing every day activities such as brushing teeth, washing hands and showering.

Participants will trial bathroom and laundry-related tools and be encouraged to adopt different behaviours to see which are more popular and effective. Unilever will then look at how to use the insights in its behaviour change marketing and product development.

Heating water for baths, showers and washing up accounts for almost a quarter (23 per cent) of household heating bills and one fifth of UK households’ carbon footprint, according to the Futures Company.

Unilever claims that every one minute less time spent in a power shower will save each person per household £29 a year – £116 for the typical UK family.

The FMCG firm, launched the six-month ‘Sustain Ability Challenge’ in November, asking 12 UK households to try to reduce the environmental footprint in their kitchens.

Unilever’s food brands including Knorr and Hellman’s provided information and tips to help consumers reduce waste and use food more responsibly.

Unilever hopes to show UK consumers that living responsibly does not cost more, and can actually save money.

Richard Wright, Unilever research and development director, says: “With both environmental and financial benefits on offer, the second stage of the Unilever Sustain Ability Challenge presents a great opportunity for both consumers and for our business. Almost 70 per cent of Unilever’s environmental footprint results from consumer use and disposal of our products, so we’re excited to learn even more about how we help consumers make sustainable choices that are easy, rewarding and habitual, and feed these insights back into our business.”

Keith Weed, Unilever’s CMO, has this week hit out at businesses using CSR to sell more products and services without embedding it throughout the business. He made his comments at a Chartered Institute of Marketing debate in the House of Commons.

Unilever has worked with The Futures Company, and SaveWaterSaveMoney to develop the Sustain Ability scheme.

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