Luc-Olivier Marquet, executive vice-president of Unilever SA, left, with Barbara Thomson, the national deputy minister of Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, and Phahle Phalane, the sourcing unit director at Unilever at the unveiling of Unilever’s biomass boiler.
Unilever unveiled a R50million biomass boiler at its Maydon Wharf factory in Durban on Tuesday.

The event, which also marked World Environment Day, was attended by the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson, and the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala.

Unilever South Africa executive vice-president Luc-Olivier Marquet said the biomass boiler would reduce CO2 emissions, waste-to-landfill, and ultimately the amount of electricity used in production at Maydon Wharf.

Marquet also symbolically signed the company’s global commitment to ensuring that all its plastic packaging would be fully reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.

“This undertaking has been made because of growing concerns about plastic pollution - and because it is the right thing to do.

“In 2017 we made an industry-leading commitment to ensure that all our plastic packaging is designed to be fully reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. We will also increase the recycled plastic content in our packaging to 25% by 2025.

“Our new biomass boiler at Maydon Wharf is illustrative of the seriousness of our commitment to sustainable living. We have previously unveiled our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which commits to reducing our environmental impact by half by 2020.

“This can only be achieved by putting sustainability at the core of our strategy. An important part of achieving these goals is to manage our electricity and water use, and to ensure that no non-hazardous waste goes to landfill. The biomass boiler is our latest step on this journey,” said Marquet.

“The boiler cost R50m to install, and we estimate that it will provide a saving per annum of around R17m. This will reduce the facility’s carbon footprint.

“The boiler will lead to a reduction of more than 30% in CO2 emissions, and is projected to save 14000 tons of CO2 every year,” said Marquet. - Mercury Reporter

The Mercury