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Under the supervision of the Saudi Environmental Agency, the Unilever Scientific Award in the field of environment was announced on Tuesday.

The announcement was made at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industy (JCCI) in the presence of Adnan Mandourah, secretary-general of the chamber; Khalid Ezziddeen Fayed, managing director and general manager, Binzagr Unilever; and officials of the Saudi Environmental Agency.

The award is to be promoted in public universities and colleges in the Kingdom.

The award consists of three categories: water rationalization, waste recycling and energy rationalization.

Unilever’s second annual meeting, held on Wednesday in Jeddah, showcased the recent developments on the “Unilever Sustainable Living Plan”, linked to the company’s overall sustainability strategy in the Kingdom, Middle East and Africa.

The plan includes the execution of action plans initiated in 2010. Linking Unilever’s business growth with living sustainability aims to achieve three important goals: expanding business while reducing environmental footprints, promoting environmentally friendly behaviors and encouraging scientific research related to environmental issues. 

Fayed said: “The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan has executed numerous qualitative change initiatives and vital partnerships developed in cooperation with government organization, development agencies and NGOs. “They target the local community. The phases of implementation are extended to 2020.”

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan has set three major goals by the end of 2020: helping more than a billion people around the globe to improve the level of their health and well being, reducing by half the environmental footprint of the company's products and operations, and sourcing 100 percent of agricultural raw materials sustainably and enhance the livelihoods of thousands of people around the world.

Since early 2012, Lifebuoy launched a series of educational and entertainment programs about the importance of hand washing.

The campaign targeted around 3.7 million people and educated them on the right way of washing hands. It reached people at schools, shopping malls, public spaces.

In the last Haj season, pilgrims were part of the target audience. During the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus in 2014, an awareness campaign was launched under Lifebuoy’s educational program. Hisham Abdul Wahab, supply chain director, Unilever, reiterated the importance of waste reduction, and said: “Binzagr Unilever’s plant is the first in Saudi Arabia that has zero fingerprint, i.e. zero waste.

“Unilever is proud to make this qualitative change, which is linked to reducing fingerprints resulting from the process of production and operations.

“Since 2008, Unilever has succeeded in reducing CO2 emissions by more than 38,000 tons; equivalent to the emissions of 8,000 vehicles.

“We also succeeded in saving about 80,000 m3 of water; equivalent to the capacity of 72 Olympic size swimming pools. “In terms of power, we made huge energy savings.

Unilever reached its target of having zero non-hazardous waste at its plant, way ahead of its 2020 target, in cooperation with employees and chain suppliers, he said.

Abdul Wahab said: “This transformation has taken place due to the recycling strategy adopted by the company for all kinds of waste such as plastic, paper and even leftovers.

“Starting 2008, Unilever has reduced waste going to landfill by 4,500 tons a year to reach 75,000 kg a month and then to 0 kg a month of hazardous waste. 

“This is a magnificent example of how we set our objectives for a brighter future. “It’s an example of how sustainability adds beauty to our lives.

“Unilever’s ‘zero waste’ implementation has resulted in creating more than 1,000 jobs through a range of waste recycling and reuse programs and helped us save costs of €200 million.”

Talking about raising the standards of living as part of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, Marketing Director Hussam Hattab said: “Unilever has launched the Bedaya Program to improve the improve the livelihood of female workers who have joined the program and reached 180 girls.

“The program was held in cooperation with Bab Rizq Jameel and the supervision of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies.”

Unilever has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Injaz Program, subsidiary of Junior Achievement Worldwide (JA). The agreement stipulates that both parties plan and execute volunteer programs.

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