Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Unilever gives back 2,96,000 litres of water to the community every day

Update : 22 Sep 2015, 12:11 PM

In 2008 Unilever Bangladesh Limited embarked on a remarkable journey of giving back to the society wherever they operate. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan or USLP led to the company setting the ambitious target of halving its consumption of water, from 5,400 litres of water per ton of production in 2008 to 2,750 litres of water per ton of production by 2020. Unilever Bangladesh has recently announced that it has achieved that target six years ahead, saving a total of 650 million litres of water from its manufacturing plant at Kalurghat, Chittagong since 2008. This is more than what is required to meet the drinking water requirement of every Bangladeshi in the country for two days!

To achieve this feat the company went through some drastic transformation of technology, processes and human behaviour. In the first year Unilever managed to reduce water consumption by 6.1%, simply through reevaluating their existing manufacturing process. The company then inspired teams of engineers among their employees to design water efficiency programmes. Big solutions came forward leading to their water consumption to drop sharply to 2,750 litres of water per ton of production in 2015 – a humungous drop of 50%, as set out by their initial goals.

Heavy investment and high efficiency solutions such as the Reverse Osmosis Plant or the Rain Water Harvesting System were used to drive down the water consumption. The Rain Water Harvesting system, which collects and uses rain water in the company’s manufacturing process, helped save more than 4.5million litres of water since its initiation in September 2013.

With this amount of water 72,500 Bangladeshis can comfortably finish their cleaning, cooking, washing and drinking needs for a day. The Effluent Treatment Plant which reduces water usage by purifying and reusing the water from the manufacturing process helps save a whopping 35million litres of water every year.

“Our desire is to pass on the philosophy with which we make our products to the users of these products,” says Aminur Rahman, supply chain director of Unilever Bangladesh, “if we could all be a little more diligent in the way we use water, there would not be such a water crisis across the country or the world.”

More initiatives are being put in place by the passionate team at Unilever Bangladesh. Aminur Rahman says, “Even though we have reached our target, we will continue innovating and continue giving back water to the community, by using less and less of it in our manufacturing process.” He says that is how Unilever will ensure a sustainable future for itself and for the people for whom they make their products.

The company’s next project is collecting rain water from the adjacent open ground to their factory. They will then feed this water into their manufacturing process, making use of less ground water, which will in turn allow more than 300,000 Bangladeshis to obtain water for their daily needs.

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