Unilever PLC (LON:ULVR) is to give shareholders the chance to vote on its action to reduce carbon emissions to zero.
In a statement on Monday, the consumer foods giant noted that it was the first time a company of its size had put climate transitions plans to a shareholder vote.
The Anglo-Dutch giant said that going forward it believes the push towards net-zero emissions will require a greater and deeper level of engagement between companies and their investors about climate transition plans.
“In setting out our plan, we hope this increased level of transparency and accountability will strengthen the dialogue with our shareholders and encourage other companies to follow suit.”
The FTSE100 company has already said it wants to achieve zero emissions from its own operations by 2030, a 50% reduction in the average footprint of its products by 2030 and net zero emissions from sourcing to point of sale. by 2039.
These targets will require the decarbonising the raw materials it sources, the use of 100% renewable energy, eliminating deforestation from its supply chain, and innovation and product reformulation through compaction and concentration.
In a statement, Alan Jope, Unilever CEO said, “Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and we are determined to play a leadership role in accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
“We have a wide-ranging and ambitious set of climate commitments – but we know they are only as good as our delivery against them. That’s why we will be sharing more detail with our shareholders who are increasingly wanting to understand more about our strategy and plans.”
The detailed plans will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2021 ahead of its AGM on May 5, though the company has already announced a plan to increase the amount of plant-based food product sales to €1bn over the next 5-7 years, a more than 500% increase.
This will include dairy-free ice cream and mayonnaise ranges from Ben & Jerry’s, Hellmann’s, Magnum and Wall’s.
Unilever has said it also wants to halve its food waste by 2025.