Unilever has been announced as the latest Principal Partner for the COP26 climate summit taking place in Glasgow, Scotland in November.
The owner of brands such as Dove, Knorr and Persil/Omo is the 11th and final Principal Partner that will support the delivery of a “successful and ambitious” climate event.
It joins companies including SSE, ScottishPower, NatWest Group, National Grid, Sky, Sainsbury’s, Hitachi, Reckitt, GSK and Microsoft.
Unilever has already committed to a 1.5C-aligned science-based target to reduce its operational emissions to zero by 2030 and net zero emissions across the value chain by 2039.
Earlier this year, the company put its Climate Transition Action Plan before a shareholder vote – the first business of its size to voluntarily do so. Out Of those who voted, 99% were in favour of Unilever’s plan – demonstrating the level of support from shareholders and investors for its climate agenda.
COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: “With just over three months to go until COP26, I am delighted to welcome Unilever as our final Principal Partner.
“Tackling climate change is one of the greatest and most urgent challenges we face, and companies like Unilever are showing climate leadership through science-based targets and finding alternative, cleaner ways of working.
“We now have 11 Principal Partners for the summit, all of whom are helping us ensure COP26 is a success. I look forward to working with Unilever and all of our Partners as we continue our work ahead of the summit.”
With 4 billion people vulnerable to climate risks, the world must up its collective game to achieve the 2015 #ParisAgreement. We're pleased to support the UK presidency of @COP26 to help accelerate climate leadership and ambition in the lead-up to November’s Glasgow summit.
— Alan Jope (@alanjope) July 15, 2021
Unilever is also working with the UK Government and other partners to explore the viability of hydrogen as an alternative to natural gas to fuel manufacturing plants.
Unilever CEO Alan Jope added: “Without decisive action on a global scale, climate change is the biggest long term risk to Unilever’s business and I know we are not unique in this. Taking decisive action to help address climate change is not only important for people and the planet, it’s also critical for business. Unilever is proud to be a Principal Partner of COP26.
“We look forward to working with the UK Government and other partners to galvanise ambitious commitments from governments and the private sector and to inspire and empower people around the world to take action. Together, we can seize the opportunity to build a stronger, greener and more resilient economy.”