Personal care giant Unilever has joined forces with leading retail chain Abu Dhabi Co-operative in order to strengthen the society’s Sustainability Agenda.
The company also owns and operates the SPAR International franchise in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. According to a statement, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Afsal Hamza on behalf of Ibrahim Abdulla Al Bahar, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society and Gaurav Rustagi, Unilever’s Director for the UAE and Oman. Part of the memorandum includes developing sustainability projects. These include targeting waste production and disposal at the company’s sites, while controlling water and energy consumption.
In a bid to keep in line with the core objectives outlined by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, the group has committed to reducing, reusing and recycling its waste by 20 per cent by 2017, following Tadweer’s Waste Management strategy.
Rustagi said, “Making a positive change to the community has been an integral part of Unilever’s DNA since its inception. And when it comes to environmental sustainability, we have been at the forefront in implementing different initiatives that allow us to achieve our vision – doubling the size of the business whilst reducing our environmental footprint.”
The memorandum also looked at the implementation of employees’ engagement programs and consumer awareness campaigns.
Rustagi continued, “By end 2014, we have achieved the ‘zero waste to landfill’ status in all of our factories around the world. Therefore it thrills us to see that a major retailer such as Abu Dhabi Co-operative society has jump on the sustainability bandwagon and is contributing to the national agenda.”
Hamza said, “Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society has always been the pioneer by constantly initiating change in the region – by way of its vision, policy and operations. Being the responsible corporate enterprise, ADCOOPS has developed several strategies to “give back to the community” and minimize its carbon footprint.
“The MoU with Unilever reaffirms the close working relationship to mutually achieve the targeted sustainability goals within the ideal time frame.”
The society has become the first retailer to use 100 percent biodegradable bags; driving forward the sustainability programme within the retail sector.