Unilever has confirmed that it has powered all of its UK manufacturing sites entirely by renewables since April after clinching a wind farm deal with Dutch utility Eneco for 15 of its locations.
The global consumer goods firm has become the main purchaser of electricity from a 23-turbine wind farm in Lochluichart, Scotland, purchasing 87% – 165GWh – of the farms total output.
The remaining share is being sold by Eneco to local communities under a retail tariff.
The partnership between Eneco UK and Unilever is an extension on an existing deal in Eneco’s native Dutch market where a North Sea wind farm has powered Unilever’s offices and factories since April, and builds on a similar deal its UK arm struck with Nestle and Mars in 2016.
Yvette Edwards, sustainable business and communications director at Unilever, said that it had made for an “exciting start” to the year.
“This latest step in securing an in-country, sustainable supply of wind-generated energy is an important milestone in helping us meet our bold ambition of becoming carbon positive by 2030. It’s made all the more significant as any surplus supply will be sold to nearby communities, thereby progressing our vision of making sustainable living commonplace,” she said.
Meanwhile Zoisa Walton, country director at Eneco UK, said that the partnership – coupled with the sale of excess energy to local communities – was a good example of the company’s intent to provide sustainable energy to everyone.
Unilever’s wind farm deal comes a week after Coca-Cola European Partners confirmed that it was to source some of the power for its Wakefield site via a PPA with a solar farm located less than two miles away.