A tap being switched off.

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan

In a world where climate change is accelerating and water scarcity is becoming an everyday reality for more and more people, we believe that it’s our job to be part of the solution, not the problem.

That’s why at Unilever we decided to set out the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. As one of the Unilever brands, Surf excel has a major role in helping us achieve our vision of a more sustainable future.

By 2020, our goal is to halve the impact our products have on the environment as we grow our business. We’re making sustainable living a driver of everything we do and changing the way we make our products.  

We have made a firm commitment to doing our bit for the environment by looking at our product formulations and how we manufacture and package our products.

Since 2008, we have been redesigning our powder formulation in key regions and have reduced our recommended dose per wash by 25%, so we are able to deliver the same effective performance but in smaller measures.

Less product means we use less raw and packaging material, and less production energy, with fewer lorries needed for delivery, therefore putting less stress on our environment.

And our commitment does not end with product innovation. All of the waste generated in our laundry factory in Indaiatuba, Brazil, is recycled, which means that there is zero landfill waste. We are proud to say that since 2011, our factory energy consumption per ton has dropped by 7%, water consumption by 15% and CO2 emissions reduced by 15%.  

To find out more about our plan or to track our progress please visit here: 

Take action to reduce the impact of each wash on the environment

We promise to do our bit for the environment – but we need you to help by using our products in a sustainable way. 58% of our greenhouse gas impact comes from the consumer, namely the heating of water for laundry and machine washing.

That’s why simple choices – such as quick wash cycles and washing at lower temperature – can make a real difference.  

  • Here are some easy steps you can take towards a more sustainable wash:
  • Use quick cycles to save water and energy. If we moved all of Europe’s 26 billion washes from 2 hours to a 30-minutes cycle, we would save around 40 billion hours of machine use and cycle time.
  • Wash at 30°C to save energy. Our great formulas are guaranteed to deliver brilliant cleaning at 30°C.
  • Wash full loads. Fuller loads mean fewer washes which saves water wastage and energy. Our products are formulated to give large loads the same exceptional clean as lighter loads.
  • Use liquids to save CO2 emissions. Not only does it use less packaging but its ingredients tread a lot lighter on the environment. If everyone used a concentrated product it would be the equivalent of taking a million cars off the road.
  • Dose correctly to save waste. With the great cleaning power that is delivered by our products, even the most stubborn stains will be eliminated by using the right dose in each wash – look out for the correct dosing instructions on the back of our packs.

These small, simple changes can have a huge, positive impact. We all want to preserve the environment so we can send our children out into the world to get dirty and gain essential experience for life ahead.  

To find out more, please visit our Environmental Sustainability Progress report: [PDF file size: 4.97 MB]