Petrochemical ban from Unilever products by 2030

Environmental campaigners have welcomed the Dutch multinational's decision and say other companies likely to follow suit

Unilever says it will phase out petrochemical ingredients from its cleaning products by 2030, replacing them with plant-based materials and marine sources such as algae.

Unilever's decision to cut petrochemical-derived ingredients from its cleaning products should have a big knock-on effect, say environmentalists.

Dr Frederik Dahlmann, Associate Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at Warwick Business School, says it's vital large global companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions and with the R&D budgets, they can invest in a future that will benefit everyone. 'Unilever's decision demonstrates the company's continuing leadership role in driving the reduction of embedded green house gas emissions.

'While most of us will be familiar with the obvious dependence on petroleum-based products for transport and heating, Unilever sends a wider signal for industry and consumers to recognise that we also need to find alternatives in many other consumer goods - and fast! 

'To identify substances that do not contribute to climate change, it is vital to search for other naturally-occurring ingredients that have none of the same or other side-effects.

'Reducing global greenhouse gas emissions requires businesses to work together with suppliers and consumers as well as policy makers. It seems likely that cleaning brands are only going to be the first to be targeted by these efforts. Many other sectors and products will have to follow soon.'