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Unilever to Push Customers Towards Concentrated Detergent

Having already developed concentrated versions of its laundry detergent, Unilever has launched its Cleaner Planet Plan to switch customers over to the lower-impact versions and help them reduce water use and carbon emissions.

Unilever's new Cleaner Planet Plan is encouraging consumers to switch to concentrated versions of the company's laundry detergent brands and will give advice on how to reduce the water and energy impacts of laundry.

The effort is starting in the U.K. as the company tries to switch consumers that use Persil, Comfort and Surf over to the concentrated versions of those products. The consumer side of laundry detergent accounts for some 70 percent of laundry's carbon emissions and 95 percent of its water use.

Unilever has a website in the works that will give advice on how to reduce laundry impacts, and the company will also start including tips on product packages, such as encouraging using cooler water.

The consumer-facing effort will be boosted by Unilever's own internal operations. The company plans to invest 40 percent of its laundry research and development budget on creating concentrated versions of other products that work well in cool water and quick washes.

One of the biggest boosts to concentrated laundry detergent came in 2007 when Wal-Mart announced it would only stock concentrated detergent in its U.S. stores, leveling the playing field for companies that were working on concentrated products.

Earlier this year, Procter & Gamble UK announced it would narrow down the many formats for its laundry detergents, eventually only selling them in concentrated and compact versions.

Persil - CC license by bastie.silke

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