Lipton reinforces green supply chain operations in Middle East
Unilever has launched an environmental strategy in Dubai to support the supply chain operations for its premium tea brand Lipton.
As part of the initiative, the company has introduced environmentally friendly ‘slip sheets’ to replace the wooden pallets that are traditionally used to transport its tea products throughout the world.
The practice has already been tested for a full season, with raw tea materials being distributed on the slip sheets from Assam in India to Lipton’s regional facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone, its second largest tea factory worldwide. In total, approximately 1000 TEUs of tea were received in Jebel Ali between September 2007 and May 2008.
“Having been in the business for over 100 years, we recognise the importance of environmental, social and financial sustainability,” said Tim Drury, vice president of supply chain, Unilever North Africa and Middle East. “After the recent success of this initiative between India and the United Arab Emirates, we are now looking to extend the practice into other tea origin countries such as Kenya, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.”
The environmental initiative has been designed to save the amount of wood used by Lipton, while minimising its shipping costs by achieving greater loadability per container.
“It is expected that this initiative will result in ocean freight savings of approximately 10-20%,” said Drury. “The slip sheets are thinner than the traditional wooden pallets, which will help cut down transportation and fuel costs while reducing the impact on the environment. They will also eliminate any possible risks from wood-related infestation to the tea during the shipping process.”