Case Studies


Lipton introduces new ‘eco-friendly’ initiative


Lipton has introduced ‘slip-sheets’ to replace the wooden pallets that are traditionally used by Unilever’s Global Tea Supply Network to ship teas worldwide.

The initiative has been in practice for a full season in which tea raw materials have been received on the slip-sheets from Assam, India to Lipton Jebel Ali, Dubai.

Approximately 1000 TMUs ( 20 ft container equivalent) of tea have been received on ‘slip-sheets’ in Jebel Ali between the period of September 07 and May 2008.

The project has been initiated by the Lipton tea factory located in Jebel Ali, Unilever’s second largest tea factory worldwide.

This new eco-friendly initiative will enable Lipton to save wood while also minimize shipping costs by increasing loadability per container.

The ‘slip-sheets are much thinner than the traditional wooden pallets which will help cut down transportation and fuel costs while reducing the impact on the environment.

It is expected that this initiative will result in ocean freight savings of approximately 10 – 20%.

This move to slip-sheets will also eliminate any possible risks from wood-related infestation to the tea during the shipping process.

According to Tim Drury, VP Supply Chain, Unilever North Africa & Middle East, ‘After the recent success of this initiative between India and the UAE, we are now looking to extend this practice into other tea origin countries including Kenya, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.’

This innovative initiative will help Lipton transfer more tea through its supply chain network utilizing minimal resources.

This is part of a larger global commitment to sustainability that Unilever has undertaken of which Lipton has been a leading example over the years.

In 2007, Unilever committed itself to buying all its tea from sustainable, ethical sources – transforming the tea industry and improving the crops, income and livelihood of 2 million people across three continents.

As the biggest tea brand in the world, Lipton, believes it has a responsibility to the environment.

‘Having been in the business for over 100 years, we recognize the importance of environmental, social and financial sustainability’, added Drury.

Lipton is the first tea brand to work with the Rainforest Alliance and meet the independent organization’s strict sustainability criteria- covering areas such as wildlife protection, water conservation and fair treatment of workers.

Unilever’s Lipton ‘slip-sheets’ project is supported by Lipton’s supply chain network partners which include HUL Kolkata and McLeod Russell Limited.