Ons werk aan de SDG's

Environment programme

Reducing waste and improving communities

The understanding of waste management in Indonesia needs to be improved. However, geographically it gives another challenge. Unused stuff, post-consumer packaging and food waste are often just ended in the landfill, street, and even floating in the flowing river. In 2012, The Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia recorded that in average Indonesian people produce about 2kg of waste a day. It is equal around 500 thousand tons of solid waste a day that produced by the entire citizen of Indonesia.

Solid waste brings negative perception towards human senses that at the end pollutes the earth without enabling good waste management. Furthermore, it could bring even further problems for health and sanitation to global warming because of organic waste decomposition in anaerobic process produces methane gas.

To tackle the waste issue, Unilever is looking at creating a sustainable system change by setting up waste collection schemes, to channel for instance sachets to be recycled. Unilever is testing this by working with local waste banks, governments and retailers and will look to empower waste pickers, integrate them into the mainstream economy and to provide a potential long term income, generating wider growth in the economy.

This is part of Unilever’s pledge to ensure all of its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Unilever had already committed to reducing the weight of its packaging by one-third by 2020 and increasing the use of recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25% by 2025.


Solving the waste management issue needs collaboration in the whole element of society. Unilever Indonesia Foundation (UIF) has been actively educating community to segregate their waste since 2001. This programme is initiated in Jambangan, Surabaya with the clean river programme, Brantas Bersih. This programme aims to improve the water quality of Brantas river by improving awareness of community to manage their waste sustainably.

UIF forms the environment cadres in community by empowering local people through several of trainings ranging from waste segregation and management, seeds cultivation to greening the environment. Organic waste processed for soil and plants fertilizers, whilst solid waste recycled to be various crafts. This programme has been consistently run and rewarded Jambangan as free-waste area in 2006. In the same year, Surabaya got Adipura Kencana prize, a prestigious award for the cleanest city in the country awarded from The Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia.

Lessons learned

The success story of Jambangan gives valuable lessons of how important the community play a role in managing their own waste. Unilever Indonesia Foundation spreading the expansion of this community base environment programme to other cities in Indonesia. Under the name of ‘Green and Clean’, they collaborate this programme closely together with government, NGOs and community in big cities in Indonesia to start waste management from their house.

Serious effort is made to optimize this community based programme for waste management by actively involving community for recycling activity which will reduce the number of solid waste ended to landfill. Several programmes regarding waste collection are developped, such as community waste bank, eco collector, eco residential, and eco retailer. Through these programmes, economic, social and environmental impact can be made to benefit the community. The success of this programme can be seen from the total unit of waste bank, number of people involved and also the total of waste that is collected and sold.

We see the potency of Waste Bank development, so this concept has been learning and developing since 2008. We are sharpening the model of establishment and development system. As the result, we publish the guidance book of Waste Bank System completed by the inspirational success stories from ten waste banks that have been empowered by us since the first time it was launched for public.

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Lead Organisation


Lead business line
Unilever Indonesia Foundation


Strategic Partners

Impact on primary SDG

Impact on other SDGs

Start date
januari 2001
End date
januari 2025

Targeted Beneficiaries
Point of contact