Water is planet Earth’s most precious resource. We all need it to survive – and not just to quench our thirst. It powers industry. It provides sanitation. But climate change and extreme weather are making supplies scarce, unpredictable and polluted in many parts of the world.

Our brands are taking action to address this crisis wherever possible. We’re making water preservation a priority when it comes to product development, sourcing ingredients, and especially how the consumers who buy our brands use them at home – a factor that accounts for 99% of our water footprint.

To mark the UN’s World Water Day on 22 March, here are a few examples from farming tech and freshening fabrics, to faster-rinse hair care…

The launch that’s disrupting the laundry category

Day2 sprays which refresh fabrics without using water

Our research shows that 40% of the clothes people wash aren’t actually dirty. This wastes time, energy, water, and causes irrevocable damage to clothes.

We thought it was time this changed, so we launched Day2 Dry Wash Spray in the UK in August 2018 and it is now available in Germany, Austria and South Africa.

A quick spray of Day2’s unique formula on previously worn clothes freshens, softens and releases creases, reviving them to a just-washed state instantly.

The packs are powered by air, with a recyclable solution hitting shelves this year. But best of all, each bottle has the potential to save 60 litres of water and prevent 400g of CO2 being released into the atmosphere by reducing those needless wash-loads. In fact, Day2 consumers have so far saved more than 25,000 bathtubs full of water by spraying more and washing their laundry less.

Taking quick-rinse conditioners global

Love Beauty and Planet’s fast-rinse hair conditioners

Every Love Beauty and Planet product is formulated with careful thought given to sustainably sourced ingredients, recyclable packaging as far as possible, and social partnerships.

Since its launch in 2018, the brand has grown well and is now sold in 50 countries. That’s good news for water saving, as it means Love Beauty and Planet’s fast-rinse conditioners are becoming more accessible on a worldwide scale.

These clever conditioners use our innovative fast-rinse technology. They replenish and rehydrate hair, then break down faster when they come into contact with water. It means consumers can still look beautiful and enjoy quicker showers, while caring for the planet.

And those seconds saved all add up. If every woman in the United States reduced her shower time by 10 seconds, that could help save enough water to support the needs of more than half a billion people in a year.

The tech behind Knorr’s tastier tomatoes

One of Knorr’s tomato fields in Gastouni, Greece

Knorr is one of the world’s biggest buyers when it comes to tomatoes. Our sauces, soups and stocks use a lot of them, so we’re taking responsibility to ensure they’re grown sustainability – and of course that they’re as delicious as possible.

Through the Knorr Partnership Fund, we equipped tomato farmers in the Gastouni region of Greece with a small device that’s made a big impact on their water consumption.

By introducing tensiometers – little probes that measure the amount of water present in soil – they were able to use data instead of guesswork to plan irrigation. It helped cut their water use by 28% between 2010 and 2017.

Yields also increased from 76 to 83 tonnes per hectare. And with tomatoes able to ripen in the perfect conditions, their brix level – the official measure of tomato sweetness – went up too.

Hair care too good to rinse off

Non-rinse conditioners from Unilever brand ‘the good stuff’

We launched ‘the good stuff’ last year in the US, when a small team from Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care Division set out to create a disruptive new hair conditioning brand.

The idea came when the team commissioned research which revealed that 95% of conditioner ends up washed down the drain. They came up with a vegan-certified formula that is designed to do just the opposite.

Available in six formats to suit different hair types, the good stuff is made to stay put on hair. There’s no need to rinse it out. Instead, it’s made to nourish hair without weighing it down – and it’s in recycled, recyclable bottles too.

On average, the no-rinse formulas help users save 99 seconds per shower. It’s a move that could save 460 litres of water per bottle of no-rinse conditioner – equivalent to the typical amount of water a person would drink over seven months.

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