Unilever has made changes to its global organisational model to make it a simpler, more category-focused business, in line with its goal to help people transition toward healthier diets while at the same time as it moves into green technology to save the Earth.
One of its move towards greener technology is its pilot study to warm up its own ice cream freezers to a temperature of 10 degree for its ice cream brands like Magnum and Ben & Jerry, up from the usual industry standard of zero. It is testing the shelf life of its products in these freezers.
Having a freezer with a smaller carbon footprint would certain bode well for store owners as these translate to substantial energy savings, on top of playing their part in conserving the environment.
In this regard, Unilever is trying to reformulate its ice cream products so that they can be stocked in these warmer freezers without melting. According to Unilever, emissions from retail ice cream freezers accounted for almost 10% of its greenhouse gas footprint.
Unilever has spent more than 10 years on ice cream reformulation, and if the first pilot study which takes place in Germany proves successful, it will then move to its 2nd round of tests which will take place in Indonesia, a country with a more humid and hot climate.
Thereafter, Unilever will then need to manually increase the temperature of all its freezers in more than 60 countries. Storing ice cream in a freezer at 10 degrees will reduce energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions by roughly 20% to 30%.
Indeed, in some countries, ice cream products often melt or lost their structural integrity, as store owners unplugged their freezers earlier than usual as they hope to save from the rising energy costs. If the pilot studies prove successful, grocery retailers and store owners have plenty of reasons to cheer.
Looking ahead, Unilever has also planned to share the knowledge of reformulating the ice cream with other ice cream players, so that they can also do the same for their products in the name of sustainability.