Unilever Grants Ice Cream Industry Free Access to Energy-Efficient Reformulation Patents

Unilever Grants Ice Cream Industry Free Access to Energy-Efficient Reformulation Patents

(IN BRIEF) Unilever has made a significant move towards reducing energy consumption in the ice cream industry by offering a free non-exclusive license for 12 reformulation patents. These patents are aimed at enabling ice cream products to remain stable at a warmer freezer temperature of -12°C, as opposed to the current industry standard of -18°C. Unilever’s research, conducted at its Global Ice Cream R&D Centre and confirmed through pilots in Germany, shows that this change can reduce energy usage in freezer cabinets by approximately 25%, making them more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. The initiative aligns with Unilever’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas footprint and achieving net-zero emissions across its value chain by 2039. Other industry players are encouraged to collaborate and access these patents to promote sustainability in ice cream storage.

(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 9-Nov-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Unilever has announced it will grant a free non-exclusive license to the ice cream industry for 12 reformulation patents, following two successful pilots to warm up its last mile ice cream freezer cabinets.

Access to these patents will help the industry reformulate ice cream products that remain stable at the warmer freezer temperature of -12°C, rather than the current industry standard of -18°C. It is hoped that by sharing these patents with other ice cream manufacturers the industry will be able to move towards more energy efficient freezer cabinets across the globe.

Last year, Unilever announced its ambition to increase the temperature of its last mile ice cream freezer cabinets, whilst ensuring the same ice cream quality and consumer experience. Since then, research conducted at Colworth, Unilever’s Global Ice Cream R&D Centre and two pilots in Germany have confirmed an energy reduction of around 25% per freezer cabinet at the warmer temperature of -12°C, which is better for the environment, and means the freezers are cheaper to run.

Andy Sztehlo, Chief R&D Officer Ice Cream at Unilever said: “We’re pleased to take this next step in our work to increase the temperature of our last mile ice cream freezer cabinets. By granting a free non-exclusive license to these 12 reformulation patents, we hope our peers and partners from across the ice cream sector will benefit and work to tackle emissions across the industry. We believe through collaboration, we can reduce the cold chain’s impact on the environment, whilst continuing to deliver the great quality ice cream products our consumers love.”

Emissions from retail ice cream freezers account for 10% of Unilever’s value chain greenhouse gas footprint. Unilever’s Climate Transition Action Plan (PDF 10.15 MB) sets out the company’s roadmap to reach its climate targets, including achieving net zero emissions across its value chain by 2039, and a science-based target to halve the emissions impact of its products on a consumer use basis by 2030, against a 2010 baseline.

When it comes to ice cream freezers, this includes reducing cabinet energy consumption through innovation of the main technical components (e.g., compressors), exploring programmes that will enable the freezers to be powered by renewable electricity, and working towards ‘warming up’ freezer cabinets.

The international applications of these patents have been published today. Industry partners can contact IceCream.Reformulations@unilever.com to receive further information about obtaining a license.

Safe Harbour

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as ‘will’, ‘aim’, ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘intends’, ‘looks’, ‘believes’, ‘vision’, or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements also include, but are not limited to, statements and information regarding the Unilever Group’s (the ‘Group’) emissions reduction targets and other climate change related matters (including actions, potential impacts and risks associated therewith). These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance or outcomes.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever’s global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever’s ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever’s investment choices in its portfolio management; the effect of climate change on Unilever’s business; Unilever’s ability to find sustainable solutions to its plastic packaging; significant changes or deterioration in customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain and distribution; increases or volatility in the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic, social and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. A number of these risks have increased as a result of the Russia/Ukraine war.

These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group’s filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2022 and the Annual Report on Form 20-F 2022.

Media Contacts:


SOURCE: Unilever


Follow EuropaWire on Google News

Comments are closed.