Unilever advances major decarbonization project at four U.S. factories

Company selected by U.S. Department of Energy for award negotiations

Englewood Cliffs-based Unilever recently announced that a major project to significantly reduce carbon emissions at its Ice Cream Business Group’s four U.S. factories has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for award negotiations of up to $20.9 million of support.

The proposed project would cut 14,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year, a major step in moving toward carbon neutrality for the factories.

Specifically, natural gas boilers will be replaced with electric boilers and industrial heat pumps using waste heat recovery. Unilever reached 100% renewable grid electricity globally in 2020 and is in the process of moving all its workplaces to 100% renewable energy.

The facility upgrades will significantly reduce carbon emissions and will create a pathway to address 100% of heat-related process emissions at the factories in Missouri, Tennessee and Vermont.

This project was chosen as a selectee for award negotiations by the Department of Energy as part of the Industrial Demonstrations Program for its potential to reduce emissions, benefit local communities and serve as a model for further decarbonization throughout the food and beverage sector.

“We are making progress to decarbonize our ice cream business, and these substantial upgrades will mean a major cut in emissions,” Sandeep Desai, chief product supply chain officer, said. “This step moves us closer to our sustainability goals and is a significant investment in the future for our business and planet.”

Read more about the actions Unilever is taking to tackle climate change in its recently updated Climate Transition Action Plan here.