is a leading manufacturer of cleaning and laundry products and a strong driver behind sustainability.
is the year in which Unilever wants to achieve net zero emissions.
The “Carbon Rainbow”
is central to Unilever’s Clean Future Programme and aims at finding new carbon solutions.
The challenge: contributing to the Carbon Rainbow
The Carbon Rainbow is Unilever’s novel approach to diversify the carbon used in its cleaning and laundry product formulations. Non-renewable fossil sources of carbon (identified in the Carbon Rainbow as black carbon) will be replaced using captured CO2 (purple carbon), plants and biological sources (green carbon), marine sources such as algae (blue carbon), and carbon recovered from waste materials (grey carbon). The sourcing of carbon under the Carbon Rainbow will be governed and informed by environmental impact assessments and work with Unilever’s industry-leading sustainable sourcing programmes to prevent unintended pressures on land use.
To contribute to the Carbon Rainbow, Unilever is also looking for partners to provide materials and solutions along the colors of the rainbow. An existing partnership with Neste has led to discussions between both companies.
Already today, Neste is supplying its feedstock Neste RE as a drop-in solution to chemical production partners. Neste RE is made from 100% renewable and recycled materials and can replace fossil feedstock in the polymers and chemical industry. This makes Neste RE a possible solution to contribute to the green and grey components of Unilever’s Carbon Rainbow.
In addition, the development of Blue and Purple technologies is already part of the development strategy at Neste, offering further potential.
This fit provided a good basis for cooperation between both companies, evolving around both growth ambitions and sustainability objectives.
Unilever and Neste will be working together on developing solutions for carbon-based ingredients as well as packaging materials produced from renewable materials for Unilever’s cleaning products. The cooperation will focus on existing technologies as well as those requiring additional research and development to become clean future technologies.
A concrete goal will be the production of surfactants based on Neste’s renewable and recycled materials as crucial ingredients for Unilever cleaning products. Furthermore, the work on solutions for packaging via polyethylene and polypropylene produced with renewable and recycled materials from Neste will be part of the project.