THE WHAT? Unilever has announced a new partnership with Google Cloud that will see the personal care giant use its technologies to find solutions for sustainable palm oil, while avoiding its activities being responsible for deforestation.
THE DETAILS As part of an initial step of the collaboration, the two companies will work on the first commercial application of Google Cloud and Google Earth Engine for sustainable commodity sourcing.
The companies aim to raise sustainable sourcing standards for suppliers by combining the cloud computing with satellite imagery and AI, in turn building a more holistic view of the forests, water cycles, and biodiversity that intersect Unilever’s supply chains.
Working from a centralized command centre, the partnership will work with a range of technology partners to create a more complete picture of the ecosystems connected to Unilever supply chain.
Dave Ingram, Unilever’s Chief Procurement Officer, said, “This collaboration with Google Cloud will take us to the next level in sustainable sourcing.
“We will now be able to process and combine complex sets of data like never before. The combination of these sustainability insights with our commercial sourcing information is a significant step-change in transparency, which is crucial to better protect and regenerate nature.”
THE WHY? The project aims to ‘create a better mechanism’ for detecting deforestation, with Unilever stating it will lead to ‘greater accountability’ while ‘simultaneously prioritizing critical areas of forest and habitats in need of protection.’
It is the latest example of the crossover between the beauty and technology world, with Rob Enslin, President, Google Cloud, stating, “Together, we’re demonstrating how technology can be a powerful tool in aiding businesses who strive to protect the Earth’s resources. It will require collective action to drive meaningful change, and we are committed to doing our part.”