Unilever has announced it is granting a free non-exclusive license to the ice cream industry for 12 reformulation patents, which will enable ice creams to be stored at the warmer freezer temperature of -12°C, rather than the current industry standard of -18°C.
This move will lead to an energy reduction of around 25% per freezer cabinet, Unilever said, with the consumer goods giant hopeful 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.
The move follows on from Unilever announcing last year that it planned to increase the temperature of its last mile ice cream freezer cabinets, 'while ensuring the same ice cream quality and consumer experience'.
'Taking The Next Step'
“We’re pleased to take this next step in our work to increase the temperature of our last mile ice cream freezer cabinets," commented Andy Sztehlo, chief R&D officer, Ice Cream at Unilever.
"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.”
According to Unilever, retail ice cream freezers contribute to 10% of its overall greenhouse gas emissions footprint along its value chain.
The move to 'warm up' its freezers forms part of Unilever's Climate Transition Action Plan, under which it is aiming for net-zero emissions throughout its value chain by 2039.