Unilever has unveiled two pilot schemes to trial warmer ice cream freezer cabinets with an aim of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by approx. 20 – 30% per freezer.

Freezer cabinet 3

The two pilots, one launching this month in Germany with a second pilot to follow in Indonesia next year, are the first step in exploring and understanding the product performance of our ice cream and the energy consumption of freezers at warmer -12°C temperatures, in real life conditions.

Unilever’s hopes to move the temperature of its retail sales freezers to -12°C from -18°C to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in a move which it hopes will drive industry-wide change.

If successful, Unilever will start rolling-out the scheme in markets where its last mile freezer cabinet carbon footprint is highest, to achieve the maximum reductive impact on its own carbon emissions. It is hoped that other ice cream manufacturers will follow.

Matt Close, president ice cream at Unilever, said: “These pilots will provide valuable information on how much energy we can save and how our ice cream products perform in warmer freezers to ensure we deliver the same great-tasting ice cream. We’re actively seeking to collaborate with partners from across the ice cream and frozen food sectors to drive industry-wide change, so the collective positive impact is far greater.”

This scheme is part of Unilever’s plan to reach zero emissions from its operations (scope 1 & 2) by 2030, halving the full value chain emissions of its products (per consumer use) by 2030, and achieving net zero emissions across Unilever’s value chain by 2039.