Unilever is working with Google Cloud on new ways of using data so that it can make eco-friendly decisions as it works towards achieving a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023.
The two are teaming up to use Google Cloud and Google Earth Engine to find sustainable ways of sourcing commodities. Satellite imagery and AI will be combined to build a more holistic view of forests, water cycles and biodiversity that touch Unilever’s supply chain. The findings will give a more complete picture of ecosystems connected to its supply chain and make it easier to detect deforestation so that it and its suppliers can take action where needed, while also prioritising forests and habitats that need protection. This is the first commercial application of Google Cloud’s planetary geo-spatial platform that includes Google Earth Engine, Google Cloud Storage and BigQuery.
Unilever is currently focusing on palm oil in a sustainable sourcing project that will extend to other commodities in the future.
“This collaboration with Google Cloud will take us to the next level in sustainable sourcing,” said Dave Ingram, Unilever’s chief procurement officer. “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.”
“At Google, we strive to build sustainability into everything that we do. Unilever has been an industry leader in environmental sustainability for many years, and we’re excited to be on this journey with them,” said Rob Enslin, president, Google Cloud. “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.”