The shipping industry has seen before how collaboration between major players can lead to system innovation, the kind of radical, system-wide change that it is hard for any one company to achieve alone.
So it's encouraging to see via Business Green that Unilever—whose sustainability efforts have ranged from algae oil to certified sustainable palm oil—are teaming up with shipping and logistics giant DHL—which has previously hit our pages for their carbon offsets program—and together they'll be exploring how to drastically reduce emissions across the supply chain.
Exactly what that collaboration will look like remains to be seen, but it looks like everything from waste reduction through warehouse design to alternative vehicles is on the table:
Precise details of how the two firms will co-operate are yet to be finalised, but a spokeswoman for DHL said the companies had identified a number of areas of potential joint interest, including plans to develop a blueprint for sustainable warehouse designs, methodologies for accurately measuring supply chain emissions, and strategies for reducing waste levels and boosting recycling rates. She also revealed that the companies could jointly explore how emerging green transport technologies such as electric or alternative fuel vehicles could be used to slash the environmental footprint of supply chains.
Unilever has previously committed to halving its environmental impact by 2020, so its clear this corporate giant will need all the partners it can get if it is to deliver on its promises.