Unilever has announced it will be making a joint investment together with biotech firm Geno that aims to commercialise and scale plant-based alternatives to products like palm oils and fossil fuels for cleaning and personal care products.
The 120 million dollar investment, which the duo is expecting other strategic investors to add to at a late date, will go towards the development and support of plant-based ingredients utilising biotechnology.
In a release, Unilever said it would still be placing an importance on palm oil in its product production, however the alternative ingredients will play a role in further diversifying supply chains, hopefully helping to push optionality, sustainability and transparency.
As part of the initiative, Geno has announced it will be launching its biotechnology platform as well as starting to scale the process of advancing its technology in the production of these ingredients.
“Biotechnology has the potential to revolutionise the sourcing of our cleansing ingredients and ensure Unilever is a future-fit business – for consumers, shareholders and the planet we all share,” said Unilever’s chief research and development officer, Richard Slater.
Slater continued: “This new venture will sit at the intersection of science and sustainability, meaning we can continue to grow our business without relying only on palm oil or fossil fuel derivatives, while also making our supply chains more resilient from having access to ingredient alternatives.”