All aboard the ice cream train. Unilever green train

Unilever, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., launched the Green Express, an eco-friendly train that will transport Algida ice creams from its factory near Naples 700 kilometers to the logistics hub in Parma, taking 3,500 trucks off the road each year, equating to an annual CO₂ saving of 2,600 tons. Other benefits include reducing congestion and potential traffic accidents and an energy saving of 40 million mega-joules per year—the equivalent of the annual needs of 4,200 families.

“Traditionally, goods have been transported by road in Italy, but this model is designed to be a game-changer,” says David Beauchamp, vice president of logistics for Europe. “This initiative is an example of great collaboration with Trenitalia and the Italian Ministry for Environment. We hope that other companies in Italy can also adopt similar rail transportation approaches. This is not just beneficial for the environment, but also for costs; we estimate that this will achieve a 6% reduction in costs per year—a win-win situation.”

Improving CO₂ efficiency
Green Express is part of a wider eco-efficiency program within Unilever’s supply chain to support its Sustainable Living Plan.

Unilever projects its CO2 emissions from its global logistics network to at or below 2010 levels by 2020. This will represent a 40% improvement in CO₂ efficiency overall. So far, Unilever has achieved a 10% improvement in CO₂ efficiency since 2010.