VENICE: November 02, 2016. Unilever has developed a first-of-its-kind electric powered refrigerated boat to combat marine pollution and CO2 emissions within the city of Venice - and become the world's first sustainable ice cream distribution service.
Faced with delivery time restrictions from city authorities due to pollution and the damaging effect of waves made by boats, the Unilever local supply chain team has designed an eco-friendly alternative to the commercial barge to deliver Magnum ice creams.
The new vessel (right) can traverse the canals without the restrictions faced by traditional boats and deliver the organization's famous ice cream at any site within the city, including the Magnum store in the center of the lagoon.
By running on electric energy, the boat cuts CO2 emissions by 70 percent and reduces the damaging waves and noise pollution caused by traditional engines. Additionally, the boat can operate without restrictions, allowing efficient and timely response to client demand. Stock can be replenished from the company warehouse to any of its 360 sales outlets within two hours.
"This is a clear example of how innovative thinking can lead to a win-win solution. By anticipating market needs and taking the initiative with new technologies, this development is helping the environment and growing our business," said Giuseppe Galantuomo, Unilever's Logistics director for Southern Europe.
The team will share results with the boat manufacturer Cantieri Amadi in order to develop a new electric gondola that is expected to perform even better.