How Sunshine Boosts Sales and Fuels Our Ice Cream Business

How Sunshine Boosts Sales and Powers Our Ice Cream Business

The sun doesn’t just drive our ice cream sales; it also helps power our business sustainably. Discover how integrating solar solutions into our warehouses, fleets, and sales kiosks leads to energy savings, emission reductions, and supports our climate goals.

Solar Power in Our Warehouses

Our ice cream facility in Izmir, Turkey, benefits from an average of 6.37 hours of sunshine daily. This sunshine powers our temperature-controlled warehouse, which consumes 2 million kWh of electricity annually. Thanks to an on-site solar power plant, 42% (980,000 kWh/year) of this energy now comes from the sun, saving €190,000 in annual energy costs.

Emission Reductions with Electric Refrigerated Vehicles

In Brazil, Turkey, and Mexico, we use commercial electric vans for urban ice cream deliveries. These vans, charged by solar panels on our warehouses, provide end-to-end green transportation. Pilots are also running in the US, China, Thailand, Chile, and Uruguay, further reducing our fleet’s CO₂ emissions.

Solar-Powered Solutions for Power Outages

Unilever owns and maintains 3 million ice cream freezers worldwide. To combat power outages, we’ve introduced solar-powered solutions like energy-efficient cabinets, solar ice cream carts, and solar energy farms. In Pakistan, dual-usage price boards equipped with solar panels and batteries keep freezers running for about six hours during outages, ensuring stock and sales remain unaffected.

Future-Forward Retail Units

In Turkey, we’ve designed and opened five solar-powered retail units, known as Happiness Stations. Each unit, equipped with six solar panels, an inverter, and lithium batteries, runs two freezers and two drink cabinets. These units generate an average of 20,000 kWh per year, saving retailers up to 16% on energy costs and enabling operations in locations without electricity, like national parks. Due to their success, five more units are planned for this year.

Making Energy and Sales While the Sun Shines

Ice cream sales peak when the sun is shining. By harnessing solar energy in our storage facilities, transport, and retail spaces, we aim to align our energy demand with usage, striving for energy self-sufficiency and emission-free operations.

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