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UNILEVER FOUNDRY LAUNCHES GLOBAL CROWDSOURCING COMMUNITY Foundry IDEAS™ enables consumers and entrepreneurs to collaborate to solve global sustainability challenges

Friday 26 June 2015, London: Unilever Foundry has today revealed its latest initiative: a global crowdsourcing community – Foundry IDEAS™ – to put people at the heart of its sustainability innovation. Senior Vice President of Global Media at Unilever, Luis di Como, announced the platform as part of Lions Innovation in Cannes.

Foundry IDEAS™ is an ambitious platform that will enable peer-to-peer collaboration, bringing together consumers, key opinion formers and innovators to co-create solutions to sustainability challenges. 

The launch is designed to accelerate delivery of Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan, by inviting the world to develop solutions, contribute to ideas and in the process identify potential partners to scale their solutions with Unilever.

"We're five years in to our ten year Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to make our operations and brands more sustainable," said Sue Garrard, Senior Vice President of Sustainable Business Development and Communications at Unilever.  "We have made huge strides in our factories and with our suppliers.  The next stage is to find people with new and innovative ideas so that together we can help transform the way we live our daily lives, for us all to become more sustainable.

"Foundry IDEAS is our new platform to meet those people who can be part of the wider solution, working collaboratively to develop their ideas, giving people the opportunity to help change the world."

New ‘grand challenges' will regularly be uploaded to the Foundry IDEAS™ platform, where community members will be able to submit ideas and build on other peoples' through community collaboration and up-voting. Using crowdsourcing as an engine to ignite and drive the initiative, the ideation and innovation process is incentivised, encouraging open collaboration to find solutions to real social challenges.

The best solutions to each Sustainability Challenge will be rewarded with opportunities for idea piloting and implementation, one-on-one mentoring with Unilever experts or ‘one of a kind' experiences that will enable the winners to see for themselves the progress and impact Unilever are already making towards their 2020 sustainability goals.

Foundry IDEAS™ launches with three ‘grand challenges', which aim to solve sustainability issues in the areas of Sanitation, Hygiene, and Nutrition:

  1. How can we help 100 million people have access to basic toilet sanitation by 2020?
  2. Invent the shower of the future, to be more luxurious and more sustainable.
  3. How can we enable millions of mothers and daughters in Africa to embrace more nutritious cooking?

Anyone with an interest or an idea in this space is invited to collaborate and contribute to making a brighter future: http://ideas.unilever.com

Unilever Foundry is Unilever's global platform for innovation through collaboration. It provides a single entry point for startups and scaleups to connect with its 400 brands and champions their role in the industry. Its unique Pitch-Pilot-Partner approach dramatically cuts the time it takes to get a new initiative to market, with the average project going from brief to pilot in nine months.

–ENDS–

For more information please contact:
Katie Hancock, katie@kaper.uk.com, +44 203 301 2172
Sebastian Tully-Middleton, seb@kaper.uk.com, +44 203 301 2261

Notes to Editors:

About Unilever Foundry

Unilever Foundry (http://foundry.unilever.com/) provides a single entry-point for innovative startups seeking to partner with Unilever, enabling the company's global brands to experiment with and pilot new technologies more efficiently, effectively and speedily. It provides startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into funding through Unilever Ventures. Startups are invited to apply to be part of Unilever Foundry through visiting: http://foundry.unilever.com/projects.

More details on Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan can be found here: http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living-2014http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living-2014.

Unilever Foundry (Unilever.com/foundry) works closely with Unilever Ventures, the Venture capital arm of Unilever. Unilever Ventures invests in early stage companies that could become strategically relevant to Unilever and can benefit from access to Unilever's assets and capabilities. One of the key areas of investment for Unilever Ventures is Digital Marketing, encompassing marketing services business with a focus on mobile marketing, digital media and video, social media, content creation, eCommerce, shopper marketing and big data. Recent examples include Yummly and Brandtone.

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