Global consumer products company uses open innovation to tackle environmental concerns

From a  Q and A with Gail Martino, manager of emerging and disruptive innovation at Unilever’s open innovation group. Her group recently launched an open innovation platform, which has received more than 300 submissions since its launch in late March from a diverse range of suppliers (new and existing), businesses and individuals.

Q. The majority of “challenges and wants” posted on the platform involve sustainability issues like packaging, water or nutrition. What’s behind this? Are sustainability challenges particularly suited to collaboration, or are you running out of ideas?

A. The Unilever corporate mission has become well known by our partners and is genuinely supported by our employees. Our Sustainable Living Plan is central to our corporate values, but it’s also part of an ambitious growth model. We clearly understand that one entity, no matter how varied and innovative, is unable to solve some of these global challenges alone.

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