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Unilever’s china site named world’s most advanced ice cream factory

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TaiCang facility in China has now joined the list of ‘Advanced Fourth Industrial Revolution Lighthouses’.

Since 2018, the World Economic Forum has been recognising companies that incorporate Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies into their manufacturing and supply chain operations, effectively creating a network of the world’s most advanced factories.

These sites adopt and deploy 4IR technology – such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things – to maximise efficiency and competitiveness, and drive sustainable and responsible business growth, while upskilling the workforce and protecting the environment. They also provide a replicable model for manufacturers of all sizes, across different geographies and industries.

We’re delighted to announce that our TaiCang facility in China has now joined the list of ‘Advanced Fourth Industrial Revolution Lighthouses’.

TaiCang is the third Unilever site to achieve the status following our Personal Care factories in Dubai, UAE, and Hefei, also in China, which joined the network last year. It’s also the first ice cream factory anywhere in the world to be recognised.

As Marc Engel, Unilever’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, says: “Unilever is on a journey to digitise its supply chain. The TaiCang site’s adoption of new technologies has expanded the factory’s efficiency and agility. It has seen a 42% reduction in manufacturing costs, while increasing ice cream market share locally. The TaiCang site showcases a new type of smart manufacturing; one that combines productivity and competitiveness with environmental efforts.”

The TaiCang site is a model of sustainability, with a range of initiatives in place aimed at minimising its footprint on the planet.

We have reduced both the site’s energy and water consumption by 14%, and carbon emissions by 83%. The energy management system collects and monitors consumption data on a daily basis, identifying areas where we can make further improvements.

We are currently installing a solar system which will provide around 20% of our electricity requirement. For the rest, we already use green electricity generated from wind and water. This puts TaiCang on track to join our growing list of carbon-neutral sites in the next year or two.

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