Unilever to run start-up sustainability ‘hackathon’

Unilever is offering up to £30k of funding for an established start-up technology business with a sustainability solution it is looking to scale.


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A sustainability ‘hackathon’ event in October will see the consumer good firm make its data available to participating start-ups and entrepreneurs who will be asked to utilise that data in a way that could influence daily habits to encourage people to live more sustainably.

Unilever’s ambitions for the hackathon range from reducing the environmental footprint of a daily shower through to tackling the waste from sachets sold in developing and emerging countries such as India.

The hack, which is part of the digital marketing conference ad:tech London on 21-22 October, offers a potential £30,000 pay-out to help test and develop the winner’s idea.

“Start-ups are pioneering the future and offer new, innovative ways to connect with consumers,” said Unilever senior vice-president of global marketing Marc Mathieu.

“In a data-driven world, we need a network of partners who can help to source, distil and share this data with people in a way that enables them to make small behaviour changes that results in a more sustainable future.”

Sustainable Living

Unilever’s experts in marketing, sustainability, IT and consumer research will be on-hand throughout the conference to provide one-on-one mentorship and sustainability advice for start-ups.

The hackathon forms part of Unilever’s Sustainable Living platform, which has seen them take an active role in helping to shape new environmental legislation. 

Last week the Dutch company launched a social-media campaign via Upworthy, in an attempt to encourage global leaders to adopt a more ambitious approach to climate change ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. 

Brad Allen

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