About the speaker:
Sarah holds a BSc in biological sciences and a PhD in plant biochemistry. She’s worked for Unilever for 26 years. In her current role she is scoping and scouting for potential new biobased product ingredients for Unilever products. In the last few years this has extended to include new ingredients and packaging from seaweed.
Unilever is a global fast moving goods company – they make the everyday branded products you find on your supermarket shelves such as Dove, Cif, Domestos, Walls, Magnum, Knorr, Hellman’s to name just a few of their well known brands. Unilever’s purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace, which is backed by an ambitious set of sustainability targets.
To reach green house gas reduction targets, they need to exit from fossil carbon-derived chemicals and materials that they use to make consumer products and including the everyday goods you buy from supermarkets and shops around the world. But there simply isn’t enough sustainable terrestrial biomass available to fill the gap left by fossil carbon. The growing seaweed industry hails the opportunity of a new sustainable biomass that can contribute to displacing fossil carbon but also makes available a new chemistry palette which can lead to ingredients with new functionalities and properties for their products.