SAP Blockchain Technology Used by Unilever to Accelerate Sustainability


Unilever has launched a pilot of the SAP.iO venture GreenToken by SAP to improve transparency and efficiency across the corporation’s processes globally. The SAP blockchain technology solution has so far enabled the multinational consumer goods company to trace and verify the movement of palm oil throughout its entire supply chain in near real-time.

SAP.iO Venture Studio, a group committed to encouraging employee-driven innovation, continues to explore new products and build teams from the ground up to address some of the most pressing issues today. In 2019, GreenToken by SAP — a start-up focused on creating solutions for supply chain transparency and traceability — was added to the SAP network of employee-led ventures. The solution intends to provide organisations new levels of transparency through accurate, blockchain-based data and assist them in increasing visibility into the origins of their raw materials, as well as in building products with knowledge about how the resources were produced, particularly in dynamic, non-batch supply chain environments.

Sharing more about the initiative, GreenToken by SAP Co-Founder Nitin Jain shared:

“With GreenToken, we want to bring the same traceability and supply chain transparency to bulk raw materials that you get from scanning a bar or QR code on any consumer product. Our solution allows companies to tell what percentage of palm oil products they purchased from a sustainable origin and track it to the end consumer product.”

GreenToken by SAP: A Promising SAP.iO Venture

Last November 2021, GreenToken by SAP Co-Founder James Veale described the audience’s response to the solution as an “instantaneous hit” at the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) which was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. The group’s local team promoted it to experts and leaders who came from different sectors, including industrial machinery and components, consumer products, and energy and natural resources.

During that same year, GreenToken by SAP became a finalist in the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award. Considering that SAP systems manage more than 77{aa282f308afcc222aaa21b0478c79e01a8fedd01972e2180867097bd93930f22} of all manufactured goods worldwide, GreenToken by SAP is receiving more and more attention from SAP customers who are experiencing growing pressure to demonstrate to regulators as well as to their own customer base, that their supply chain processes concerning raw materials sourcing are at par with current industry standards.

Leveraging SAP Blockchain Technology

Furthermore, GreenToken by SAP is currently engaged in several pilot initiatives with companies involved in the chemical and palm oil industries. For instance, Unilever conducted a proof of concept in Indonesia to source over 188,000 tons of palm oil fruit, which resulted in a successful pilot. Golden Agri-Resources Chief Sustainability and Communications Officer Anita Neville stated that technology has contributed immensely in their efforts to improve supply chain visibility and transparency.

“Our participation in the GreenToken by SAP solution pilot with SAP and Unilever provided useful insights in how to successfully pass information between different actors in the supply chain,” Neville remarked.

Leveraging SAP blockchain technology, Unilever’s suppliers including Golden Agri-Resources were able to develop tokens that accurately reflect the movement of palm oil along the supply chain while also capturing the distinctive features associated with the material’s origin. According to Unilever, its industry-leading endeavours to achieve complete visibility of its supply chain were supported by GreenToken by SAP by tracking, verifying, and reporting data in near real-time.

Moreover, Unilever Chief Procurement Officer Dave Ingram explained that blockchain technology has the potential to help firms trace their supply chains and guarantee that the commodities they obtain respect the environment. Noting that the company has pledged to a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023, he added:

“We are encouraged by the promising results of our pilot with GreenToken by SAP, the latest building block in our tech-enabled approach to ensure a more traceable and transparent supply chain.”

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