Today, AB InBev, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company and Unilever are launching a call for companies worldwide to contribute solutions to specific sustainability and social issues. The new partners step into AB InBev's existing and lauded 100+ Accelerator program, which Leuven MindGate has supported a few months ago. Companies can apply from today until May 31 at www.100accelerator.com.
AB InBev, through its global 100+ Accelerator program and its partners, is mobilizing companies to find sustainable solutions to challenges in the areas of supply chain, water management, green logistics, sustainable agriculture and circular economy. Its mission is to accelerate the world's shift to sustainable solutions and do business the right way, not the easy way. In addition to funding pilot programs, the 100+ Accelerator provides direct support to startups by assigning dedicated teams to help test their new technologies in a large global supply chain. The addition of The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever further extends this unique approach and will further strengthen the brand's support and mission of the AB InBev 100+ Accelerator.
30 companies sought
The 100+ Accelerator program has room for 30 companies and focuses on different themes such as water management, climate action, circular packaging, upcycling and sustainable agriculture. The different start-ups have to go through a selection procedure and have to demonstrate their absolute added value. The companies that are selected can count on support amounting to $100,000.
"We are absolutely delighted that The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever are joining us, as founding partners in the 100+ Accelerator," said Tony Milikin, chief procurement, sustainability and circular ventures officer at AB InBev. "Together, we aim to drive the adoption of sustainable solutions by funding and accelerating fantastic innovations that will change the world by making all our businesses more sustainable. Sustainable business is smart business, and we are working to solve big problems that no one company can solve alone. With our combined global reach, we can accelerate progress toward a more sustainable future."
36 companies supported in 3 years
The 100+ Accelerator's startup innovations have already made a huge impact. These include installing the first solar thermal system at an AB InBev plant and developing recycled batteries for electric vehicles that store renewable electricity. Domestically, under the umbrella of 100+ Accelerator, AB InBev worked with Do Eat and Pure Value, both start-ups committed to sustainability. Pure Value developed sustainable Proteus displays. The Proteus displays have the main goal of saving 85% cardboard and have meanwhile been introduced in several supermarkets. Do Eat made edible packaging based on residual grains from AB InBev. Over the past two years, the program supported 36 companies in 16 countries with expertise and financial support. In total, these start-ups and SMEs have already raised $200 million through investors.
Also embedded in the program is a focus on social challenges, which are inextricably linked to environmental progress. From its inception, the 100+ Accelerator has developed global partnerships, including One Young World and Female Founders Alliance, as well as dozens of local and regional relationships to build a group of diverse founders.
"Sustainability is fundamental to the way we do business and shape our strategies," said Brian Smith, president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company. "We are committed to working with partners, including innovators, to bring more sustainable solutions to market by leveraging our size and scale. We are excited to be a partner of the 100+ Accelerator."
"Colgate's goal is clear -- we envision a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet," said Patricia Verduin, chief technology officer of Colgate. "And we know we can achieve our goal faster and more effectively with equally committed partners like AB InBev, Coca-Cola and Unilever. By becoming a founding member of the 100+ Accelerator, we increase sustainability, accelerate the innovation process and ultimately maximize our collective impact."
Marc Engel, chief supply chain officer of Unilever, added: "The 100+ Accelerator enables sectors to work together to drive sustainable innovation. Collaborations like this are critical to transforming global supply chains toward a greener future. The social inequality component of the program also aligns with Unilever's values; this year we pledged to ensure that everyone who directly supplies goods and services to us receives a living wage by 2030, we will spend more money on suppliers from underrepresented groups, and we have committed to train 10 million young people. By joining forces with our companies, I am excited about the impact the program will have. We must address climate change and social inequality to ensure a world that is positive and healthy for people and the planet."
Applications run from April 22 to May 31 at www.100accelerator.com.