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Unilever Bangladesh signs research partnership MoU with BUET


As part of this initiative, Buet's Research and Innovation Centre for Science and Engineering (Rise) has awarded a research project to address plastic packaging circularity in Bangladesh

MoU signing ceremony between BUET and Unilever Bangladesh in 2023

Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) have embarked on a collaborative journey to promote innovation and research.

As part of this initiative, Buet's Research and Innovation Centre for Science and Engineering (Rise) has awarded a research project to address plastic packaging circularity in Bangladesh, reads a press release.

On Monday, UBL and RISE jointly organised The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony which is the first step towards the collaborative approach between Rise, Buet and UBL with the research project titled ‘Sustainable Plastic Packaging Circularity –Cost-Effective Appropriate Technology.'

This research is part of UBL's commitment to take action on the plastic waste challenge in Bangladesh through the “Less plastic, better plastic, no plastic” model and heading to a waste-free and sustainable Bangladesh.

The Research and Innovation Centre for Science and Engineering (Rise), founded in Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), is a research and innovation hub to stimulate and foster world-class research and encourage innovations in engineering and science.

This significant research collaboration aimed at addressing pressing environmental challenges, future-fit technological solutions and promoting sustainability in the context of the Bangladesh scenario.

This collaborative effort will primarily concentrate on country-specific solutions for mitigating the environmental impact, minimising the carbon footprint, enhancing energy efficiency and establishing sustainable sourcing practices for raw materials and a strong focus will be placed on researching and advancing recyclable, reusable and compostable packaging solutions.

Also, this partnership will help to create a more sustainable future for Bangladesh by collaborating on research and development, capacity building, policy advocacy and education and awareness.

Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Saber Hossain Chowdhury attended as the chief guest of the event.

Professor Dr Abdul Jabbar Khan, pro-vice-chancellor of Buet, attended the event as the guest of honour. Professor Dr Satya Prasad Majumder, vice-chancellor of Buet, presided over the ceremony and Zaved Akhtar, CEO and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh represented the company and signed the MoU along with Buet, Director of Rise, Buet Professor Dr Anisuzzaman Talukder.

Zaved Akhtar said: “At Unilever, sustainability is at the heart of our business. As a part of our global commitment to improving the health of our planet, we have been driving innovative approaches to plastic waste management since 2020, which includes innovation in packaging, creating a sustainable model for plastic waste collection and management, and creating common platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogues and knowledge sharing.”

“As we continue to explore avenues to create a sustainable plastic management ecosystem, there is no better time than now to start working with researchers and scientists who play a critical role in driving progress in these areas,” he added.

“I am humbled to have Buet, the country's most prestigious engineering university leading innovation and research, to join hands with us and collaborate to help us to understand the industry's current challenges and guide us towards our collective goal of sustainable plastic waste management,” Zaved further said.

“Through our joint effort, we can have a lasting impact on our economy, achieve our Vision 2041 and create a Bangladesh that will be a model to the rest of the world. I want to thank Professor Dr Abdul Jabbar Khan, pro-vice chancellor, Buet, Professor Dr Satya Prasad Majumder, vice chancellor, Buet, Director of Rise Buet Professor Dr Anisuzzaman Talukder and his team for their support,” he said.

Professor Dr Satya Prasad Majumder said: "Both Unilever Bangladesh and Buet started their journey around the same time and have been instrumental in creating value for Bangladesh in their respective fields. Industry and academia can complement each other to drive innovations for a more sustainable future, but the government's support is also crucial. In this regard, I commend the ‘Smart Bangladesh Vision 2041' by our government which is facilitating research-driven partnerships.”

“I believe stronger cooperation between the industry leaders and the academic institutions can support the government in building a better Bangladesh," he added.

Saber Hossain Chowdhury said: "The three main crises in the world today are climate change, threats to biodiversity, and plastic pollution, and the future of Bangladesh depends on the implementation of policies and strategies to deal with these issues.”

“The amount of plastic waste in our environment is increasing every day. Thus, plastic waste management needs to be integrated into the business model to find solutions. As an outcome of this MoU, I am hopeful that UBL, as a global brand, will share their experience with Buet and co-create innovative ways to solve the plastic problem," he added.

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