Ex-Coca-Cola VPs debut ChatGPT-like AI tool to help enterprises solve their sustainability woes

Two former Coca-Cola vice presidents have joined forces to bring to market an artificial intelligence (AI) system that is already helping several high-profile Fortune 500 companies hone their sustainability strategies.

Dubbed by its creators as “ChatGPT for environmentalism”, the tool – known as Ubuntoo – has reportedly been in development for five years and has been designed to provide users with curated intelligence and remedies to their enterprise sustainability issues.

It also seeks to close the gap between the words and actions of enterprise leaders on environmental issues, which commonly exists because organisations lack the skills, knowledge and experience in-house to deliver on their sustainability goals.

As such, the tool can make recommendations to businesses about how best to reduce the amount of plastic they create, how to refine their recycling processes, and make recommendations on ways to ramp up the amount of renewable energy their companies use.

“Ubuntoo draws upon an expert database developed for over five years that provides users with curated solutions and intelligence, setting it apart from other large language AI platforms,” said the company, in a statement.   

“The engine provides tailored knowledge to companies and institutions seeking to make their operations and output greener at a fraction of the cost of a traditional consultancy.”  

Ubuntoo was founded by ex-Coca-Cola vice presidents Peter Schelstraete and Venkatesh Kini, and their former employer is one of a number of Fortune 500 companies already using the technology.

“As global environmental legislation tightens, and consumers grow more environmentally conscious, businesses are full of ambition to be part of the solution,” said Schelstraete.

“However, even for the most ambitious companies, it remains very hard to implement an ESG [environmental, social and governance] strategy. With Ubuntoo AI, we are leveraging AI and human expertise to provide better access to environmental solutions.”

Schelstraete said the Ubuntoo platform consists of a data pipeline that curates and analyses data from public and private sources, which is indexed and organised to help users find the answers to their sustainability questions with the help of the organisation’s Sustainability Knowledge Graph.

“This allows us to uncover linkages beyond similarity to give verifiable answers to our users,” he said, before confirming the platform makes use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT for generative text purposes at the moment, but it is also experimenting with other large language models (LLMs).

“Our flexible platform allows us to add new data sources and leverage advancements by LLM providers with ease,” he added.

Global fast-food franchise Subway is another reference user of the technology, with Mike Kehoe, the firm’s Europe, Middle East and Africa president, outlining how the company is making use of Ubuntoo.

“Whether it is to achieve more sustainable packaging or reduce carbon emissions, it is vital for our teams to have access to the most relevant solutions and industry best practices,” he said.

“Ubuntoo’s AI-driven wealth of expertise provided me with the means to make informed decisions in real time at a fraction of the cost of a traditional consultant. We used their platform to successfully transition to sustainable uniforms for our sandwich artists in Europe.”


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