Logo Unilever
Headquarters: United Kingdom
Type: Large industry
Sector: Market Actors


Unilever is a multinational manufacturer of Home & Personal Care and Foods products, turnover €52.7 bn, 169.000 employees [2016]. Unilever's top 12 brands all have sales of more than €1bn. Unilever has been in business in the UK since the 1880s and became famous with a revolutionary product, the Sunlight Soap.

Unilever has six R&D laboratories [UK (2), Netherlands, China, India & USA] that focus on delivering ground-breaking innovations, 31 major development centres that develop and implement product innovations, & R&D teams in 92 locations implementing innovations in countries and factories. Currently Unilever has 6000 people working in R&D in all Unilever regions across the globe. Unilever invests around €1 billion in R&D each year, and holds a portfolio of more than 20,000 patents and patent applications.

Unilever is an end user of bio-based materials and implements bio-derived materials across most of it’s home/personal care and foods product portfolio. Typical bio-derived ingredients include: enzymes for household detergents, bio-polymers for structuring and deposition aids, bio-derived dispersants and Ice crystal modifying proteins for ice cream.

Unilever launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, a blueprint for a sustainable business model. The amount of bio-based materials entering Unilever’s supply chain has increased and will continue to increase as Unilever looks to double in size whilst reducing its environmental impact by 50%. Unilever aims to be ‘carbon positive’ by 2030. By 2016, over 600 Unilever sites were sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill.

Unilver is partner in BBI JU projects ‘EXILVA’ (Flagship demonstration of an integrated plant towards large scale supply and market assessment of MFC (microfibrillated cellulose)) and ‘HYPERBIOCOAT’ (High performance biomass extracted functional hybrid polymer coatings for food, cosmetic and medical device packaging)