Unilever wants to meet the very best scaleups, startups and academic institutes operating in the world of cosmetic ingredients, formulations and packaging using revolutionary biodegradable and sustainable ingredients.
We are embracing a new era of beauty. One that’s Inclusive. Equitable. Regenerative. Positive. So that people and the planet can thrive together.
We recognize the huge importance of sustainable ingredients and packaging solutions for beauty and personal care products and are shifting our practices and capabilities across our business towards a People & Planet Positive future.
Our Beauty & Personal Care business, worth over €20 billion, owns some of the world’s most loved brands such as Dove, Axe, TRESemmé and Love Beauty & Planet. This challenge will be spearheaded by our Chief R&D Officer, Richard Slater and our Beauty & Personal Care leaders.
What Do We Mean by Biodegradable & Sustainable Ingredients and Packaging?
Most of the ingredients we use (approximately 90% by volume) in our beauty and personal care products, already biodegrade quickly and completely. However, while proven to be safe for the environment, some can take longer to break down.
We’re working with our scientific experts in collaboration with suppliers, partners, and academia to explore solutions that can replace our existing non-biodegradable beauty ingredients, formulations and packaging to help move towards:
Pioneering Positive Beauty practices
Our Assessment Criteria and How We’d Look to Partner
We are looking for startups, scaleups and academic research institutes (associated to SMEs) that are breaking new grounds
We need support in finding solutions that respond to biodegradable and sustainable opportunities in the following areas:
- Biodegradable Substitutes or Ingredients
- Sustainable Substitutes or Ingredients
- Biodegradable and sustainable cosmetic products/ formulation
- Sustainable packaging solutions
- Biodegradable packaging solutions with industrial or home compostability certification
- Future Unknowns, Disruptors & Game Changers
Download brief for more information
What we are looking for in our startup, scaleup and academic research collaborations:
Planet Positive: We are looking for biodegradable and sustainable solutions. *Please note all submissions should have a cruelty free requirement - no animal testing
Functionality: Companies that meet our functional requirements as detailed in Section 3 of the Brief.
Potential to scale at speed: Can demonstrate a path to economically scale production of their solution at speed or show an ability/ appetite to work together to achieve scale.
Differentiated idea, ingredient, formulation, patent, product, or brand (i.e., credible solution).
Evidence: proof of the uniqueness of the solution presented. This might include research papers, IP patents (pending/granted), certifications or other substantiating information. Please refer to the Brief for details.
If you want an opportunity to start a conversation, meet our senior leadership and business operators, and potentially enter partner discussions with us, the key steps are:
|Submissions Open||9 March, Wed (midday BST)|
|Unilever Open Forum (we present our ask and Q&A)||23 March, Wed (10:00 and 16:00 BST)|
|Submissions Close||11 April, Mon (23:59 BST)|
|Shortlist Announced||12 May, Thurs|
|Virtual Live Presentation (for the six best aligned)||w/c 23 May (13:00 – 14:30 BST)|
|Commercial Discussions||Q2 and Q3-22|
Have a question?
In September 2021, Unilever launched Positive Beauty Growth Platform, powered by The Unilever Foundry. The platform helps us connect entrepreneurs, pioneers and new ideas into all of our beauty and personal care categories so our brands stay ahead of the curve.
Through a series of Challenges, the Positive Beauty Growth Platform invites the very best scaleups and startups from around the world to collaborate on projects at the forefront of innovation and technology in the beauty industry.
Our Beauty & Personal Care division is a €20 billion business, home to some of the world’s most loved brands such as Dove, Axe, TRESemme and Love Beauty and Planet. This challenge will be spearheaded by our Chief R&D Officer, Richard Slater, and his leadership team.
There may be opportunities with one or more of our brands. Unilever Beauty & Personal Care is home to some of the world’s most beloved brands. Our portfolio includes Dove, Clear, Ponds, Lux, Axe, Rexona (Sure, Degree), Shea Moisture, Lifebuoy, Vaseline, Nexxus, Dollar Shave Club, Paula’s Choice, Dermalogica, Murad, and many more.