Unilever’s Positive Beauty Growth Platform

Biodegradable & Sustainable Cosmetics & Packaging Challenge

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March 9 to April 11 (23:59 BST)

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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

Click here to download brief


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