Partner to Win

Partner to Win is our approach to building long-term relationships with selected key strategic supplier partners in order to achieve mutual growth, both for our suppliers and Unilever.

Launched in 2011, Partner to Win is designed to drive closer collaboration with our most strategic suppliers, focusing on five core areas:

partner to win

Quality and Service

Quality is about delighting consumers, every day. At Unilever, we have 2 billion opportunities a day to delight our consumers so it is of utmost important we get it right every time. Quality and service are therefore integral to our selection and contracting processes with suppliers and we have solid service and quality level agreements in place.

We ask our suppliers for real time information transparency which we enable through close collaboration and usage of our integrated supplier platform Supplier Net. Together with our suppliers we win through continuous improvement which we do by focusing on a quality-driven value chain with global scale and local agility.


Innovation is at the core of our success and suppliers play an instrumental role in fuelling our innovation pipeline – approximately 30% of our growth comes from innovation and more than 70% of that innovation comes from our suppliers. Partner to Win has been paramount in building partnerships with suppliers that lead to the new breakthrough concepts, ideas or innovations that help us win in the market. With our suppliers, we turn consumer insights into technical solutions across the whole value chain and source cutting edge expertise from industry leaders to creative start ups.


To achieve long term and sustainable growth it is paramount we realise continuous and steady gross margin improvement. Creating joint value through collaboration and deep value chain integration with suppliers is a key enabler - achieving complete cost transparency helps us to ensure our competitive position in every market we operate in.

Responsible and Sustainable Living

Unilever has a simple but clear purpose – to make sustainable living commonplace. We believe this is the best long-term way for our business to grow. One of our priorities is to ensure a better future for farming and farmers which is anchored in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. By working with our suppliers, we aim to ensure all the major commodities on which we depend are produced sustainably for mainstream consumer markets.

Capacity and Capability

To continue to grow our business, we need to enable our suppliers to grow with us. We aim to leverage our suppliers’ potential to grow by building capacity in emerging markets and some of the world’s fastest growing regions, looking for joint opportunities to drive efficiency of supply, investing in cutting edge technology, leveraging innovation and fostering continuous development of new capabilities.

There is an active events programme for Partner to Win to facilitate knowledge sharing and networking. This includes a number of events focussed by geography and product category, the highlight being a global summit for our top strategic suppliers. The most recent Partner to Win Summit was held in London in May 2017. The theme of the two days was Connected for Growth (C4G), with a focus on unlocking growth and value creation.

As part of the Summit, the 2017 Partner to Win Awards programme acknowledged winning suppliers in the five core areas.

Partner to Win Award for Winning Value Creation

Partner to Win Award for Winning Value Creation: Plastek

This award recognises suppliers that have displayed extraordinary effort and insight in identifying and securing opportunities which have created value and driven growth, particularly in cost competitiveness. 

2017 Winner – Plastek

Partner to Win Award for Winning Innovation

Partner to Win Award for Winning Innovation: Dow

This award recognises projects with astonishing results that have unquestionably impacted the market. This award is given to a supplier that has presented innovations which have delivered better overall product functionality, speed to market and/or increased appeal to customers or consumers. 

2017 Winner - Dow

Partner to Win Award for Responsible and Sustainable Living

Partner to Win Award for Responsible and Sustainable Living: Barry Callebaut

This award recognises suppliers that have made an outstanding contribution to Unilever's sustainability agenda. Particular emphasis is on the delivery of sustainable sourcing, resulting in a positive impact on farmers, customers, consumers, and the market or industry. 

2017 Winner – Barry Callebaut

Partner to Win Award for Winning Capacity and Capability

Partner to Win Award for Winning Capacity and Capability: CCL

This award recognises suppliers that have shared their access to – and knowledge of – infrastructure, local markets or customer/consumer insights to develop the capabilities and capacity required by Unilever to meet its growth ambitions. 

2017 Winner - CCL

Partner to Win Award for Winning Quality and Service

Partner to Win Award for Winning Quality and Service: Huhtamaki

This award recognises suppliers that have delivered outstanding service to Unilever with an emphasis on quality, service levels and driving best practice. 

2017 Winner – Huhtamaki

Two special awards were also introduced in 2017:

Partner to Win Award for Winning with Diversity

Partner to Win Award for Winning with Diversity: Accenture

This award recognises a supplier that has showed commitment to empower women and drive a gender equality strategy throughout their organisation. 

2017 Winner - Accenture

Partner to Win Visionary Award

Partner to Win Visionary Award: Convoy

This award recognises a supplier partner who demonstrates real pioneering behaviour and who has the courage to do things differently, and as a result brings new insight, innovation or a new approach to the way we work together. 

2017 Winner – Convoy

Read more about how we are growing for the future through sustainable sourcing.

“The Partner to Win Awards recognise the outstanding work of Unilever’s suppliers. Strong relationships with partners that share our sustainable growth ambitions are critical. They play a vital role in helping us to deliver our sustainability commitments and support our growth with their capacity, capabilities, innovations and new technologies. This year’s award entries were stronger than ever and I would like to congratulate the 2017 Award winners for their exceptional contribution.”

Dhaval Buch, Chief Procurement Officer for Unilever
The 2017 Partner to Win Summit

The 2017 Partner to Win Summit

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