We invested €800m into R&D in 2020 and we have over 20,000 patents protecting the ideas, discoveries and breakthroughs that our global team of 5,000 world-leading experts produce.
in R&D in 2020
protecting our ideas
in 60 countries
We’ve been innovating for over 100 years – from re-inventing soap in the late 19th century to pioneering sustainable living today - we innovate for people, for society and for our planet.
Our people are specialists: they are innovators, scientists, engineers, chefs, technologists, regulatory experts and data scientists in fields ranging from material chemistry to animal testing alternatives.
We’re very proud to say that over 50% of our senior roles are held by women and 70% of our innovations are enabled through our global network of innovation partners.
Sustainability is fundamental to everything we do. Research and development powers our ambitious targets, re-inventing the science that makes our products, and partnering with the best minds on our planet.
We track over a billion digital consumer connections every day for insights, trends and opportunities. We run automated technology to bring better products to market more quickly and efficiently.
Next generation biology is unlocking significant benefits that are essential to us reaching our climate and nature goals. We’re developing world-leading expertise in-house and through partnerships.
Innovating boldly for people and planet means challenging our thinking - and applying real science and technology to tackle big challenges that matter.
Richard Slater, Chief R&D Officer
Science is everywhere
Every Unilever product is based on an innovation crafted by our experts in collaboration with our network of partners. We translate our scientific discoveries into everyday products that care for the planet and improve people’s health, confidence and wellbeing.
Some of our focus areas are hygiene, skin care, premium beauty, plant-based foods and functional nutrition, such as vitamins, minerals and supplements, and we're constantly evolving alongside our consumers’ ever-changing lives and tastes.
We need to innovate to succeed. And to succeed we need to make sustainable living commonplace.