Partner with Purpose

Partner with Purpose logo

Welcome to the future of partnerships:

Unilever’s Partner with Purpose (UPWP) programme, launched in 2020, has taken purpose-led partnerships to a whole new level to fuel market-leading innovations, protect and regenerate nature and make sustainable living commonplace.

At Unilever we’ve been making strategic efforts to embrace more collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships with our partners for years. It all began in 2011 when we launched our Partner to Win programme. And while we’ve made great progress, the world has changed dramatically since 2011 - and our bigger, bolder ambitions mean we must too.

Our Partner with Purpose programme marks an evolution in the way we partner that allows us to continually respond to new and emerging consumer trends. Through the UPWP, we can get even closer to our partners and encourage more responsible and transparent innovation that delivers on our ambitious commitments and generates mutual growth together.

A new era for partnerships

Unilever’s Partner with Purpose programme was officially launched at a virtual event in December 2020. We invited 300 strategic partners to hear from Unilever’s top leaders about the critical role partners play in bringing our Divisional strategies to life.

Check out the event highlights video.

Our growth ecosystem

We are building a new partner ecosystem to create opportunities for all. We welcome partners based on shared purpose and a willingness to drive mutual growth and competitiveness whilst being a force for good for people and the planet. Together, we can and must do both.

Brands with purpose grow

We’re committed to innovating responsibly and transparently. Together with our partners, we create solutions and drive consumer engagement to help us meet the ambitious sustainability commitments outlined in our Positive Beauty, Clean Future, and Force for Good Divisional strategies.

By working with partners with a shared resolve, we can pursue new technologies and innovations that improve the health of the planet and contribute to a fairer and more socially inclusive world, generating mutual growth for us and our partners in the process.

For example, it’s thanks to our partnership with specialty chemicals company Evonik that our Chilean Home Care brand, Quix, was able to launch the world’s first household cleaning product containing a 100% renewable and biodegradable foaming ingredient, known as Rhamnolipid. Read more about our purpose-led collaboration.

Quix advert

People with purpose thrive

We collaborate with transparency and trust. Using real-time data availability and transparency through collaboration platforms, we provide a transparent end to end partner experience for all and promote a true partnership mindset. By working with partners who are aligned with our values, we can ensure all the major commodities on which we depend are produced sustainably for mainstream consumer markets. Similarly, achieving complete cost transparency helps us to ensure our competitive position in every market we operate in.

Our ecosystem approach allows us to engage with a wide array of partners, from local start-ups, to multi-nationals, using an inclusive and collaborative approach. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to innovation.

For example, our partnership with Viridor, a recycling, resource and waste management company in the UK, allows us to bring extra PCR capacity to the UK to meet our plastics goals. Together with our local resource management consultant, Nextek, the three of us are working towards detectable black plastic packaging for Unilever’s TRESemmé and Lynx personal care brands.

Companies with purpose last

We rely on our partners to promote speed and simplicity in how we work. Unilever’s segmented portfolio allows us to quickly adapt to new channel landscapes and customer needs, creating joint value with our partners.

We aim to support our partners’ growth potential 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.

For example, we are forming exciting new partnerships with Google and Descartes to build new approaches to land monitoring via satellite and traceability through Geolocation tracking to help us halt deforestation in our supply chain and beyond.

Unilever Partner with Purpose Awards


As part of the Unilever Partner with Purpose launch in December 2020, Unilever launched the UPWP Awards, an annual programme designed to acknowledge the outstanding work and achievements of Unilever’s partners and the collaborative relationships that deliver the mutual sustainable growth we seek.

Outstanding Innovation Award

2020 Winner: Wunderman Thompson

Wunderman Thompson worked with Unilever to redesign our iconic Lux soap in India to have a visible lump on it, indicative of one of the most common signs of breast cancer. ‘The Soap with a Lump’ - which does not disintegrate with use until the very end – serves as a daily trigger for self-examination. The launch grabbed the attention of international and social media, reaching over 9.4 million people globally within the first 24 hours.

Climate & Nature Impact Award

2020 Winner: Kompak Nederland

Kompak developed the CIF eco-refill, an innovative concentrated refill concept and collaborated with Unilever and other partners to execute a worldwide rollout. The use of a smaller refill pack combined with reuse of the original trigger bottle reduces plastic use by 75%. The fact consumers need to dilute the product at home also means 97% less water is transported, reducing the number of trucks on the road by 87% compared to diluted solutions, and subsequently decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Social Impact Award

2020 Winner: Menasha

Packaging, special packs & displays partner, Menasha, demonstrates a strong commitment to diversity by openly encouraging and valuing the contributions of all its employees. By embracing differences, Menasha imagines and delivers innovative new solutions, including a unique model for mentoring and training vulnerable communities and young adults. Menasha’s carefully thought out partnerships ensure positive initiatives can be scaled.

Partner Excellence Award

2020 Winner: Farabi Petrochemicals

Farabi has demonstrated a continuous commitment to support Unilever in our global growth ambition for the last 10 years. Ongoing investments have allowed Unilever open access to necessary volumes, and Farabi shows strong support for Unilever’s global Supply Chain Planning model for resilience and responsiveness.

Agility & Resilience Award

2020 Winner: CCL Label

CCL proactively engaged with Unilever’s cross-functional teams to fast track approval of a new feedstock supplier. In doing so, CCL ensured production continuity during a surge in demand for critical Beauty & Personal Care products across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. This initiative generated significant long-term benefits for both companies in the areas of resilience, agility and cost competitiveness.

Special Award – Heroes

2020 Winner: HH Global

Marketing partner, HH Global stretched well outside of its usual scope of business when it supported Unilever in sourcing and delivering face masks, thermometers and other materials during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the first four months, around 80% of Unilever’s masks were sourced via HHG Global. This partner demonstrated exceptional flexibility, agility and resilience in adapting to Unilever’s ways of working and made a difference to our business by protecting our people.

Partner of the Year Award

2020 Winner: Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd

Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd (TFL) is the first and only company to have installed a carbon capture unit for the manufacture of soda ash. The installation allows TFL to recover harmful greenhouse gas (CO2) and convert it to soda ash to supply to Unilever. This unique and pioneering process can help to capture and process 60,000 MT of CO2 which would otherwise have been emitted into the atmosphere. This soda ash is used in Unilever plants in South India supporting our Clean Future agenda to make brands like Rin, Wheel, Surf and Vim.

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