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Unilever supports cosmetics industry to take action on sustainability

We’re teaming up with cosmetics and personal care businesses across Europe as a Pioneer member of the new Cosmetics Europe Commit for our Planet initiative.


Unilever has become a founding member of a new group of cosmetics and personal care businesses in Europe who are pledging to raise the bar on sustainable, ethical and responsible practices and take ambitious action on the planet’s most pressing challenges.

The Cosmetics Europe Commit for our Planet initiative(Opens in a new window) launched on 7 December to drive industry-wide sustainability commitments that are inclusive, measurable and adapted to ever-changing social and environmental needs across three key themes:

- Climate
- Packaging
- Nature.

Every founding ‘Pioneer’ member of the initiative – from global corporates like Unilever to SMEs and start-ups – is tasked with charting its own course for sustainability. The aim is to amplify efforts through joint action to harness the collective power of the beauty sector.

At Unilever, our commitment to sustainability is embedded through our purpose, vision, business model and strategy – the Unilever Compass – which outlines our five strategic choices for growth and the important role that our sustainability agenda plays in this. The Compass sets out sustainability commitments to improve the health of the planet, improve people’s health, confidence and well-being, and contribute to a fairer, more socially inclusive world.

Here is a high-level look at some of our Compass commitments:Climate

Unilever has set a target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our value chain by 2039 and zero GHG emissions in our operations by 2030, as well as halving the GHG impact of our products across the lifecycle by 2030. In 2021 we published our Climate Transition Action Plan (PDF 10.14 MB) with details of how we intend to achieve these targets.

We are also committed to using technology and innovation to provide consumers with superior and lower carbon products while growing our business. Our approach includes incorporating less, better, and no plastic packaging, designed to help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This includes more concentrated or compacted formulas.

We cannot achieve our climate goals alone and as such are working with suppliers who are as ambitious as we are. We are asking our suppliers to adopt carbon reduction targets to cut their emissions and we are prioritising partnerships with new suppliers who already have science-based emissions targets in place.

Additionally, our brands are investing €1 billion in our Climate & Nature Fund across this decade in projects that address climate change and protect nature, for example, through forest protection and regeneration.


Within our framework of Less Plastic, Better Plastic, No Plastic, we have committed that by 2025 we will:

  • Halve the amount of virgin plastic we use in our packaging, including an absolute reduction of 100,000 tonnes
  • Use 25% recycled plastic in our packaging
  • Collect and process more plastic than we sell
  • Ensure that 100% of our plastic packaging is designed to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Dove, one of the largest beauty brands in the world, has introduced its first refillable stainless-steel case. The refills use far less plastic, and the amount used is 98% recycled plastic. Additionally, Dove has introduced a 100% recycled plastic bottle, where technically feasible, in North America and Europe.


We’re working towards a deforestation-free supply chain in palm oil, paper and board, tea, soy and cocoa by 2023.

We’re using technology to help us understand what is happening to forests globally so we can work to prevent deforestation before it happens, applying cutting-edge technology solutions to get a clearer view of our supply chain, mapping smallholders’ communities, expanding our direct sourcing programme with independent mills, and investing in landscape approaches to drive impact at speed and scale.

We were the first consumer goods company to disclose our supplier and mill lists publicly, and we will continue to work together with all stakeholders.

Our purpose

Purpose underpins every part of this work, as Chief Sustainability Officer Rebecca Marmot explains:

“At Unilever, our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. It is something we believe in passionately and wholeheartedly, which is why we are proud to be a Pioneer of the Cosmetics Europe Commit for Our Planet initiative,” she says.

“We have a long history of putting sustainability at the heart of our growth strategy but know how important it is to join forces across the entire cosmetics industry on this vital agenda to ensure we maximise our impact. Only by working together can we truly reduce our environmental footprint in Europe.”

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