Unilever and Bio-on announce the start of a strategic partnership to develop, produce and sell personal hygiene and care products that guarantee a smaller or no environmental impact. Using patented bio-technologies for natural, biodegradable microplastics production, Unilever and Bio-on are taking an important step towards building a more sustainable economy and more responsible consumption in the personal care sector.
This collaboration is designed to meet the demands of consumers, who are increasingly concerned about sustainability and making purchasing choices that respect the environment, whilst making the most of the skills and excellence at both companies.
Unilever’s knowledge and large-scale presence on the personal care market with noted brands such as Mentadent, Dove, Zendium, Glysolid, and Sunsilk, teams up with the exclusive know-how of Bio-on, the Italian company listed on the AIM segment of Borsa Italiana and specialised in biotechnologies applied to widely used materials, to create completely natural products and solutions.
“For Unilever, developing a partnership with such an excellent Italian company as Bio-on is an important step towards the goals we have set ourselves with the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, primarily to halve the environmental impact of our products by 2030,” claims Fulvio Guarneri, Chairman & CEO of Unilever Italia. “This collaboration makes us very proud because it is one of the most important examples through which Unilever is making concrete moves towards sustainability in our business strategy.”
“Research into innovative products and cutting-edge formulations that respect the environment and people is now a priority in the personal care sector,” explains Marco Astorri, Chairman and CEO of Bio-on. “We are very pleased to work alongside such a major player as Unilever, with which we will have the great opportunity to introduce real sustainable innovation whilst reaching an increasingly broad consumer base.” Bio-on will work with Unilever through two new companies, which will focus 100% on exploiting exclusive technologies to develop, produce and supply personal care products.
Unilever is one of the largest companies operating on the Food, Refreshment, Home and Personal Care markets. Located in over 190 countries around the world, its products are used by 2.5 billion consumers every day. Unilever employs approximately 169,000 people worldwide and recorded sales of €52.7 billion in 2016. Approximately 57% of company sales comes from developing countries and emerging markets.
The company portfolio includes over 400 brands found in homes all over the world, such as Dove, Sunsilk, Knorr, Algida, Magnum, Lipton, Mentadent, Svelto, and Coccolino. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), outlining the company’s sustainable growth plan, has three main goals:
- Help more than 1 billion people to improve their health and wellbeing by 2020
- Halve the environmental impact of its products by 2030
- Improve the living conditions of millions of people by 2020
The USLP acts as a guide that leads to value creation, boosting growth and trust and cutting risks and costs. The company’s sustainable brands are growing 50% more quickly than its other brands and make up approximately 60% of growth recorded by Unilever in 2016.
In 2017, Unilever came top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in its category of reference. The FTSE4Good Index assigned the company the highest score in the Environment category. Unilever has also topped the ranking of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders for the last seven years, resulting from the research that GlobeScan/SustainAbility runs every year. Finally, Unilever is committed to becoming carbon positive by 2030.
For further information on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, visit www.unilever.it/sustainable-living/
About BIO-ON S.p.A.
Bio-On S.p.A., an Italian Intellectual Property Company (IPC), operates in the bioplastic sector conducting applied research and development of modern bio-fermentation technologies in the field of eco-sustainable and completely naturally biodegradable materials. In particular, Bio-On develops industrial applications through the creation of product characterisations, components and plastic items.
Since February 2015, Bio-On S.p.A. has also been operating in the development of natural and sustainable chemicals for the future. Bio-On has developed an exclusive process for the production of a family of polymers called PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from agricultural waste (including molasses and sugar cane and sugar beet syrups). The bioplastic produced in this way is able to replace the main families of traditional plastics in terms of performance, thermo-mechanical properties and versatility.
Bio-On PHAs is a bioplastic that can be classified as 100% natural and completely biodegradable: this has been certified by Vincotte and by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The Issuer’s strategy envisages the marketing of licenses for PHAs production and related ancillary services, the development of R&D (also through new collaborations with universities, research centres and industrial partners), as well as the realisation of industrial plants designed by Bio-On.