Unilever signed its thirtieth strategic supplier partnership to support the company’s sustainable growth ambitions. The partnerships now cover more than €3billion of annual spend and support investment in growth, more sustainable practices and bigger and better innovations.
Last year, Unilever launched a specific program, called Partner to Win, to work more closely with its key suppliers. Partner to Win has enabled the company to create more long-term partnerships in co-creating new capabilities. The latest partnership signing took place against the backdrop of the second annual Partner to Win Supplier Summit in London. Unilever invited 160 strategic suppliers to meet senior managers from across the organization, gain a deeper understanding of the company’s strategic priorities and to share latest innovations.
"Unilever has a bold ambition to double the size of its business whilst halving the environmental impact of its products. Our recent financial results and update on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan show we are making good progress in both areas. However to achieve our ambition, it is vital that we work in closer partnership with our strategic suppliers to ensure faster innovations and invest sustainably throughout our value chain. In 2011, our suppliers invested an estimated €1.3 billion in additional industrial capacity to support our growth,” said Pier Luigi Sigismondi, chief supply chain officer for Unilever. “It’s a similar story when it comes working closely together on innovation. Half of Unilever’s innovation pipeline now comes from our suppliers. From last year’s Partner to Win Supplier Summit alone, more than 250 innovation ideas were taken into joint development programs. This demonstrates the strength and commitment of our partnerships and the progress we are making.”
To celebrate and recognize suppliers who have made a significant contribution in the categories of innovation, sustainability, business integration, world-class enterprise support and capacity, and capability development, Unilever hosted the Partner to Win Awards. Sigismondi commented, “This event presented us with a fantastic opportunity to recognize some outstanding examples of true excellence in our suppliers, who are leaders in their fields.”
Among the winners were:
Winning through Innovation
- Givaudan—partner in fragrances
- The Dow Chemical Company—partner in plastics (innovative packaging solutions for the personal care portfolio)
Winning through Sustainability
- Metsä Board Corporation—partner in board (sustainable lightweight packaging)
Winning through Capacity and Capability Development
- BASF—partner in chemicals (capacity alignment in D&E markets)
Winning through Business Integration
- CCL Label—partner in R&D (simplify partner inventory management and increase speed to market)
Winning through World Class Enterprise Support
- Accenture—partner in process management (enabled Unilever’s One Supply Chain model across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Russia)