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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Research Scientist

Job ID:
Sharnbrook, England;
Wageningen, Gelderland
Date posted:
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Research Scientist (several positions available, across a range of pay grades)

Location: Primary: Colworth, Sharnbrook, UK; Secondary: Hive, Wageningen, NL – hybrid

Benefits: Competitive salary, annual bonus, pension, private healthcare, company share incentives, continuous professional training and development opportunities. 

Unilever is seeking LCA research scientists who have a passion for environmental sustainability to join a growing team of experts in our Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC). This is an exciting opportunity for anyone wishing to use their scientific expertise to make a significant positive impact, whilst working in a supportive, team-based environment. These pivotal roles will enable you to work on tackling some of the key global environmental challenges of our time, such as climate change, packaging waste and biodiversity loss. This is a science role. It is not an environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) or Corporate social responsibility (CSR) role.
The preferred location for this role is Colworth (Sharnbrook, UK) but we may consider candidates based in Hive (Wageningen, NL) based on experience and skillset.


As an LCA research scientist in Unilever, a large part of your role will be focused on conducting collaborative research to help advance life cycle assessment and related approaches. Science is an international and multi-disciplinary endeavour; you will partner with leading universities, governmental and non-governmental organisations and industrial groups around the world to deliver new methods, models and data. Publication and presentation of research at international conferences will be expected, and there will be opportunities to engage in various technical advocacy activities.

Research outcomes will be targeted for industrial application. As such, translation of new scientific approaches into direct business application will be a key part of the role, allowing for improved assessment of Unilever’s product portfolio across our business groups (Nutrition, Ice Cream, Home Care, Beauty & Wellbeing and Personal Care) to help deliver our ambition to be the global leader in sustainable business. 


  • Scientific development of Life cycle assessment and related approaches (e.g. LCA footprinting methods – including novel computational approaches, biodiversity and ecosystem modelling, spatially resolved impact assessment, natural capital accounting, absolute sustainability, EEIO methods).
  • Application of digital capabilities to enable cutting edge approaches in this area, e.g. LCA software (e.g. SimaPro, GaBi, Brightway or OpenLCA), Input/Output (I/O) modelling, Machine learning (ML), python, R, MAtlab. GEE, GIS, and ability to leverage emerging Earth Observation data.
  • Environmental sustainability assessment (LCA, Sustainable by design), of products, new materials, technologies, and business models (e.g. circular economy).
  • External engagement with universities, research groups, trade associations and suppliers.


You’ll need to be able to work effectively and with impact in cross-disciplinary teams and in multi-cultural environments and be flexible and willing to adapt within a fast-changing business environment.

We would expect the successful candidate to:

  • Have a relevant Masters or PhD, ideally with several years of industrial/consulting/post doc experience.
  • Strong experience in the development, application and evaluation of Life Cycle Impact Assessment or footprinting methodologies and potentially associated standards, protocols, or databases.
  • Strong knowledge and experience in LCA modelling, using software such as, SimaPro, GaBi, OpenLCA, Brightway or novel computational approaches for LCA and data gap-filling.
  • Knowledge and experience in biodiversity and ecosystem assessment approaches, spatially resolved impact assessment e.g. GIS, InVEST, AWaRe, USEtox and /or Input/Output (I/O) analysis.
  • Willingness to collaborate, explore and learn new approaches to support environmental assessment.
  • Be able to communicate complex scientific information and rationales on environmental sustainability to individuals from other disciplines or from non-technical backgrounds as well as via publications.

If you have the following skills, that’s a bonus but not essential:

  • Broader sustainability expertise in any of the following areas: bio-based systems, agriculture, green chemistry, circular economy, industrial ecology.
  • Experience of employing approaches to assess variability and uncertainty in impact assessments.
  • Predictive modelling ideally with a focus on ex-ante LCA, sustainable consumption and/or land system changes, e.g. understanding and experience of using Land Change models (LCM).


  • We COLLABORATE to build our networks to unlock creativity & deliver innovation
  • We strive for open, honest & TRANSPARENT communication
  • We take control over how, when & where we work to ensure we are HIGH PERFORMING
  • Our personal, physical, mental & emotional WELLBEING always takes priority
  • We EXPERIMENT & LEARN in a safe space to meet Unilever’s needs
  • We are guided by our collective purpose & passion for PIONEERING new science to protect people & planet
  • People come first; we are SUPPORTIVE, we embrace flexibility, jump in to help out & ask for help when we need it
  • We are INCLUSIVE; every voice counts & trust, respect & kindness are part of all we do


Colworth Science Park is a vibrant scientific ecosystem with around 800 employees (500 from Unilever R&D) based on site from over 30 nationalities, with 88 PhDs, 8 Professors, 50 apprentices. On site there are various facilities including a restaurant, a nursery and a gym. There are many social and recreational activities to take part in such as going for a lunchtime walk or run in the beautiful surrounding countryside, the Colworth choir, and netball team to name just a few.  London with all of its attractions is a short 40-minute train ride from Bedford.


We want consumers to be confident that our products are safe for them and their families, and better for the environment. The scientists at Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) play a key role in ensuring that our products are safe and our business is environmentally sustainable. SEAC’s world-class reputation for safety and sustainability science plays a key role in Unilever achieving its purpose, by working across the business to build safety and environmental sustainability into everything we do; find out how at


Together we can change the way the world does business.

At Unilever we make products that people love – and that make a difference. Nutritious foods. Household care essentials. Indulgent ice creams. Refreshing teas. Luxurious shampoos. Affordable, disease-combating soaps... and many more. In fact, we make around 400 much-loved brands. Shoppers buy them in more than 190 countries. That means you’ll find at least one of our products in seven out of ten households on the planet. And we want every one of those products to make a positive impact on the lives of the people who buy them. That's why our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace, built around the three core beliefs: brands with purpose grow; companies with purpose last and people with purpose thrive. Find out how we're harnessing our brands, our people and our partners to tackle the issues our consumers and stakeholders care deeply about, such as climate change, plastic pollution and inequality to deliver our ambitious sustainability agenda.

Unilever is the place where you can bring your purpose to life through the work that you do, creating a better business and a better world. You will work with brands that are loved and improve the lives of our consumers and the communities around us.

Apply now

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