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Sustainability Scientist

Job ID:
Sharnbrook, England
Date posted:
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Job Title: Sustainability Scientist

Location: Colworth, Sharnbrook, UK – hybrid

Unilever is seeking sustainability scientists (multiple) 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 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.


As a Sustainability Scientist in SEAC, 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. 


  • Science development activities in the areas of impact assessment and natural capital accounting (e.g.  LCA footprinting methods, biodiversity and ecosystem modelling).

  • 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, python, R, MAtlab. GEE, GIS, and ability to leverage emerging Earth Observation data.

  • Environmental sustainability assessment (LCA, Sustainable by design), of products, new sustainable 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.

  • Have experience in the development, application and evaluation of Life Cycle Impact Assessment or footprinting methodologies and potentially associated standards, protocols, or databases.

  • Understand biodiversity and ecosystem assessment approaches, ideally with some experience of developing / employing data, methods and tools for spatially resolved impact assessment e.g. GIS, InVEST, AWaRe, USEtox

  • 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.

  • Experience of using Input/Output (I/O) analysis and related methods.

  • Predictive modelling ideally with a focus on sustainable consumption and 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 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


Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Dove, Tresemme, Lynx, Lifebuoy, Shea Moisture, Persil, Domestos, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, Marmite, The Vegetarian Butcher, Graze and Pot Noodle. Faced with the challenge of climate change and the need for human development, we want to move towards a world where everyone can live well and within the natural limits of the planet. That’s why our purpose is ‘to make sustainable living commonplace’.

What We Offer

Not only do we offer a competitive salary and pension scheme, we also offer an annual bonus, subsidised gym membership, a discounted staff shop and shares. You’ll have the opportunity to work directly with our renowned and exciting brands in a flexible and hybrid working environment.

Whilst the role is advertised on a full-time basis, we would be happy to discuss possible flexible working options and what this may look like for you. We are a key advocate of wellbeing and offer a variety of support for our people including hubs, programmes and development opportunities. We strive to achieve a family-friendly and inclusive workplace and to, above all, create possibilities for all.  

Diversity at Unilever is about inclusion, embracing differences, creating possibilities and growing together for better business performance. We embrace diversity in our workforce. This means giving full and fair consideration to all applicants and continuing development of all employees regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity. We are also more than happy to provide reasonable adjustments during our application and interview process to enable you to be present your best self. To find out more, including about our Employee Resource Groups, please click here Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Unilever | Unilever

Recruitment Fraud

Cyber criminals advertise fake job adverts with prestigious employers as a way of stealing information or even defrauding individuals out of money. In the most sophisticated cases, they will set up fake websites, which have a similar address to companies like Unilever. They even conduct fake telephone interviews and then offer candidates a role with the proviso they pay a fee for background checks or to cover work visa costs.  These types of attacks are becoming more common as more people are looking for employment in the economic climate.  

How is Unilever tackling this?

Many of Unilever’s recruitment sites publish a warning to candidates about recruitment fraud. The Cyber Security team also proactively scan for signs of people setting up fake Unilever sites and act to close them down.  

What can I do?

If you become aware of potential recruitment fraud, spot fake Unilever recruitment adverts or fake LinkedIn profiles, report them via Una Live Chat.  

Unilever does not accept responsibility or liability for any candidates who are financially impacted by recruitment fraud. Your vigilance is key!  

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