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Unilever North America Headquarters Receives LEED Platinum Certification for Sustainability


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The sustainably-built, energy-efficient building was also named Commercial LEED Project of the Year by the New Jersey chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council

USA Unilever HQ

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NEW JERSEY (May 14, 2019) — The newly redeveloped Unilever North America headquarters building in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., has received LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the highest level of LEED certification available for sustainable buildings. The certification process assesses buildings across several categories including: location and transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and more.

As further recognition of the building as one of the most sustainable and technologically advanced redevelopments recently completed in the New York metropolitan area, Unilever’s building has been named the LEED Commercial Project of the Year by the USGBC in New Jersey. The project was also recognized by the New Jersey Business & Industry Associate New Good Neighbor Award.

Plans for the new corporate headquarters launched in 2014 in support of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which calls for the consumer goods company to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent while doubling its business. The new building unified four office buildings from the Englewood Cliffs campus into a single, state-of-the-art workplace. The project was completed in 2018.

“The Englewood Cliffs headquarters project was developed with sustainability at its heart, and it was evident at every step of the process from choosing our partners and planning to construction and design,” said Unilever North America Workplace Director Nathaniel Barney. “At Unilever, we believe we have a responsibility to make sure our operations leave as small a footprint as possible on our planet while also providing our employees with a safe, healthy, and productive work environment. We are proud to earn the LEED Platinum certification as a result of these efforts.”

Workplace strategists and designers from Perkins+Will helped Unilever craft a future-proofed vision for its new headquarters—a concept and design known as “the Marketplace”—which entailed the creative retrofitting, renovation, and repositioning of the company’s existing corporate campus. The 325,000 square foot renovation included interiors, as well as the construction of an entry pavilion and common area that stitched together the open space between individual buildings to create an entirely new, enclosed structure.

The efficient building achieved a 41% reduction in square footage, while being able to house more employees, which means less resources are needed to light and climate control the building.

The final building design incorporates smart technologies by EDGE that record data and automate the building’s features and functions, including Internet of Things (IoT) systems that enable the building to learn from occupants’ behaviors and remember their preferences.

The entire project was carried out with sustainability at the heart of the strategy. During the building phase, 75 percent of the construction materials were diverted from landfill. A shuttle service from New York City, Hoboken and Jersey City has supported a 40% reduction in individual cars.

“This was a collaboration in the truest sense of the word,” says Perkins+Will Principal Paul Eagle. “Not only did the new headquarters have to be modern, flexible, and conducive to employee health and well-being, but it also had to fulfil the ambitious sustainability goals set forth by Unilever. It all hinged on an incredible team working together to break new ground and develop a new model for sustainable, suburban campuses.”

With the workplace strategy and design concept from Perkins+Will in place, real estate experts at Cushman & Wakefield served as project manager and, together with developers EDGE Technologies and Normandy Real Estate Partners, devised a sustainability strategy and transaction approach that reduced the headquarters’ energy cost dramatically to offset the overall cost of occupancy.

About Unilever U.S.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day.

In the United States and Canada, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Degree, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Hellmann’s, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Love Beauty and Planet, Magnum, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Pure Leaf, Q-tips, Seventh Generation, Simple, Sir Kensington’s, St. Ives, Suave, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TAZO, TIGI, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

For more information on Unilever U.S. and its brands visit:

About Perkins+Will

About Perkins+Will Perkins+Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm established in 1935. Founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance communities, we collaborate with clients all over the world to create healthy, sustainable places in which to live, learn, work, play, and heal. More than 2,000 professionals across over 20 Perkins+Will offices include some of the brightest minds in architecture, interior design, branded environments, urban design, and landscape architecture. Clients consistently turn to us for our leadership and expertise in areas like sustainability, resilience, health and wellness, and mobility.

Additionally, our 10 Research Labs catalyze innovative design technologies and solutions that result in better, smarter, more competitive built environments. The recipient of hundreds of design awards each year, and a progressive leader in corporate social responsibility, Perkins+Will is consistently ranked among the world’s top design firms. Our family of partner companies includes retail strategy and design consultancy Portland; transportation planning consultancy Nelson\Nygaard; healthcare technology planning firm Genesis Planning; and luxury hospitality design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR). For more information, visit

About Perkins+Will New York Studio

As one of the first U.S. studios established by the firm, Perkins+Will's New York presence has a long history of leadership in design, practice, and environmental stewardship in the Northeast region and beyond. The multiple-practice office is renowned for its strengths in the design and execution of major architecture, interiors, and planning projects, including branded environments for corporate/commercial, civic, healthcare, higher education, and science/technology sector.

The New York office is led by architects, interior architects, interior designers, and workplace strategists, and nearly all are LEED Accredited Professionals. The office environment is a collaborative workplace with a commitment to delivering innovative design solutions that support client goals. The studio is LEED-CI Gold certified and located in New York’s Union Square neighborhood.

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