Leaders in Sustainability #4 – Paul Poleman

The environmental movement is one that is categorized by its diverse and multifaceted efforts. While positive in that it targets problems from a variety of different angles and mediums, its multilayered aspects can sometimes make the movement seem overwhelming and abstract. However, one way to help demystify its broad landscape is to clarify who the leaders of sustainability are and what the different spheres they work within are. Below is number of five main leaders who are steering the push for sustainable change:

Paul Poleman

Who he is:

  • CEO of Unilever since January 2009
  • Known for his “intense energy and fierce commitment, his focus on the world’s poor, as well as his ability to integrate the many aspects of sustainability, from climate change and deforestation to nutrition and agriculture.”
  • Believes it is not a company’s duty to cater to there shareholders but instead to improve the lives of citizens. A company should be in synch with society or they will fail.

What he has done for sustainability:

  • Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Serves on the Board of the UN Global Compact
  • Board Member of the Global Consumer Goods Forum.
  • Member of the European Resource Efficiency Platform
  • CK Prahalad Award for Global Sustainability Leadership
  • Latest project: Launched the Sustainable Living Plan in 2010- strives to halve environmental effects of production of of goods while increasing sales and quality of food, and also incorporate 500,000 smallholder farmers into production cycles.

His Words:

  • “The word over-ambitious does not exist when you look at the challenges we have to solve… We have been extremely ambitious and Kyte face and not falling into the trap of pretending we are further down the road than we really are.”

Written by Julie Elliot, Class of 2015


Source: http://www.unilever.com/aboutus/companystructure/executivedirectors/paul-polman.aspx

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