Dutch investigative journalism platform Investico deciphered Unilever’s sustainability code and discovered the grim truth at the heart of the paper maze. "There is a vacuum at the policy level but our experience is that if you come with concrete proposals, such as moving from the Millennium Development Goals to a series of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), you can get governments behind you. ", Polman says that the impact of Unilever's sustainability strategy is creating waves across the corporate sector as it is showing there is a way to do good and to make money: "We are showcasing a different business model that shows how you give to society and the environment rather than just taking from them. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, will retire at the end of the year after over 10 years with the company. Paul Polman, the CEO of Anglo-Dutch consumer giant Unilever, whose brands include Dove, Persil, Bertolli, Flora and PG Tips, says the political … He also insists that much more is going on within the corporate world than is visible to the public eye: "Business leaders do not like to promise on things they are not sure they can deliver on so they would rather work discretely on projects.". No, and to expect it will ever happen is wishful thinking but investors will increasingly value our business on the basis of what we are doing. The largest trade Paul's ever made was buying 21,500 units of Dow stock on 27 October 2014 worth over $1,001,040. But on reflection, has Unilever been too ambitious with setting such far reaching targets? Scenario 4: Pandemic. "For those targets that have been met or exceeded, I point out that this is year one of a 10 year plan so the low-hanging fruits are a little easier and it will be progressively more difficult to achieve these targets. The plan had 17 goals and they gave us until 2030 to reach those goals. Unilever CEO Paul Polman at the World Economic Forum in Davos, 2010 (Photo: Sebastian Derungs/WEF) A multinational boss fancies himself King of the World. Helped by his ban on quarterly reporting to the City, Polman has managed to reduce the holding of Unilever shares by hedge-funds from 15% three years ago to less than 5%. Paul Polman on the Effect of US Businesses on Climate Change. Paul has made over 3 trades of the Dow stock since 2011, according to the Form 4 filled with the SEC. "The issues we face are so big and the targets are so challenging that we cannot do it alone so there is a certain humility and a recognition that we need to invite other people in. Paul Polman isn’t afraid to shake things up. DENTAL SAVINGS PLANS ACCEPTED(4) This dentist accepts the following plans. In 2006 Polman joined Nestlé as chief financial officer and became vice president for the Americas in February 2008. He says: "When we look at our supply chain, we think about smallholder farmers, we think about women and employment, we think about land rights, we think about biofuels and because we think about this holistically, our plants are getting better, our sourcing is getting better, these communities have a chance of functioning.". The world has moved on and these people need to broaden their education with the reality of today's world. There is also a commitment to improve the nutritional quality of its food products – with cuts in salt, saturated fats, sugar and calories – and link more than 500,000 smallholder farmers and small scale distributors i… Unilever is bringing in Paul Polman, who has been a senior executive at two of the company's principal global rivals, P&G and Nestle, as its new CEO. "The word over-ambitious does not exist when you look at the challenges we have to solve," he says. "But with Unilever, the Sustainable Living Plan is our business model. In the field of sustainable sourcing, Polman highlights that the total agricultural raw materials now being sourced sustainably has nearly doubled in just 12 months to 24%. Where Polman sees least progress is in the field of politics, pointing out that countries representing more than half of the global gross domestic product are in political stasis as a result of elections or leadership changes. Paul Polman took the reins at Unilever during one of the most precarious periods in the company’s 150-year history. And I … of … According to CEO Paul Polman, what benefits the company also benefits the earth. But he points out that it is essential companies bring in new expertise from across many disciplines, such as anthropology and psychology, in order to address issues such as behaviour change. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Throughout human history, there have been a number of pandemics of diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis. Late last week Paul Polman announce d that he would step down as CEO of Unilever at the end of the year. He says: "The City does not recognise it as a holistic business model, because projects like these usually represent just one component and usually sit on the sidelines of your overall business model. The deputy prime minister will be in Rio along with Caroline Spellman, and David Cameron has been asked by UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon to take a broader responsibility for SDGs so there is an engagement and we need to help. "Governments are coming out of office almost on a weekly basis so the onus is on companies to lead the way. The focus on improvement under Polman … © 2020 Fortune Media IP Limited. Paul Polman came from P&G. Become a GSB member to get more stories like this direct to your inbox, Discussing the progress of Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan, Paul Polman calls for governments, business and NGOs to work together to tackle the world's most pressing challenges, Unilever's Paul Polman: challenging the corporate status quo, Paul Polman: "The word over-ambitious does not exist when you look at the challenges we have to solve." "If we sustain our performance, then there is increasing trust in the management, then the attractiveness of the company can be enhanced, aligned with the shareholders you want to attract.". They laid out a plan for business to save our world. Jope was born in Scotland. Polman says there is a fundamental readjustment going on as a result of the financial crisis, from a rules-based society back to a principles-based society. What we firmly believe is that if we focus our company on improving the lives of the world's citizens and come up with genuine sustainable solutions, we are more in synch with consumers and society and ultimately this will result in good shareholder returns. But his most significant achievement has been to inspire fellow CEOs to look beyond financial results, to address the world’s pressing societal issues. Polman also highlights how he is seeing off speculative hedge-funds by taking the unusual step of actively courting long-term investment funds to buy the company's shares. Today, Paul Polman, head of the company Lever created, has even grander aspirations for Unilever, the maker of Dove soaps, Lipton tea and Hellmann’s mayonnaise. "It is not always obvious how to do that and for some people it is easier than others," he says. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. I say the opposite. "Does everyone get it in the City? Paul Polman Together Commitment End Practically, systemic thinking can be used to identify problems, analyze their boundaries, design strategies and policy interventions, forecast and measure their expected impacts, implement them, and monitor and evaluate their successes and failures. What came through loud and clear this year was a growing realization that companies that chase short-term profits at the expense of social responsibility won't last very long. This may include dental insurance as well as dental savings plans, an affordable alternative to dental insurance. People like Sir Richard Branson, Paul Polman and Bill Gates. "Good CEOs in the future need to feel at ease working with multi-stakeholder groups and know how to work with them and how to align them to move things forward," he says. Previously city included West End NC. He earned a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Edinburgh Business School. Most recently Paul bought 21,500 units of DOW stock worth $1,001,040 on 27 October 2014.. He also attended Harvard Business School's general management program in 2001. He and I worked intensively together on strategy at P&G in the 1990s during his formative years there as a general manager. He is a former Procter & Gamble president for Western Europe. Other names that Paul uses includes Paul G Polman. Helping this movement is the fact that those who grew up in the 1960s are moving into CEO positions and they recognise the importance of business with purpose. Offers may be subject to change without notice. When you look at any issue, such as food or water scarcity, it is very clear that no individual institution, government or company can provide the solution. "It requires a level of transparency and some are more comfortable than others doing that.". "Most CEOs go to visit their existing shareholders; we go to visit the ones we don't yet have.". "Historically, too many CEOs have just responded to shareholders instead of actively seeking out the right shareholders," he said. "I don't think our fiduciary duty is to put shareholders first. All rights reserved. Bill … There is also a commitment to improve the nutritional quality of its food products – with cuts in salt, saturated fats, sugar and calories – and link more than 500,000 smallholder farmers and small scale distributors in developing countries to its supply chain. Business is now in the driving seat on many of the initiatives such as the moratorium on illegal deforestation.". Mr. Polman is the recently retired chief executive of Unilever, which makes everything from Dove soap to Hellmann’s mayonnaise. "Success cannot be measured by the end state but by progress and what keeps us going is we have a holistic plan and are moving forward.". As C.E.O. While Unilever may be making progress on its sustainability plan, is it being mirrored in the City's valuation of the company? All Rights Reserved. Polman says there has been much progress since he launched the company's Sustainable Living Plan in November 2010. Without that we could not have seen such a step change, for example in our sourcing of sustainable agricultural raw materials. I would give ourselves an A minus on the scorecard but would also say we have to work harder.". "We have been extremely ambitious and this has moved us out of our comfort zone. Other family members and associates include Megan Musekamp, Megan Musekamp, Sandra Musekamp and Eric Musekamp. "You also have to make sure you do not get sidetracked by those NGOs which often have a mono issue and try to attack you because they want an end point like no animal testing or no biofuels. This position gives me access to these people and then it's a responsibility to leverage that. Terms & Conditions. FORTUNE is a trademark of Fortune Media IP Limited, registered in the U.S. and other countries. Polman will not directly criticise the UK government but does acknowledge he would "like to see things moving forward. He is particularly proud of the fact that Unilever will reach its target of 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2012, three years ahead of schedule, and has now set a new target to track all the certified oil it buys back to the plantation on which it was originally grown. Polman says there has been much progress since he launched the company's Sustainable Living Planin November 2010. In a wide-ranging interview with Guardian Sustainable Business to coincide with the first annual update of the company's ambitious 10-year Sustainable Living Plan, Polman calls on business leaders, politicians and NGOs to embrace systems thinking, and to recognise they cannot deal with the world's environmental and social challenges in isolation. 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