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Unilever CEO Paul Polman Discusses Sustainable Business Strategy

Unilever is a new member of WRI’s Corporate Consultative Group, and we were thrilled to host the company’s CEO, Paul Polman, together with members of his sustainability team, Jeff Seabright and Thomas Langan, at WRI’s DC office recently. Polman met with WRI’s experts, reviewed some of our water and forestry tools, and spent more than an hour describing Unilever’s approach to sustainability from a business perspective.

Although already familiar with much of Unilever’s work, I was impressed with the comprehensiveness of the company’s approach across all stakeholder groups. Polman covered the full scope of the company’s commitment, along with personal insights on scaling up sustainable business practices.

The video below includes highlights from the presentation, where Polman discusses a spectrum of business interests—from the farmer at the beginning of the supply chain, through the investor and employee, to the customer and brand impact of products. Polman’s thoughts on each of the components of the approach add up to a strategy where the value of the whole is so much more than the sum of the parts.

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