Paul Polman receives the FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism

16/11/2012 - Unilever CEO recognised for both commercial success and social responsibility.

Businesses must move from a “license to operate” to a “license to lead”, Paul Polman said in his acceptance speech at the FIRST Awards for Responsible Capitalism on 12 November.

Speaking at Lancaster House in London he told the audience that it takes more than acts of corporate social responsibility to build a sustainable and equitable future for all.

Paul said: “We need to fundamentally re-evaluate the way in which we do business.  That is what we are trying to do at Unilever with our new business model, set out in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.”

These new business models have the power to face today’s challenges and instigate and implement change.

Paul said: “Last year, more than 6 million people pledged action on handwashing on the Lifebuoy Facebook page. Suddenly this isn’t just a brand, it’s a movement for change. And it’s not just about washing hands, it’s about saving lives. I want all of our brands to build movements for change like this – and many already are.”