CEO speaks out on sustainability at major UN event

Paul Polman explains why the world is at a tipping point.

Anniversary of UN Global Compact

CEO Paul Polman has reiterated Unilever's commitment to sustainability at the Leaders' Summit of the UN Global Compact – a public-private initiative for businesses seeking to make progress on human rights, labour practices, the environment and anti-corruption.

One of the highlights of the event was the release of an Accenture report on the views of over 750 CEOs on sustainability – produced to mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of the UN Global Compact.

The study shows that over 93% of CEOs interviewed believe sustainability is critical to the success of their business.

During his contribution, Paul reiterated that the age of 'business as usual' is over. He stated that the world is at a tipping point, and that consumer goods companies like Unilever need to take action now, both directly and by supporting customers and consumers.

Consuming with conviction

Paul continued by explaining that consumers are part of the solution. More than ever, they want to be sure that the products they buy are sustainably produced – not just good for themselves but for the planet as a whole.

For this reason, consumers are now looking closely at companies like Unilever and expecting to see responsible business practices in place.

Shared agendas

Customers also play a role by putting sustainability higher on the agenda – creating the potential for close collaborations and partnerships.

Paul closed his remarks by highlighting Unilever's new vision, which involves the business both looking at its direct impacts as well as influencing the value chain as a whole, from sourcing through to consumers.

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