Paul Polman keynotes at the Bata Lecture on Responsible Capitalism

Unilever CEO keynotes at the Bata Lecture on Responsible Capitalism.

The only way to guarantee long-term prosperity is to grow businesses in line with the needs and aspirations of the communities they serve, Paul Polman said in his keynote address at the Bata Lecture on Responsible Capitalism.

Speaking in Toronto, Canada, Paul talked about how business has a much wider social purpose and value than just making money.

He said: “For too long we lost sight of what the Thomas Batas and the William Levers taught us about the right way to approach business and our responsibilities. Their form of capitalism lifted many out of poverty, gave access to education and health care and improved the state of the world.”

However, he believes there are huge opportunities for businesses that embrace a new model of responsible capitalism.

“This goes well beyond CSR,” he said. “It’s about moving to a licence to lead, where business sees itself as part of society not separate from it, where the focus is on the long term, not on quarterly earnings and where the needs of citizens and communities carry the same weight as those shareholders.”

Download Paul's full presentation in Related Links.

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