Not many CEOs of global corporations have cited John Lennon as the inspiration for a major initiative. But then Paul Polman, former chief executive of Unilever, is no business-as-usual CEO.
July 10, 2019
John Lennon Inspires Paul Polman’s Next Move
Not many CEOs of global corporations have cited John Lennon as the inspiration for a major initiative. But then Paul Polman, former chief executive of Unilever, is no business-as-usual CEO. As head of the conglomerate for nearly a decade, Polman pioneered sustainability throughout its dozens of brands, from sourcing and supply chain to logistics, packaging, and the messaging to the company’s millions of consumers worldwide. He led from the front in supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change, and chaired a CEO commission that identified a $12 trillion business opportunity in solutions proposed in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
Now, Polman has announced IMAGINE, an organization that will work with companies to step up action towards achieving the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), He announced the initiative in a Tweet that quoted Lennon’s lyrics: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Join my IMAGINE co-founder @Valerie_Keller_ and me to help the world dream a new dream. Takes us all.”
“The imperative to eradicate poverty and inequality and stem runaway climate change has never been more acute,” Polman wrote in an email to former colleagues and business contacts detailing his new project, reports Bloomberg. What’s more, “we still miss the collective sense of urgency to move at scale and speed.” Polman said that the private sector is “the main engine for change,” but that “even a company like Unilever can only do so much” and “we have a fight against the clock here.”
If the mark of a business visionary is to see what the world could be as opposed to what it is, then Polman more than qualifies for the position. Imagine that. Read More >
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CASE STUDY: HP
Sustainability is old news at HP. The company has been recycling hardware and toner cartridges since the 1980s. What’s new is a next-step commitment to build a new, circular supply chain, reports Amy Brown, writing in Triple Pundit. That initiative involves incorporating post-consumer plastic in its products to reduce waste and especially, to help keep plastic waste out of the oceans.
“Our commitment to the circular economy stretches back a really long time, Nate Hurst, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer at HP Inc. told Triple Pundit. “Long before recycling became mainstream, we were thinking with that mindset.”
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