Paul Polman

Paul Polman
Paul Polman is a business leader, climate and equality campaigner and co-author of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take, a Financial Times Business Book of the Year. Polman works to accelerate action by business to tackle climate change and inequality. He believes, above all, that humanity will only overcome our greatest shared challenges through far-reaching systems change and bold new partnerships to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which he helped develop.
 
As the CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), Polman demonstrated that business can profit through purpose, marrying a long-term, multi-stakeholder model with excellent financial performance. During his tenure, shareholders saw their returns increase by 290% while the company consistently ranked 1st in the world for sustainability and as one of the best places to work.
 
Today Polman works across a range of organisations and initiatives to help speed the global action needed to regenerate our planet, renew our economies and unite our societies. He helps business move further and faster on these ambitions, including through his work with Systemiq and through mobilising private equity.
   
Last year Polman’s published his critically acclaimed book with sustainability expert Andrew Winston, Net Positive, which sets out how to build companies which succeed by fixing the world’s problems, rather than creating them. He actively campaigns on a range of human rights issues, including promoting disability inclusion through the Valuable 500 and the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, which he set up with his wife Kim.