Paul Polman (LLD)
Saturday 17 December 11:45am
Paul Polman has been Chief Executive Officer of Unilever since January 2009. Under his leadership Unilever has set out an ambitious vision to decouple growth from its environmental footprint while increasing its positive social impact.
Paul is Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and serves on the Board of the UN Global Compact. He is also a member of the B-team and the European Resource Efficiency Platform.
Paul has been closely involved in global discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and action to tackle climate change. In 2016, Paul was asked by the UN Secretary-General to be a member of the SDG Advocacy Group, tasked with promoting action on the 2030 Agenda. Prior to this, Paul served on the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, presenting recommendations on Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of the private sector. He is also a member of the newly formed Business and Sustainable Development Commission. Paul also served on the International Council of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, under former Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, whose flagship report ‘New Climate Economy’ demonstrates that lasting economic growth can be achieved at the same time as reducing the immense risk of climate change.
Since 2010, Paul has been a non-executive director of the Dow Chemical Company.
In recognition of his contribution to responsible business, Paul has received numerous awards and accolades including WWF’s Duke of Edinburgh Gold Conservation Medal (2013), the Centre for Global Development's Commitment to Development Ideas in Action Award (2013), the Rainforest Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award (2014), the UN Foundation’s Champion for Global Change Award (2014), the Oslo Business for Peace Award (2015) and the UN Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth Award (2015). This year he received France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, in recognition of his efforts in galvanising business action on sustainability and for his involvement during the historic 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.