Paul Polman: B Corps, Climate Change, and the Future of Capitalism [Ep. 145]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Paul Polman was Chief Executive Officer of Unilever from 2009-2019. Under his leadership Unilever set out an ambitious vision to decouple its growth from overall environmental footprint and increase its positive social impact.

Paul actively seeks cooperation with other companies to implement sustainable business strategies and drive systemic change. He is Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the B Team and Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact. Paul previously served as Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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.

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Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with Paul Polman include:

  • How Paul first got interested in sustainability

  • Why Paul chose not to report quarterly returns, and instead only report annual returns to his shareholders

  • How he reconciles the need for growth on a finite planet

  • The growth of the B Corp movement

  • What he thinks about expanding ownership to workers, suppliers, and community members

  • Paul’s thoughts on permaculture and regenerative agriculture

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.