Cultivating purpose-driven leaders
Cultivating purpose- driven leaders and businesses can transform the world and achieve a sustainable future, according to the CEO of Unilever Paul Polman.
Delivering the keynote speech at the inaugural INSEAD The Force for Good Conference in France in October Polman said that businesses represent approximately 60 percent of global GDP, 80 percent of financial flow and 90 percent of job creation.
“Business cannot be a bystander in a system that gives it life in the first place. We cannot find the solutions to these world challenges if we don't start to do things differently and see things differently.”
A media release from INSEAD says Polman demonstrated how Unilever’s ambitious vision to fully decouple growth from its overall environmental footprint and to increase its positive social impact has not only brought sustainability and positive social impact to the table, but simultaneously created twice the market growth and 300 percent shareholder return to Unilever’s bottom line over a 10-year period.
“With two and a half billion consumers using Unilever’s products every day in about 190 countries in the world, the company set a goal to reach one billion people. No governments alone in the world can do that.
“And interestingly, the more you do that, the more you address these societal issues, the better you do, and the better the company grows.”
Polman said that it’s vital to have purpose-driven leaders and organisations focused on sustainability – driving growth by not only looking at the bottom line, but also at long-term impact to societies.