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Paulus Gerardus Josephus Maria Polman (1956, Enschede, The Netherlands)

Paulus Gerardus Josephus Maria Polman
Paulus Gerardus Josephus Maria Polman
  • Paul Polman studied Business Economics at the University of Groningen, and received an MA in Economics and an MBA in Finance and International Marketing at the University of Cincinnati, USA.
  • He is currently CEO of Unilever. He is Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and sits on the Board of the UN Global Compact, the Consumer Goods Forum, the UN Scaling Up Nutrition Initiative, the Dow board and the European Resource Efficiency Taskforce.
  • He is particularly known for his active engagement in sustainable entrepreneurship and the promotion of business models which account for the needs of people and environment. At the request of the UN Secretary-General, he served as a member of the UN High Level Panel for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
  • His leadership awards include CEO of the year in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Business Leader of the World, the Atlantic Council Award for Distinguished Business Leadership, the First Award for Responsible Capitalism in 2012 and the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal in 2013. He was also awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Northumbria in Newcastle (2000) and the University in Cincinnati (2009).
  • Paul Polman was nominated for the honorary doctorate by the University of Groningen in recognition of his contribution to entrepreneurship and sustainable development.

As an international business leader, Paul Polman is working with others to promote sustainable growth and deliver a more equitable world for all. He is a firm advocate of reducing CO2 emissions and preventing deforestation. He regularly speaks about the effects of climate change and the need to promote food safety, and he advises the European Commission on the effective use of natural resources.

He is one of the founders of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition, a group of Dutch multinationals, which aims to promote and contribute to a more sustainable society. He believes that, rather than simply chasing short term profits, companies have an obligation to reduce their environmental footprint and increase their social impact. Through Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, he intends to demonstrate the possibilities inherent in sustainable business models. With his wife and children, he runs the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust enhancing the education of visually impaired children in Africa.

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Last modified:21 September 2018 11.13 a.m.