Standing up to the City to symbolise the start of a seismic transformation. Appealing to customers, colleagues, supply chains and investors alike.
- Overcoming the MonsterRebirth
Last updated: June 13, 2023
Lean Story Canvas
Employees and shareholders, becoming increasingly concerned about the company’s impact on the world.
The pursuit of corporate profit destroying habitats, driving biodiversity collapse accelerating climate breakdown.
A sustainable future which is catalysed and positively impacted by big business. “We cannot choose between [economic] growth and sustainability. We must have both.” Eight years of growth, averaging twice the rate of overall market growth, whilst delivering a total shareholder return of 290%.
Big business only cares about the money. The mentality that profits have to come before the environment and they are not mutually beneficial. ”If you want to exist as a company in the future, you have to go beyond. You actually have to make a positive contribution.” An unsustainable business. If you want to exist in the future, you have to make a positive contribution.
Call to Adventure
There is no Planet B. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple its growth from its environmental footprint; The Unilever Compass sets out to build on this.
Crossing the Threshold
CEO Paul Pollman makes a speech addressing their concerns. “If we focus our company on improving the lives of the world's citizens and come up with genuine sustainable solutions, we are more in sync with consumers and society and ultimately this will result in good shareholder returns."
Three difficult but confidence-building hurdles to be overcome
- Health and Wellbeing. Making sure that people around the world have basic human rights and necessities. Each subsidiary within Unilever focuses on an SDG, e.g. 35+ million young people received help via Dove self-esteem programmes over 2005-2018.
- Environmental Impact. Plastic reduction, creating more sustainable products, changing to less toxic ingredients, strictly regulated testing and using ethically sourced raw materials.
- Proving that being sustainable can work for profit and have a positive impact on the world. To push sustainable living and producing to be the norm.
Allies and Gifts
The Sustainable Development Goals. The SDG Open Working Group.
Mentors and Gifts
Paul Pollman: “In a volatile world of finite resources, running a business sustainably is vital for its long-term growth.” Interface set the example and was voted the number one environmentally sustainable businesses.
Profits Before Planet
There is No Planet B
CEO, Interface and SDGs.
Health and Wellbeing
Sustainable as the Norm
Profit and Planet
Call to adventure.
Crossing the threshold.
Mentor, allies and gifts.
Unilever’s story has a strong moral about the future of profit. Its not: if you care about profit, you should care about the planet and its people. Its: Care about the planet and its people, and the profit will take care of itself. Their brazen crossing the threshold moment, literally put money where their mouth is by telling shareholders to no longer invest if they only wanted a return on investment.