Unilever Boss Paul Polman Slams Capitalist Obsession with Profit
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Unilever’s Paul Polman has criticised business leaders for putting profit ahead of global issues, such as poverty and climate change.
The chief executive, who once trained as a priest, said business should never be about making money alone.
“Profit is not a purpose, it’s an end product. I always want a deeper result. People assume that if you do something good, it must cost money. I don’t know where they get that idea from,” he said, adding that business leaders “don’t need to compromise”.
“If you make closed loop systems [manufacturing operations that produce no waste], you de-risk your model and it’s good for the planet,” he said.
According to Mr Polman, the consumer goods giant has been investing in creating a greener business model, using sustainably sourced materials in its packaging, acting against deforestation and ensuring all factories are “zero waste”.
“If we invest smartly now, then we can have our cake and eat it too,” said Mr Polman, citing Unilever’s recent financial results, which show that despite falling revenues, pre-tax profits for 2014 rose 7pc to €7.6bn (£5.7bn).