Paul Polman

CEO, Unilever

IT IS AN UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH THAT MUCH OF BUSINESS growth has been founded on unsustainable models of production and consumption. About 60 percent of the world’s resources are already degraded or used unsustainably, and the earth has passed only minimal acceptance levels for the critical life-support systems vital for human survival, including bio-diversity, fresh water, and land use.1 We have a rising middle class, a world population projected to reach 9 billion by 2050,2 and a planet approaching the limit of its ability to provide.

A continuation of business as usual would mean not just a slight additional strain but an inevitable crisis. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that 95 percent of the value of ...

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