Former CEO of a major consumer goods company Unilever Swipe on companies that prioritize short-term goals over long-term goals rooted in sustainability.
Paul Polman accused several companies of delaying their efforts while declaring “they are coming again.”
Polman, co-founder and co-chair of social venture Imagine, who spoke at CNBC’s Sustainable Future Forum on Monday, told the United States that many companies have made a big promise to “net zero and decarbonize the whole thing.” There was. ” The value chain that has been praised ”
But some of them “are using money through lobbying to block Biden’s infrastructure bill from trying to tackle these issues, why? Because it involves a slight tax increase,” Polman said. Insisted.
“Once again, these companies put their shareholders, short-term shareholder returns, above the long-term future of humanity when pushes come in,” he said. “And it’s no longer accepted.”
In an interview with CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick, Polman continued that such attitude was “not a wise move if you want to build trust and build a corporate reputation.”
The above scenario may seem like a difficult scenario, but there is also a glimpse of the hope that some meaningful changes may be imminent.
The COP26 Climate Change Summit will begin later this month in Glasgow, Scotland. There is much to be said in the negotiations that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as “a turning point for humankind.”
On his side, Polman was optimistic. “In Glasgow … $ 90 trillion in funding is under control and we are asking the government to help decarbonize and move forward in our portfolio,” he said.
“Increasingly, they are calling on companies to start moving, not just declarations,” Polman added, adding that there is no doubt that the balance has been lost.
The $ 90 trillion figure is a reference to the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.
GFANZ, chaired by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, describes himself as “a global coalition of major financial institutions working to accelerate decarbonization of the economy.”
Polman added that the government needs to intervene now “to achieve this transition at the scale and speed needed.”
“For example, if you set a standard, there are more than 200 sustainability standards, which is good on the one hand because it shows that it is becoming more popular,” he said.
“But now we have to avoid greenwashing,” he continued, calling for a collaborative approach. “We will help ensure that we get more effective standards with fewer standards.”
Companies that prioritize shareholders over the future of humanity: Former CEO
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