Nowadays more and more companies are stepping up to the mark and making the difference regarding sustainable business solutions. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, one of the world’s largest companies, took part in the launch of the Natural Capital Declaration at the Rio+20 convention centre.
“We have to bring this world back to sanity and put the greater good ahead of self-interest. We need to fight very hard to create an environment out there that is more long term focused and move away from short termism.”
Paul Polman says that the most effective way to look for change on a global level is working more with other business leaders and NGOs rather than with politicians who are showing a lack of ambition at the Rio +20.
“We are entering a very interesting period of history where the responsible business world is running ahead of the politicians. The political climate is very difficult and to some extent paralysed.
“Over the next two to three years I believe there will be enough critical mass with groups of countries and companies starting tangible projects.”
Paul encourages companies that have started to contribute to a better cleaner and more equal world: “Continue to be courageous and set the standards. Work with your consumers, because we have seen how Facebook and Twitter can bring down a regime in 17 days. Social networks are increasingly becoming more powerful. We need a critical mass of responsible leaders who are here to convert these markets.”
And for companies who are not taking any action yet, his message is clear: “Just look at the figures. Unless we change direction, models show that the profit of the entire consumer goods sector could be wiped out by 2050.”
“The alternative? Is it too late to be pessimistic? The alternative of not doing anything, I frankly cannot look my kids in the eyes and say we did not try. That is why we are here and will continue to give it our energy.”
Personally I agree with him when he says about the power of social media and the fact that companies have to work more with consumers with the aim of changing the actual situation. Many companies have started it and I totally support them. I am not an activist, I am not an eco-friendly warrior, I am just an average consumer who believes that we can all make small changes in our attitude towards living green.