The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced that Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, will be honoured with the Cannes LionHeart Award in recognition of his commitment to building sustainability into the heart of Unilever’s operations.
Polman took over as Unilever CEO in 2009, and since then has led an ambitious plan to decouple the FMCG company’s growth from overall environmental footprint and increase its positive social impact through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.
Introduced in 2014, the Cannes LionHeart is an honorary award, presented to an individual who has innovatively harnessed commercial brand power to make a significant and positive difference to people or the planet. Philip Thomas, CEO, Ascential Events and Chairman-elect, Cannes Lions, said, “Paul’s commitment to long-term, sustainable business growth is an inspiration for other business leaders. Paul has made Unilever a shining example of what can be achieved when creativity and innovation are integrated into business. Add to this his work with the UN, the Sustainable Development Goals and Unilever’s co-founding of the Unstereotype Alliance, it’s clear that Paul is the obvious recipient for this year’s LionHeart award.”
Polman said: “It is becoming increasingly clear that sustainable, purpose-led growth is the best way to meet the long-term needs of consumers and society. Brands with purpose are at the heart of our approach, and to be recognised by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is a tribute to the creativity, drive and passion of all our Unilever teams around the world.”