Co-Founder and Chair, IMAGINE

Paul Polman

Paul is Co-founder and Chair of IMAGINE, a benefit corporation and foundation accelerating business leadership to achieve the Global Goals.

He is also Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, The B Team, Saïd Business School and The Valuable 500, and Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact.

He was CEO of Unilever for a decade where he demonstrated that a long-term, multi-stakeholder model goes hand-in-hand with good financial performance. During his tenure, Unilever was one of the best-performing companies in its sector, delivering ten years of consistent top and bottom line growth.

Paul was appointed to the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel that developed the Sustainable Development Goals and has played a leading role since in highlighting the business case for the 2030 development agenda, including as a founder member of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission. He remains a UN-appointed SDG Advocate.

Paul engages across industry sectors and global organizations to maximize impact, including as a member of FCLTGlobal, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and the Food and Land Use Coalition, which he chairs.

He has received numerous awards, including the Rainforest Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award, the UN Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth Award and the Oslo Business for Peace Award.

He has been honoured with France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and was named an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to business. He is a recipient of the Public Service Star from the Government of Singapore and received the Treaty of Nijmegen medal.

He founded the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust with Kim Polman, working to improve the lives of blind and visually impaired children in East Africa. He also supports and mentors young leaders as a Counsellor and Chair of the Global Advisory Board of One Young World.