Unilever's former chief moves on with plan to fix the world
By Marthe Fourcade, Bloomberg - Jul 5th, 09:26
Paul Polman, the Dutchman who ran Unilever for almost a decade with a social slant, will push further in that direction now that he’s leaving - creating a group to help combat poverty and climate change.
The foundation and corporation, called Imagine, will work with companies to press for meeting global goals for sustainable development. The 62-year-old executive will invest an unspecified amount of his own funds.
“The imperative to eradicate poverty and inequality and stem runaway climate change has never been more acute,” Polman wrote in an email to former colleagues and business contacts detailing his new project. What’s more, “we still miss the collective sense of urgency to move at scale and speed.”
Polman ended a nearly decade-long tenure at the consumer-goods group during which he crisscrossed the world to meet with heads of state and form alliances with non-profit groups to promote capitalism with a feel-good twist. He directed Unilever to install toilets in Africa through its Domestos brand and encouraged Asian schoolchildren to wash their hands - using the company’s Lifebuoy soap - to reduce disease spread.
“Even a company like Unilever can only do so much,” he wrote. “We have a fight against the clock here.”
Polman said he regards the private sector as the “main engine for change.” Valerie Keller and Jeff Seabright, Unilever’s chief sustainability officer, are co-founders of Imagine.Fin24
Italtile plans to open more store despite weak trading conditions
23/08/2019 - 14:56
JSE-listed supplier of ceramic tiles Italtile said it planned to open more stores in South Africa and abroad, despite the subdued economy, which has constrained consumer spending.
Trends helping fashion retail SMEs scale up
23/08/2019 - 10:54
Retail is going through change along with the rest of the digital world - but it’s one of those touchy-feely zones, where online does not always size-up to an actual shopping experience.
Australian retailer Coles reports jump in online sales
23/08/2019 - 10:31
Australian retailer Coles Group reported a jump in online sales and a special dividend that cheered investors, sending its shares near their biggest one-day gain in two months.
Africa’s biggest mall welcomes Ackermans’ 800th store
23/08/2019 - 09:52
One of South Africa’s longest-standing value retailers, Ackermans, opened its 800th store in Africa’s biggest shopping centre Fourways Mall, in the north of Johannesburg.
Tough economy put a chill on Mr Price retail sales
23/08/2019 - 09:24
A tough economic climate has put pressure on Mr Price's fashion retail sales, as customer spending remained constrained, the company said in a trading statement for the first four months of its financial year ended March 28.