Former U.S. President Bill Clinton congratulated the three winners in a special video prepared for the awards ceremony, which was attended by Prahalad family members and over 200 senior executives representing CEF member companies with combined revenues of over $3 trillion.
Unilever and its CEO Paul Polman were honored for matching a bold vision of “long-term capitalism” with equally impressive action. “Unilever under Paul Polman’s leadership is a true pioneer of emerging ‘next practices’ in the private sector,” said CEF founder MR Rangaswami.
The company’s Sustainable Living Plan sets out ambitious goals for 2020 that build on a long history of commitment and action on corporate sustainability issues including: halving the company’s overall environmental imprint, helping over one billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, and sourcing 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably.
Polman said: “We are very honored to receive this award in the name of C.K. Prahalad, a man who did so much throughout his career to promote more responsible, inclusive and equitable forms of capitalism, which the world needs now more than ever. C.K. understood that any system in which too many people feel excluded is not going to last.
“Our own Unilever Sustainable Living Plan owes much of its thinking to the insights he brought to bear, including his strong belief that it is always better to innovate with low income consumers and not for low income consumers. That is the way to build the inclusive and sustainable business models of the future.”
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition was recognized for its pioneering efforts to unite the world’s apparel and footwear companies around a shared vision to reduce environmental harm and have a positive impact on communities. The Coalition is developing an Index to measure the environmental and social performance of apparel and footwear products across the value chain. Since its 2011 launch, the Coalition has grown to include companies representing over one third of the world’s apparel and footwear industry.
“Coalition member companies in attendance and highlighted for their special contributions included Patagonia, Nike, Hanesbrands, Kohl’s, and Timberland. “The Coalition is moving with a pace and on a scale that is enviable for business leaders in other sectors and offers the world a powerful new model for 21st century value chain collaboration,” said P.J. Simmons, CEF Executive Director and co-author of The Green to Gold Business Playbook.
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