Business Holds the Key to Climate Change. Speaking at The Economist’s Sustainability Summit on Thursday 25 February 2010, Paul said that Unilever has set itself the challenge of doubling the size of its business whilst at the same time reducing its environmental footprint.
He said that the key to making this goal happen is inspiring consumers to switch to a more sustainable way of living through the brands they choose. “Those companies that wait to be forced into action or who see it solely in terms of reputation management or CSR, will do too little too late and may not even survive,” Paul said.
In his speech, Paul said estimates from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) suggest that if everyone’s living standards and consumption patterns were similar to those of the average Briton we would need the resources of three planets.
Despite the lack of a political resolution at the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen, December 2009, Paul stressed that businesses can and should press ahead. He added: “There is a huge amount that businesses can do without help from the politicians – whether it is in their supply chains, their factories, the design of their products or in using their brands to educate people about more sustainable forms of consumption.”