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Net Positive Paul Polman

Net Positive By Paul Polman

Net Positive by Paul Polman

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Net Positive Summary

Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take by Paul Polman

Runaway climate change and rampant inequality are ravaging the world and costing a fortune. Who will help lead us to a better future? Business.

These massive dual challenges—and other profound shifts, such as pandemics, resource pressures, and shrinking biodiversity—threaten our very existence. Other megatrends, such as the push for a clean economy and the unprecedented focus on diversity and inclusion, offer exciting new opportunities to heal the world, and prosper by doing so. Government cannot do this alone. Business must step up.

In this seminal book, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman and sustainable business guru Andrew Winston explode fifty years of corporate dogma. They reveal, for the first time, key lessons from Unilever and other pioneering companies around the world about how you can profit by fixing the world's problems instead of creating them. To thrive today and tomorrow, they argue, companies must become net positive—giving more to the world than they take. A net positive company:

  • Improves the lives of everyone it touches, from customers and suppliers to employees and communities, greatly increasing long-term shareholder returns in the process.
  • Takes ownership of all the social and environmental impacts its business model creates. This in turn provides opportunities for innovation, savings, and building a more humane, connected, and purpose-driven culture.
  • Partners with competitors, civil society, and governments to drive transformative change that no single group or enterprise could deliver alone.

This is no utopian fantasy. Courageous leaders are already making it real—and the stakes couldn't be higher. With bold vision and compelling stories, Net Positive sets out the principles and practices that will deliver the scale of change and transformation the world so desperately needs.

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Net Positive Reviews

It makes a more optimistic case for courageous progressive companies and their leaders, who can offer practical, positive ways of tackling environment, social and governance issues. - Financial Times

Advance Praise for Net Positive:

A wonderful rallying call to business leaders all over the world to step up to the greatest opportunity, and responsibility, of our time. - Sir Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group

Net Positive will be pure heresy to all those who still subscribe to the failed dogma of shareholder primacy-which is exactly why we need it. - Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global

A compelling and inspiring case that businesses can-and should-boost their bottom lines by contributing to their communities and protecting the environment. - Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States; Nobel Peace Prize winner; Chairman, Generation Investment Management

Carefully considered and deeply rooted in the real world of management. - Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft

Don't call it a 'business book.' Net Positive fundamentally rethinks the way human beings-CEOs, politicians, and activists-can together reset our planet's trajectory. - Paul Hawken, author, Drawdown and Regeneration

Polman knows that when leading CEOs stand up for a more equitable world, governments are much more likely to do the same. - Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization; Finance Minister of Nigeria, 2003-2006 and 2011-2015

Net Positive turns courage and principled action into an electrifying strategy for business success. It's powerful, persuasive, and unlike any other book you've read. - Ken Frazier, Executive Chairman, Merck

About Paul Polman

Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to achieve the UN Global Goals, which he helped develop. He was the CEO of Unilever from 2009 to 2019, the first from outside the company in its century-plus history, and has been described by the Financial Times as a standout CEO of the past decade. He created a new framework for decision-making in the organization to focus the business on multiple stakeholders and long-term value creation, committing the company to doubling its sales while keeping its footprint flat, to touching one billion people, and to greatly improving the lives of suppliers around the world. Peers and experts have ranked Unilever as the most sustainable company—above long-standing, privately run leaders like Patagonia and IKEA—for eight years. Today, Polman is cofounder and Chair of IMAGINE, a for-benefit organization and foundation that mobilizes businesses around the UN Global Goals.

Andrew Winston is one of the world's most widely read writers and leading thinkers on sustainable business. His books on sustainability strategy, including Green to Gold and The Big Pivot, have sold more than 150,000 copies in seven languages. Winston has also written cover stories for Harvard Business Review and published hundreds of articles in HBR, MIT Sloan Management Review, and other top publications. He was recently selected for the Thinkers50 Radar 2020, a list of 30 thinkers to watch out for in the coming year. His views on strategy have been sought after by many of the world's leading companies, including 3M, DuPont, HP, Ingersoll Rand, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Marriott, PepsiCo, PwC, and Unilever.

You can find more about Paul Polman at:

You can find more about Andrew Winston at:

Additional information

Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take by Paul Polman
Used - Like New
Harvard Business Review Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins

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