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:

01

Improves the lives of everyone it touches, from customers and suppliers to employees and communities, greatly increasing long-term shareholder returns in the process.

02

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.

03

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 is now available in English, Dutch and in the coming months will be published in Chinese, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

About the Authors

Paul Polman

Paul Polman

Business leader, campaigner, Co-Author of “Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take”, recently published October 2021.

Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to tackle climate change and inequality. A leading proponent that business should be a force for good, Paul has been described by the Financial Times as “a standout CEO of the past decade”.

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VIEW THINKERS 2021

Paul Polman

Business leader, campaigner, Co-Author of “Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take”, recently published October 2021.

Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to tackle climate change and inequality. A leading proponent that business should be a force for good, Paul has been described by the Financial Times as “a standout CEO of the past decade”.

As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), he demonstrated that a long-term, multi-stakeholder model goes hand-in-hand with excellent financial performance. Paul was a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel which developed the Sustainable Development Goals and which he continues to champion, working with global organizations and across industry to advance the 2030 development agenda.

Paul’s new book, “Net Positive”, is a call to arms to courageous business leaders, setting out how to build net positive companies which profit by fixing the world’s problems rather than creating them. He Chairs IMAGINE, a social venture dedicated to systems change, and Saïd Business School, and he is Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact as well as a B Team Leader. Paul is Honorary Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, which he led for two years.

Andrew Winston

Andrew Winston

Andrew Winston is a globally-recognized expert on megatrends and how to build companies that thrive by serving the world.

Named to Thinkers50 list of the top management thinkers in the world, his views on strategy have been sought after by leading companies, including 3M, DuPont, J&J, Kimberly-Clark, Marriott, PepsiCo, and Unilever.

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VIEW THINKERS 2021

Andrew Winston

Andrew Winston is a globally-recognized expert on megatrends and how to build companies that thrive by serving the world.

Named to Thinkers50 list of the top management thinkers in the world, his views on strategy have been sought after by leading companies, including 3M, DuPont, J&J, Kimberly-Clark, Marriott, PepsiCo, and Unilever. Andrew is the author of the bestsellers Green to Gold and The Big Pivot. His latest book, Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More than They Take (co-authored with renowned CEO Paul Polman), is one of Financial Times’ Best Business Books of the Year. Net Positive has been called an “electrifying strategy for business success and unlike any other book you’ve read” by Merck Chairman Ken Frazier, a “wonderful rallying call” by Sir Richard Branson, and “pure heresy” by Arianna Huffington. Andrew is also a respected and dynamic speaker, reaching audiences of thousands at executive meetings around the planet. He received degrees in economics, business, and environmental management from Princeton, Columbia, and Yale.

AudioBook

Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take AudioBook Cover

Preface - From Paul

Preface - From Andrew

Seeking Transformative Partnership

From Our Readers

Bea Boccalandro

A deeply helpful and easy-to-read blueprint on how business leaders can succeed in the new purpose economy.

James F Boyle

If you want to know how scaling global businesses can confidently serve human aims and purposes – and beat their competition because of it – read this book.

T

This superb book redefines what good performance is for companies and provides excellent examples from Unilever and many other companies. It makes clear that a company can, and should, succeed by aiming to give more than it takes.

Scot

If you care about business, people, or the planet that they share, read this book.

Valerie Patrick

This book is a must-read for all business people who want to change things for the better in their organizations and professions.

Julia

This book shares a message that is essential for the future of business and society: businesses should give more to the world than they take

“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

“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

Sir Richard Branson
Arianna Huffington
Satya Nadella
Paul Hawken
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Ken Frazier

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