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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Responsible Business Insights

Working towards a sustainable future

Talking purpose and ethics with Alan Jope, CEO Unilever

In partnership with Principia – a leading firm on organisational ethics, Jeroen Ouwehand talks to Alan Jope, CEO Unilever, about being a purpose driven company and how Unilever defines purpose. With a vision to be recognised as the world's leading business for sustainability they have been celebrated for sourcing sustainably and saving costs whilst doing so.

Alan Jope said: "…there is a very strong business case that has emerged which is simply that where our brands compete on a platform that is purposeful whether it’s a sustainable, environmental proposition or a social benefit, those brands are growing at roughly twice the rate of the rest of the portfolio and our portfolio is now about 60% what we would call purpose-led brands."

He also believes it's this success that has Unilever attracting and holding onto great young talent, who want to work for a company that lives and breathes its purpose.

David Rodin of Principia explored Alan's thoughts on making purpose real amongst employees and the cultural shift required to facilitate this along with the ethical dilemmas some businesses face when it comes to profit vs purpose or profit vs doing the right thing.

During a year where businesses have been forced to truly examine the way they operate and contribute to society, the interview went on to explore the importance of businesses having a code of ethics, walking the talk and committing to and leading real change.

To hear what Alan believes are the next big challenges facing us as we come out of the global pandemic watch the highlights of the interview below.

Stay tuned for more videos from the series coming soon.