Unilever CEO Alan Jope says company won't back down on anti-sustainability

Unilever CEO Alan Jope says company won't back down on anti-sustainability

Unilever CEO Alan Jope affirmed the consumer goods giant's sustainability agenda Tuesday, saying it would not back down despite anti-woke backlash and ant-sustainability.

A Tuesday panel at the 2022 Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York called anti-sustainability and anti-woke backlash incredibly dangerous for the world. He said that saying we have a climate emergency has become unpopular.

He said that the first thing Unilever will do is that they will not back down on this agenda despite these populist accusations.

He said there are many commitments out there but not many plans. Unilever unveiled its Climate Transition Action Plan in March 2021, a plan that stated its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the company to zero by 2030 and across its value chain to net-zero by 2039.

The consumer goods giant put its sustainability plan in a shareholder vote in which it squeaked through with 99.6% shareholder support, Jope said. He credits BlackRock with the support and described the investment firm as one of the finest commentators on sustainability and what companies should be doing. BlackRock, headed by Larry Fink, has become a leader in environmental, social and governance ESG investing and is pushing other companies to take up such agendas in a commitment to decarbonization, sustainability and social justice causes.

The panel, hosted by former President Bill Clinton, was attended by Fink and Sustainability Energy for All CEO Damilola Ogunbiyi.

Jope appeared to call for more consistent reporting of sustainability metrics during the panel. He previously spoke about the importance of standardized and mandatory ESG reporting metrics in a September 2020 tweet.

He said that we are consistently reporting financial metrics around the world, but we're at great danger of reporting non-financial metrics, as well as other initiatives by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a global sustainability board and others.

He argued that we need to go a little bit slower to go faster on consistent ESG reporting metrics.