Ambitious vision to fully decouple growth from overall environmental footprint

International business leader setting ambitious vision in fully decoupling growth from overall environmental footprint.

The Banksia Foundation Board is proud to announce the 2015 Banksia International Award is to be presented to Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.

Paul Polman has set the global benchmark in leading Unilever and encouraging business on an international level to implement sustainable business strategies. As well as being its CEO, he is also Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, a member of the B Team and sits on the Board of the UN Global Compact and the Consumer Goods Forum, where he co-chairs the Sustainability Committee.

Each year the Board of the Banksia Foundation selects an outstanding international example of an individual that has a long lasting and broad ranging commitment and contribution to sustainable development. The Banksia Foundation Board looks at the challenges that the candidate has faced and how they have dealt with them, as well as their ability to engage and inspire others, create awareness and form partnerships to protect our environment and promote sustainable development.

Paul Polman exemplifies how business can show authentic leadership on global sustainability issues. In particular, he has been central in global discussions on action to tackle climate change and end poverty.

The Banksia Foundation Board has noted that Paul has the business acumen to run Unilever in a profitable manner, but at the same time keep humanitarian and environmental responsibility at the forefront of its strategy. “While we recognise and celebrate the impact that Paul is having, we need to listen and learn from Paul in the way he is leading his company. We need to take this opportunity to try and influence Australian leadership to ensure a more sustainable approach to all sectors of our economy”, comments Graz van Egmond, CEO of the Banksia Foundation.

Paul will be presented with the 2015 Banksia International Award at the Banksia Sustainability Awards Presentation, as part of the all day event SD2015, which will take place from 6pm on the 13th November at the Hotel Sofitel, Sydney.

Alan Milne, Head of Environment Qantas and award sponsor said: “Paul Polman has showed time and time again that business can and must show authentic leadership on global sustainability issues. He understands that the challenges and opportunities of sustainability are as broad as the business he leads, but he’s played a particularly influential role in global discussions on action to tackle climate change and reduce poverty. In doing so he’s raised the bar for all global businesses.”

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For Further Information Contact: Graz van Egmond, CEO Banksia Foundation E: M: 0419101248.

About The Banksia Foundation:

Founded in 1989 by a diverse group of 44 Australians who shared a common goal to do more to support and recognise members of the community for their positive contribution to the environment. More information about the Foundation or the Awards can be obtained from

About Qantas:

Qantas is proud to sponsor the Banksia International Award for a third year. Sustainability is central to our strategy, our values and our aspirations for the future. It unites our commitment to safety; to innovation; to service; to social responsibility; and to minimising our environmental footprint. This month Qantas celebrates 95 years of continuous operations and our commitment to sustainability lays the foundation for a strong, sustainable future.

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