The NET POSITIVE MANIFESTO
HBR confirms its leadership in proposing ideas for a better world
Both practically and morally, corporate leaders can no longer sit on the sidelines of major societal shifts or treat human and planetary issues as “someone else’s problem.” For their own good, they must play an active role in addressing our biggest shared challenges. The economy won’t thrive unless people and the planet are thriving.
In this , consultant and author Andrew Winston and former Unilever CEO Paul Polman describe their vision of a “net positive” company—one that grows by helping the world flourish. Drawing on examples from Unilever and other leading companies, they outline four critical paths businesses can take to prosper today and win in the future. They can operate first in service of multiple stakeholders—which then benefits investors (as opposed to putting shareholders above all others); take full ownership of all company impacts; embrace deep partnerships, even with critics; and tackle systemic challenges by rethinking advocacy and the relationship with governments.
No company has yet reached the ambitious goal of becoming net positive. But a growing number have begun the journey—unlocking greater value for their businesses while helping solve larger problems for the benefit of all.