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Publisher's Summary

Runaway climate change and gross inequality are ravaging the world. Who can help lead us to a better future? Business.

These and other massive challenges threaten our very existence on the planet. Yet division and discord risk undermining our response, just when we need to come together. 

At this critical time in history, the imperative to reimagine our economies and companies could not be more urgent. Fortunately, many in the business community are helping to solve our most profound challenges, deploying long-term, purpose-led business models that put people and planet first. The key question has flipped from "Why would you do sustainability?" to "Why wouldn't you?"

In this paradigm-shifting book, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman and sustainable business guru Andrew Winston provide a model to help leaders build companies that contribute more to the world than they use or take - that is, net positive companies.

Net Positive outlines the principles and practices for surviving and thriving based on the experience of one world-leading company, Unilever, and other groundbreaking global organizations. This essential book is for leaders, executives, managers, and professionals who want to succeed, but know that winning requires caring deeply about serving the world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Paul Polman and Andrew S. Winston (P)2021 Ascent Audio

What listeners say about Net Positive

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Sharing the journey

The challenging scene towards net zero is clearer through the lenses of Unilever’s path. Inspiring stories within opens the will to act and the possibilities if the aim is high.
An essential book for boardroom members, CEOs and leaders.

1 person found this helpful

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Net Regenerative

Net Positive is an important read that disturbs with respect to its clear stand that our current capitalist system is unsustainable and leading us rapidly into self-destruction. Thankfully, the book mostly encourages with respect to the vital disruption net-positive business can make. Seems clear to me that net positive is a critical shift needed now, as we move rapidly into genuine nature-based regenerative systems that will not simply slow our demise, but that will heal our world and nurture all life.

1 person found this helpful

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Life changing I sights and action programs

Bold and thoughtful insights grounded in actual experience to deal with existential issues facing humanity.

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inspired content

love the content, struggled with the narration. important message and research to inspire action.

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One book to gain them all...

Net Positive is likely the most important book you can read for the new economy.

Sharing the stories and reasons behind the building of one the most admired corporation in the world the authors demonstrate again and again that making the right choice for the planet and the company's future is both never easy, but ultimately the only way forward.

Being "less bad" is not an option.

Inspiring, approach building, direct and encouraging the book in my view is the single best business book I have read to date.

If you are helping to change the world you will likely gain as much as I have I feel...

Enjoy.

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Great story, sometimes skow

Got a little slow in the middle but otherwise a great book with an important message

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Good read but superficial in its treatment of the topic

I have read many sustainable business books and teach this topic and work with companies. I went back-and-forth between finding the book helpful with its examples and reference of certain groups and resources I was not aware of. But it also reads as a public service announcement for Unilever, a deserving company but this removed from the book in my view.

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  • Rebecca Oliver
  • 05-20-22

An enthusiastic but bumpy ride.

i found the narrator good and energizing, but found the rhythm of his speech bizarre, with accents on small words like "and". This made the whole book a really bumpy ride.

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  • Joanne
  • 03-09-22

A timely well-written book for our times

Well researched and well written - this book makes a compelling case for net positive business models that create more value than they take from the world, covering all the necessary parts of the puzzle. The audible version is easy to listen to too.

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  • Geoff Kendall
  • 02-26-22

Required reading for business leaders

Could only have been better if the authors had read the whole book, rather than having a third narrator do most of it. Outstanding stuff though.

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  • Dean Bubley
  • 01-16-22

Too polarised & cliche-ridden

Some interesting examples, especially about Unilever, but then goes too far beyond reasonable business, economic & behavioural practice.

Lots of tired clichés such as the “finite planet” trope, which overlooks energy (& therefore GDP or any other economic measure) courtesy of the Sun & gravitation, not to mention almost endless potential from nuclear power & other sources.

Yes, mathematically growth cannot be “infinite” but if it’s sustainable for a billion years until the Sun goes nova, we have other things to worry about.

The section on externalities also seems to consider it a unique issue for capitalism, when it obviously applies to *all* economic systems and even personal actions. There are externalities *everywhere* (some of them positive) and unless you try to calculate them ubiquitously, the argument seems to sound uniquely anti-capitalist rather than pro-environmental.

There is also insufficient attention to technology as a way to fix or solve problems - whether that’s with carbon capture or AI for energy efficiency.

Lastly, it seems to bundle too much together. E, S and G (& additional concerns) should be considered individually and separately, as attitudes & opinions vary over time and place, as does appetite for risk.

Worth listening to, but sadly this made me want to push back against the rhetoric far more than it made we want to push forward the ideas into businesses I advise.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-17-22

This would have to be the most boring business book I have ever read

After hearing Richard Branson recommending this book I purchased it thinking it must be great. I don’t know what Richard was thinking but this was the most monotonous and poorly written business book I have ever read. It read like a high school textbook with no inspirational narratives or anything to get your teeth into. My eyes literally glazed over as I tried to search for something worth reading, futilely. Please give this a miss, I wish I had. Thanks Richard :(