Patrick Cescau awarded 2007 Botwinick Prize in Ethics

Unilever Group Chief Executive, Patrick Cescau, awarded 2007 Botwinick Prize in Ethics by Columbia Business School.

Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, announced today that its group chief executive, Patrick Cescau, was named the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Botwinick Prize in Ethics by the renowned Columbia Business School.

Mr. Cescau, who delivered the keynote address today at a conference hosted by the Social Enterprise Club of Columbia Business School said, “Social responsibility and sustainable development are no longer fringe activities, but are central to our business. And just as this has become core to business, so it should also become core to management education. It must be moved to the heart of the curriculum.”

The Botwinick Prize in Ethics is awarded to an individual from a business organization that exemplifies the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct. Each year the acceptance speech is delivered to MBA students, faculty, alumni and staff.

Past winners include the late Anita Roddick (1994), cofounder and chief executive of The Body Shop; James Sinegal (2006), president and CEO of Costco Wholesale Corporation; and Lord John Browne (2004), group chief executive of BP plc.

"Columbia Business School is honoured to recognize Patrick with the Botwinick Prize," said Raymond Horton, the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Ethics and Corporate Governance and director of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School. "Patrick was selected for his leadership in placing importance on social and environmental accountability in today's global business environment. He understands that an organization can be successful beyond financial returns."

Patrick Cescau said: "There are a great many people in Unilever – past and present – whose work has made the company what it is: a company with responsibility at its very heart, and it is with enormous pride that I accept this award on their behalf."

Since its founding in 1930, a strong social mission has been at the heart of Unilever’s business strategy: the company is committed to the highest standards of corporate behavior toward its employees, consumers and the societies and world in which it lives. Over the years, Unilever has launched or participated in an ever-growing range of initiatives to source sustainable supplies of raw materials, protect environments, support local communities and more. 

In September 2007, Unilever was recognized as "Best in Class" in its approach to climate change disclosure by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP),a coalition of over 315 global investors with more than $41 trillion in assets.

The company was also elected a leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes (DJSI World) in the food and beverage sector for the ninth consecutive year.

Additionally, Unilever, the world's largest tea company, announced earlier this year that it has partnered with the Rainforest Alliance and committed to purchase all of its tea from sustainable, ethical sources, a revolutionary move for the world's tea business.

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