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Sue Garrard Fellow

Sue  Garrard, Fellow

Sue was, until September 2018, the EVP Sustainable Business and Communications at Unilever. In this role she was responsible for leading and embedding the company’s ambitious USLP (the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan) into the business and ensuring progress against its 70-plus time bound targets.


Sue was also responsible for teams in 180 markets who engage with Governments and key external stakeholders; lead employee engagement; handle the media; and are accountable for issues and crisis management.

In particular, Sue was responsible for establishing sustainability as a driver of brand growth in the top 40 brands that represent some 80% of Unilever’s turnover. By the end of 2017, over 25 of its brands were Purpose-led, growing 50% faster than its other brands and representing 70% of the company’s growth.

For the last year Sue had been leading the work at Unilever to develop Unilever’s next sustainability plan, the successor to their current USLP which expires in 2020. In this work she has engaged with many of the leading authorities worldwide on the social and environmental aspects of sustainability and the SDGs.

Sue was one of the founders of the independent not for profit organisation, Blueprint for Better Business, and is an active Trustee. The organisation works with CEOs and Chairmen to help stimulate change within companies to become a force for good, guided by a purpose that respects people and contributes to a better society.

She was Vice Chair of the Advertising Association, a post she held from September 2014 to September 2018. Until 2014 Sue was also a Non-Executive Director of the Serious & Organised Crime Agency.

Sue has an unusual background, with two spells in the public sector, and roles in advertising and public affairs agencies in the private sector.

Sue’s most recent role prior to Unilever was as Director General for Customer Strategy and Communications at the Department of Work and Pensions. In this role she was also a member of the DWP’s Executive Team. This was during the onset and height of the global recession, where Sue was responsible for using customer insights to address how to help people find work during the recession. Sue was also responsible for developing communications approaches to help address the looming pensions crisis of under-saving and reliance on the State Pension.

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