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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Sue was, until Autumn 2018, EVP Sustainable Business and Communications at Unilever. She now runs her own business, as an advisor on sustainability strategy for companies wishing to step change their strategy and commitment to sustainability. Current and recent clients include Mars; ABF/Primark; Lloyds Bank; Nat West Banking Group; Natura; Danone; and O2. She complements her client work by advising a range of sustainability focussed organisations on a pro-bono basis. Most recently, she sat as part of an expert panel advising the Ministry of Defence on the development of a Net Zero Carbon strategy.



At Unilever Sue was responsible for embedding the company’s ambitious USLP (Unilever Sustainable Living Plan) into the business and ensuring progress against its 70-plus time bound targets. She was part of the four-strong team that led the rebuttal of the hostile takeover bid by Kraft Heinz and managed its significant aftermath. In particular, Sue was responsible for establishing sustainability as a driver of brand growth. By the end of 2019 Unilever’s ‘sustainable living brands’ were growing 67% faster than its other brands and represented 70% of the company’s growth.

Sue is the Chair of Trustees at the independent not for profit organisation, Blueprint for Better Business. She is a Fellow at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Business Management, and a Fellow of the RSA. In November 2020 Forbes magazine placed Sue 13th in a list of the top 100 women sustainability influencers worldwide.

Sue has an unusual background, with two spells in the public sector, and roles in advertising and public affairs in the private sector. She has worked on highly diverse topics, from privatising British Gas, to anti drink-drive advertising campaigns, from nuclear energy policy to Heinz baked beans. Sue’s last role in the public sector was on the ExCo at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as Director General for Customer Strategy and Communications. She left DWP to join Unilever in 2011.

In her spare time, Sue admits to being a horse addict…

 Sue   Garrard
Fellow of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership