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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Thomas leads climate and environment within Unilever’s Global Sustainability Team. He joined Unilever in 1999 as a finance and IT graduate trainee. After 6 years in Unilever’s UK business, Thomas joined Green Alliance, a leading UK policy think tank, as Deputy Director. Thomas rejoined Unilever’s global team in 2010 and has spent over a decade working under three different CEOs in a variety of leadership roles, developing and launching successive generations of sustainability strategies, founding an in-house Global Advocacy Team, and advancing Unilever’s theory of change on systemic sustainability issues through organisations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum.


Thomas currently serves as a Trustee Director of the Unilever UK Pension Fund and an Advisory Board member of Climate Catalyst, a campaign group. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Tech for Climate Adaptation Working Group and has previously served on WEF Global Agenda Councils for Governance for Sustainability and Climate Change.

Thomas is a Chartered Management Accountant and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has degrees in Philosophy & Modern Languages (Durham University), Development Management (Open University) and most recently in Artificial Intelligence Ethics & Society (Cambridge University), with a special interest in the societal risks arising from algorithmically targeted content on social media. 

He is married to Sarah, a British diplomat, and they live with their three children near Cambridge.

Thomas Lingard
Global Head of Sustainability – Environment, Unilever