Unilever Hands CEO Polman $722,000 Bonus for Sustainability Work

Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman got a 431,775-pound ($722,230) top-up to his bonus payment last year, in large part for his work leading the company’s sustainability plan.

After collecting a bonus of 1.15 million pounds, or 95 percent of his target payout, Polman was awarded an additional 37.5 percent for progress on the company’s sustainable-living plan, according to Unilever’s annual report.

The plan, or USLP, includes targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste.

Unilever’s directors awarded the “personal performance multiplier” after considering Polman’s “performance and leadership, including progress against the delivery of USLP goals and his overall contribution to making sustainable living commonplace,” the company said in the report. Previous remuneration reports didn’t include any such bonus multiplier.

Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Huet got a 10 percent addition to his bonus, taking the total to 746,130 pounds.

The bonus multiplier was based on more than just the delivery of USLP goals, Unilever spokeswoman Lucila Zambrano said. The objectives include cutting the company’s environmental footprint in half by 2020 and sourcing all agricultural raw materials in a sustainable fashion.

“It doesn’t mean that these were his only targets, although they were obviously important to the board,” she said in an e-mail.

Unilever’s compensation and management resources committee includes Paul Walsh, former CEO of liquor maker Diageo Plc, and non-executive chairman Michael Treschow.

Polman’s total compensation last year was 7.96 million euros ($11 million), up 4.2 percent on 2012, the annual report showed. That included 1.86 million euros of bonuses.

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