Ex-Unilever's Sue Garrard partners Headland to build sustainability consultancy

Headland has partnered with former Unilever sustainability chief Sue Garrard to create a sustainability consultancy and communications offering for large organisations.

Sue Garrard will work with Headland to build a sustainability consultancy
Sue Garrard will work with Headland to build a sustainability consultancy

Garrard joins up with Headland as an associate and will strengthen the consultancy’s sustainability communications offering to clients looking to develop and communicate commercially aligned sustainability strategies.

Headland is the only comms agency that Garrard will formally collaborate with.

Headland works with multiple clients across sectors in sustainability, including energy transition, food and drink, waste management, fashion and sustainable development.

Garrard is one of the world’s leading practitioners in developing sustainability strategies in major companies and aligning them with business objectives. 

She previously worked at Unilever from 2011 to 2018, heading the consumer goods giant's sustainability agenda as well as its comms function. 

Whilst at Unilever, Garrard was part of the executive team and led work to embed the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to support growth, build brands with purpose, improve employee engagement and future-proof the business. 

By the end of 2017, more than 25 of its brands were purpose-led, growing 50 per cent faster than P&G’s other brands and representing 70 per cent of the company’s growth.

Headland CEO Chris Salt described Garrard an "outstanding advocate" in building purpose-led strategies, an area where the business "sees great potential" for growth. 

"Sustainability issues are going to become more important to businesses through investor pressure, consumer attitudes, regulator action, competitive advantage or moral imperative. 

"It is the one area where management consultancy and communications really need to work together if organisations want to achieve change. Communicating sustainability strategies has historically been very difficult for any organisation to get right."

Garrard, who was listed as the second-most influential corporate PR professional in PRWeek’s 2018 Power Book, was attracted to work with Headland due to its "excellent reputation".

"Business is waking up quickly to the reality that they need to be part of creating a more sustainable world, but the gap between intent and action amongst corporate leaders is large," Garrard said. 

"Companies need help to understand how sustainability can strengthen their long-term business success. And their sustainability strategy needs to be set out so all its stakeholders understand how it will make the organisation future-fit, and how that will be achieved. Communication lies at the heart of all this."

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