Thomas Lingard
Thomas Lingard
Global Head of Sustainability - Environment

Thomas leads climate and environment within Unilever’s Global Sustainability Team. Thomas led the development of Unilever’s new climate and nature strategy, launched in June 2020, which included a recommitment to 1.5 degree aligned Science-Based Targets, a new Net Zero by 2039 commitment and the launch of a €1bn Climate & Nature fund, and led the development of Unilever’s Climate Transition Action Plan which was approved with a 99.59% vote in favour at Unilever’s 2021 AGM.

Thomas joined Unilever in 1999, abandoning the finance and IT graduate scheme after 3 years in 2002 to take a role in UK Social & Environmental Affairs. After 6 years in Unilever’s UK business, Thomas joined the think tank Green Alliance on secondment as Deputy Director. Thomas rejoined Unilever in 2010 as Global External Affairs Director and was part of the original team that launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, subsequently founding the Unilever Global Advocacy team to drive transformational change on systemic issues such as recycling, public health and sustainable agriculture.

During that time, he supported former Unilever CEO, Paul Polman in his roles as Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda. He was part of the Dutch delegation to COP21 and was part of the virtual team that choreographed the business input to the historic Paris Climate Summit.

Thomas currently serves as a Trustee Director of the Unilever UK Pension Fund, Board member of Climate Catalyst, a campaign group, and on advisory boards for We Mean Business and Climate Home News.

Thomas read Philosophy and Modern Languages at Durham University, and holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Cross-Sector Partnerships for Sustainable Development from Cambridge University and a Masters in Development Management from the Open University. He is currently studying for a Masters in Artificial Intelligence Ethics and Society at Cambridge University. Thomas is a Chartered Management Accountant and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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