Learning from leaders - Dole Sunshine: Driving progress towards an inclusive and sustainable food business model

06 Oct 2022
The sustainability transition is accelerating around the globe. Governments and large companies have set net-zero targets, driving sustainability-oriented innovations not only within companies, but throughout supply chains and industries. Companies will have to adopt, either to comply with requirements from regulators and customers, or because of the enormous new growth opportunity that a future of sustainable production and consumption presents. In our ‘Learning from leaders’ series of interviews, we speak to some of the most pioneering leaders around the world, to learn how they are preparing their organisations to capture the opportunities the sustainability transition brings.  
Dole Sunshine: Driving progress towards an inclusive and sustainable food business model
Insights from a recent interview with Pier Luigi Sigismondi, President Dole Sunshine (and former President Unilever Southeast Asia & Australasia) With 20,000 employees and revenues of €2.5 billion covering over 70 countries, Dole Asia Holdings is the Japanese-owned operating arm of the Dole Group of companies, one of the world’s largest fresh and packaged fruit & vegetable producers. After having been in charge of Unilever’s Southeast Asia & Australasia business, Pier Luigi Sigismondi is now leading Dole’s food & beverage business towards a brighter future for all. His inspiring interview is split in three parts, which we will share separately. Part I In this first part, Pier Luigi talks about the need for a more inclusive and sustainable food system and how for Dole this is not a CSR project, but about driving the change that the world needs and that consumers will expect companies to contribute to. He also explains how ‘going sustainable’ makes business sense, alone or in collaboration with supply chain partners. Part II In this second part, Pier Luigi shares practical insights on how Dole is approaching the difficult task of ensuring pragmatic but continued progress in the sustainability transition and making a positive impact in the world, while at the same time satisfying commercial needs. Bringing in experiences from Thailand, he shares concrete examples of how Dole translates the higher purpose into concrete goals and promises and how the company builds a sustainable mindset and culture that informs and drives responsible decisions at all levels in the organisation. Part III In this thirds and final part, Pier Luigi talks about the importance of strengthening collaboration with innovation partners to simultaneously drive the commercial and sustainable progress needed in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world and explains how authenticity, purpose, resilience and adaptability are the crucial leadership skills for the future.  
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