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Small and Medium Enterprises Project Closes in Morocco

WEC has announced the successful close of its latest State Department-funded project in Morocco. In partnership with local firm RIO and the Moroccan food-processing and textile associations FENAGRI (Fédération Nationale de l'Agroalimentaire) and AMITH (Association Marocaine des Industries du Textile et de l'Habillement), the technical team provided 15 small and medium-sized local companies with technical assistance in cleaner production and energy efficiency. 

For more info please see the press release:
http://3blmedia.com/News/Small-and-Medium-Enterprises-Adopt-Sustainable-Business-Practices-Morocco

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Updated 2016 Gold Medal Criteria Now Available

Updated 2016 Gold Medal Criteria Now Available

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Mike

The World Environment Center has announced updated criteria for its Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development to reflect advances in corporate sustainability. The new criteria raise the bar for companies seeking to demonstrate success in sustainability leadership and address the following issues: 1) corporate sustainability commitment in governance, strategy, operations and products; 2) industry innovation; and 3) international sustainability leadership. More information is available in the press release and updated application process.
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A thoughtful conversation about the Pope's encyclical

WEC CEO Terry Yosie kicked off a flurry of responses to his essay on the Pope's encyclical on climate change; it has proven highly popular on GreenBiz and remains an "editor's choice" piece. Worth a read!

http://www.greenbiz.com/article/thoughtful-conversation-about-popes-encyclical

 

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Climate, SDGs & Engagement: Thoughts from WEC Members

Each year at its annual member meeting, WEC's member companies identify several important topics where peer-to-peer discussion can advance mutual learning and value creation. This year’s topics included the UN Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability rankings, employee sustainability engagement, and preparing for the COP21 climate meetings in Paris. Read the full list of meeting takeaways here.

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SC Johnson Receives 2015 WEC Gold Medal Award

WEC is delighted to announce that its 31st Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development has been awarded to SC Johnson. The company was recognized for its comprehensive focus on sustainability and transparency initiatives, including its rigorous Greenlist™ process. SC Johnson accepted the Gold Medal Award on May 14, 2015, during the Gold Medal Gala in Washington, D.C. For details please see the full press release, and for photos of the event and Gold Medal Colloquium please visit our Facebook page

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Successful Close of University Cleaner Production Project in the Dominican Republic

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WEC and its partners are pleased to report on the closing ceremony of its successful Pathways to Cleaner Production in the Americas project in conjunction with INTEC University in the Dominican Republic. Summed up best by a participating engineering student, "thanks to the project I combined my knowledge of industrial engineering with practical cleaner production, leading to performance improvements in materials and workflow management. I also participated in a university exchange at TEC de Costa Rica. I learned something new each week, valued the benefit cleaner production can assert its importance in business today." Further info on the project and ceremony can be found here.

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WEC/ EPA/ Wilson Center Earth Day Event: Responding to Megatrends

Promoting Years of Sustainability: Responding to Mega Trends

April 22, 2015 // 3:00pm5:00pm

This joint WEC- EPA- Wilson Center seminar will look at long-term environmental trends and discuss how government, business and civil society can best prepare and respond to these trends:

  • Preparing for “Years of Sustainable Development.”  Alan Hecht, Director for Sustainable Development, Office of Research and Development,  EPA
  • Global Choke Point: Examining the Water-Energy Nexus. Jennifer Turner, Director China Environmental Forum, Wilson Center 
  • Rapid urbanization, exponential technologies, and extreme events. Banning Garrett, adjunct faculty, Singularity University, and former Senior Fellow for Innovation and Global Trends at the Atlantic Council.
  • Emerging Strategies to Manage System-Level Risks. Terry Yosie, President and CEO of the World Environment Center.

This event is organized by the Wilson Center, EPA, and the World Environment Center (WEC).

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/promoting-years-sustainability-responding-to-mega-trends

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CFOs & Sustainability: New WEC-Corporate Eco Forum Report

The Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and World Environment Center (WEC) today published new insights from leading Chief Financial Officers on the importance of evaluating and integrating sustainability factors to create business value and strengthen the foundations for long-term growth.  The report, “Sustainability and the CFO: Challenges, Opportunities, and Next Practices,” is based on in-depth interviews with leading CFOs and case studies of evolving financial management practices in major global companies that include Alcoa, Ecolab, Puma, Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, UPS and The Walt Disney Company. For the full press release and link to the report, please see http://3blmedia.com/News/Leading-CFOs-Reveal-Sustainability-Related-Risks-and-Opportunities-New-Corporate-Eco-Forum-and.
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CFO Summit: Corporate Sustainability as a Driver of Financial Performance

"Corporate Sustainability as a Driver of Financial Performance": Corporate sustainability is fast becoming an important issue on the CFO agenda. Not only is it important for companies to reduce their environmental footprint, but sustainability can also be linked to financial performance. For example, a consumer goods company that reduces its plastic consumption will also have lower manufacturing/operating costs. Learn how UPS and Dow Chemical are driving sustainability on this panel, and how the Corporate Eco Forum and the World Environment Center are driving the agenda.

Full information on the March 11-12 2015 CFO Rising Summit in Miami is available here: http://theinnovationenterprise.com/summits/the-annual-cfo-rising-east-miami-2015/

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Davos 2015: 10 reflections on sustainable business

WEC's Chair, Mike Barry of Marks & Spencer, ventured this year to the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos. Here he shares 10 takeaways from the meetings, from carbon to China to the circular economy: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/blog/stories/davos-2015-10-reflections

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The Marketplace as Policy Innovator

"In peeling the onion of the EPA’s climate proposal, a much broader concept of regulatory governance emerges — regulation across the entire value chain of businesses that generate electricity. The agency’s power plant proposal borrows from its own history in applying value chain regulatory frameworks, recognizes recent innovative practices from the private sector, and leverages already existing changes in the marketplace in value chain management, and electricity production in particular.

EPA’s proposed rule clearly aims to reduce greenhouse gases from specific power plants. However, it has crafted a regulation that opens the door to further optimize electricity production by creating new opportunities for energy efficiency and has invited competition among alternative technologies or fuel sources (in particular, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables) to determine which of these can best advance a lower carbon future."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed power plant rule shows how it is using its authority to implement value chain approaches that incorporate flexibility and innovation. Read Terry Yosie's full insightful article in the Environmental Law Institute's (www.eli.org) Environmental Forum.

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WEC releases 2014 annual review

WEC releases 2014 annual review

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The World Environment Center (WEC) is pleased to announce the release of its 2014 Annual Review. We invite you to learn more about our exciting initiatives and successes of the past year, notably the award of a $4.05 million State Department grant and our latest thought leadership events. Enjoy!

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Powering Business Value Through Sustainability

The Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance recently held its third successful Signature Event in Orlando, Florida, at which World Environment Center CEO Terry Yosie was invited to serve as the keynote speaker. Terry spoke to the key trends that are linking sustainability and business value, namely the growing demand for traceability and transparency; the changing definitions of what it is a company does; and the dramatic transformation of supply chain sustainability from hidden to front and center. For the full press release, see http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/powering-business-value-through-sustainability-282633931.html.

 

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WEC Kicks Off Pathways Training in Mexico City

On October 20--24, 2014, WEC and its project partners hosted its inaugural training workshop in Mexico City as part of the State Department-funded Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge. The Challenge was created to discover existing local, high-impact solutions that empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Latin America and the Caribbean to advance economic development and prosperity, awarding up to $500,000 each to the four best projects. Representatives from these four awardees as well as 8 of the Challenge’s semifinalists were in attendance.

Over the intense few days of training, finalists learned how to develop tools that will help them develop implementation plans and budgets, and establish, measure, and report on targets for success. The productive and collegial atmosphere of the workshop received high marks from all participants, and has likewise set the stage for an encouraging next phase of the Pathways Challenge.

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Yahoo profiles WEC's Pathways Challenge

Laura Juanes Micas, Senior Legal Director of International Privacy of Yahoo, recently served on the jury at the WEC- U.S. State Department Innovation Challenge in Washington, D.C. Here she recounts her experience at the Challenge, and what it means for Latin America and for an innovative company like Yahoo: http://yahoopolicy.tumblr.com/post/94819903743/the-pathways-to-prosperity-innovation-challenge

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Pathways Winners Profiled on YouTube [VIDEO]

Missed the Pathways Challenge Pitch Competition on July 25? Want to learn more about our 4 extraordinary winners? Pathways Caminos have shared wonderful videos on their YouTube channel, which we encourage you to visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjRO5pNl1jc

 

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WEC and State Department Announce 12 Pathways Finalists

The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the World Environment Center (WEC), announced twelve (12) finalists of the Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge today. The Challenge was created to discover existing local, high-impact solutions that empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Latin America and the Caribbean to advance economic development and prosperity. The finalists will vie for one of four awards of up to USD 500,000 and technical support to scale up or replicate their initiatives in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Panama, or Peru.

All finalists will be invited to join WEC and the State Department at a three-day gathering at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to further refine their solutions for scaling across the region. The event will culminate on July 25, 2014 with a pitch day during which four winners will be determined from the pool of 12 finalists. A panel of international expert judges from the government and private sectors will select the winners.

For more information on the Challenge and the finalists as well as links to their project profiles, please see the State Department media note

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Great Carnegie Mellon Spotlight on WEC and Terry Yosie

The latest Carnegie Mellon alumni magazine features a fantastic profile of WEC President & CEO Terry Yosie, covering everything from WEC projects on Chilean olive oil and IBM data analytics to Terry's days as a Carnegie Mellon student. Read more in the full article here: http://www.carnegiemellontoday.com/issues/july-2014-issue/alumni/problem-solver/

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Preparing Business Leaders for a Sustainable Future: Key Lessons

Through its new strategic initiative, “Preparing Business Leaders for a Sustainable Future,” the World Environment Center aims to focus the efforts of global companies and leading business and engineering schools to attain three major objectives: 1) accelerate the sharing of business concepts, case studies and best practices from companies to the core curriculum; 2) provide students with expanded opportunities to learn business processes and cultures as part of their university experience; and 3) enable companies to identify talented potential employees well in advance of campus recruiting. As part of the Gold Medal Colloquium on May 16, leaders from business and academia sat down to discuss the latest practices and recommendations for preparing future business leaders. Here are the key takeaways from the Colloquium.

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Focus on WEC's ChileOliva project by AMCHAM Chile

The partnership between the World Environment Center and ChileOliva, an industry association that encompasses 70% of Chile's olive oil producers, has been highlighted as a case study in the latest edition of "bUSiness Chile" magazine, a publication of AMCHAM Chile. The article features interviews with WEC's director of Latin America operations, Ernesto Samayoa, as well as with ChileOliva's general manager, Gabriela Moglia.

Moglia cited many improvements thanks to direction from the World Environment Center, and “The first and most concrete is lower production costs,” she said, adding that energy bills can devour anywhere from 20% to 30% of a company’s budget. Since many olive plantations are located in hilly areas, water for irrigation has to travel upward and a long way to reach plants, which takes energy. “Any savings mean meaningful benefits for the companies,” she said.

For further information on the feature article, read the English version here and the Spanish version here.

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