You are here: Home News

Recent News

WEC News & Announcements

WEC launches major new sustainability initiative in Latin American universities

San Jose, Costa Rica – September 5, 2012 - The World Environment Center (WEC) today announced the launching of a major new initiative with universities in seven Latin American nations to improve the teaching and application of sustainable development. The initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with Higher Education for Development (HED). The “Pathways to Cleaner Production in the Americas: Educating Future Professionals” (Pathways) project spans seven countries – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Peru – to combine environmental and engineering education with access to local private companies.This collaboration will provide students the opportunity to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in cleaner production initiatives, while companies gain the opportunity to develop young talent and key skills that are needed in sustainable industrial development.

See the full press release here:

Document Actions

WEC sustainable cities article published in ELI Forum

"Cities both consume the natural environment and regenerate it." The September-October issue of The Environmental Forum, a publication of the Environmental Law Institute (, has featured a piece by WEC CEO Terry Yosie on the livable city of the future. Yosie's eloquent thoughts wrap up the section on page 9 of the Forum.

Document Actions

May 4 Colloquium summary now available

More than 100 professionals from business, government and NGOs participated in the World Environment Center-hosted Gold Medal Colloquium on May 4, 2012. This year's theme was "Practical Business Solutions to the Climate-Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Initiatives to Build an Integrated System of Practices." For a useful look at the day's discussions and key take-aways from the event please see our Colloquium Summary.

Document Actions

WEC remarks from OAS dialogue on private sector environmental performance

WEC President & CEO Terry Yosie was invited by the Department of Sustainable Development of the Organization of American States (OAS) to speak in its Dialogue Series "Improving Environmental Performance of the Private Sector through Law and Institutions." The dialogue, held at the OAS in Washington, DC, on May 17, 2012, is part of a larger framework to prepare for the Rio+20 conference in June.

The Dialogue discussions analyzed contributions of the private sector throughout Latin America and also explored the following issues:
•    Shared experiences and sustainable development challenges faced by the private sector;
•    The contribution of law and  policy to improve private sector performance;
•    Creation of  a  space  for  constructive   dialogue   to  identify  and support  opportunities  for strengthening  the capacity of  the private sector towards sustainability; and
•    Dissemination of successful examples of public-private partnerships in environmental matters and sustainable development.

Full remarks about WEC's recent initiatives throughout Latin America are available here.

Document Actions

"Creating the Future We Want": Terry Yosie co-authors article to be presented at Rio+20

The Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (SSPP) journal article, "Creating the future we want," a collaborative effort between the EPA, WEC CEO Terry Yosie, UNIDO, Dow Chemical, Duke University and the Heinz Center, presents a broad strategy for addressing pressing global sustainability challenges.

The five strategic steps they outline are:

1. The starting point is that developed and developing countries must better understand the pressures on the global environment and their consequences.
2. This understanding must in turn lead to a vision and strategy to achieve global sustainable development employing specific measures and commitments. Several emerging frameworks—a sustainable or green economy, shared value, and stewardship—present opportunities for accelerated progress in sustainability and must be better understood, integrated, and disseminated globally.
3. It is also essential to promote framework conditions that support good governance at national and local levels.
4. Building on a sustainability framework, advances in science and technology and new business models can enhance resource efficiency across the value chain.
5. Finally, effective collaboration among business, government, NGOs, academia, and civil society can lead to positive actions and outcomes on a global scale.

Click here to read the full article in the SSPP journal.

Document Actions

WEC's Costa Rica green manufacturing highlighted in U.S. Embassy press

WEC's Costa Rica green manufacturing highlighted in U.S. Embassy press


In a recent article the State Department highlights the World Environment Center's recent successes in Costa Rica, providing a thorough overview of its sponsored projects in greening the local supply chain, particularly with suppliers of Coca-Cola and Marriott hotels. Ernesto Samayoa, WEC Director of Latin America Operations and Gwen Davidow, WEC Director of Global Corporate Programs, sat down with the State Department press corps to offer their insight. Find out more in the full article here.

Document Actions

Asst. Secretary of State for OES meets with WEC in Honduras

Asst. Secretary of State for OES meets with WEC in Honduras

Assistant Secretary Jones

San Pedro Sula, Honduras - April 13, 2012.  Ms. Kerri-Ann Jones, the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, participated in the sixth meeting of the Environmental Affairs Council of the CAFTA-DR free trade agreement, held in member country Honduras. At a press conference Secretary Jones congratulated WEC for its technical assistance to small and medium enterprises to improve their environmental performance. Read the full article from the Honduran press here.

Document Actions

WEC-IMD-Novartis Roundtable: Summary

The Feb. 22-23 gathering in Lausanne, Switzerland, of 47 sustainability experts from leading global brands generated insightful discussions on social innovation and changing business models. WEC's Germany office has compiled an excellent one-pager on results of the roundtable: learn about the latest initiatives of L'Oreal, Unilever, Novartis and many others in their full WEC roundtable summary.

Document Actions

Take a closer look: 2011 Annual Review

From the landmark Gold Medal gala to hugely successful capacity building in China, Latin America and Morocco to driving groundbreaking sustainability forums around the world, 2011 was a banner year for the World Environment Center. Learn more about WEC's exciting achievements in our 2011 Annual Review.

Document Actions

WEC China shares its latest newsletter

WEC's China office has released its February 2012 newsletter, available at For this and all other news in Chinese from our Beijing team please visit

Document Actions

Novartis Roundtable on Feb. 22-23: Social Innovation and Sustainability

The concept of social innovation seeks innovative answers or business models to address social problems of relevance to business such as poverty, health or environmental degradation. The good news for business is that this process is inherent in business's strengths: competing to be smarter, faster, and greater while transforming to the new requirements of a changing world.

On February 22 and 23 in Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Environment Center and IMD Business School will lead a Roundtable, hosted by Novartis, exploring social innovation and sustainability.

The objectives of this Roundtable include:
•    Understanding sustainability as a driver for innovation and business success.
•    Building additional competencies in social innovation and learning how to incorporate the concept into the company’s business model.
•    Sharing learning from new practices/approaches and discussing opportunities for cooperation and activating partnerships with business, government, academia, and NGO’s in sustainable development and corporate social innovation.

The Roundtable is structured to provide a highly interactive process of discussion among approximately 40 global environmental and sustainability leaders. It is an invitation-only event and no media will attend.

The full agenda is available here.

Document Actions

IBM to Receive World Environment Center's 2012 Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development

Washington, DC, February 9, 2012.  The World Environment Center’s (WEC) Twenty-Eighth Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development will be awarded to IBM for its commitment to advancing environmental sustainability throughout the company and providing business solutions in support of more sustainable cities and the planet.  IBM Chairman Samuel J. Palmisano will accept the Gold Medal Award on behalf of the company on Thursday, May 3, 2012 during the Gold Medal Presentation Ceremony in Washington, DC.

IBM was selected by the independent Gold Medal Jury, chaired by Dr. Joel Abrams, Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh. The Jury found that IBM’s long-term commitment to integrating sustainable development into its business strategy and operations, and its specific efforts toward developing information technology products and services for sustainable cities as part of its “Smarter Planet” initiative, merited the award.  IBM now becomes the first company in the history of this award to receive it on separate occasions, having also been the 1990 recipient.

IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative applies instrumentation and intelligent systems through interconnected services to design innovative business solutions to a host of business and societal challenges, including electricity generation and distribution, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions, more efficient government services, healthcare, traffic management and mobility, and water conservation.

“We are deeply honored to receive this award,” said Mr. Palmisano.  “For IBM, corporate citizenship, environmental stewardship and profitable growth are all inherent to building a smarter planet. We are most excited to be working with progressive mayors, their teams and community leaders in smarter cities around the world, as they seize upon the vast quantities of data their cities generate to drive growth and sustainability in the face of unprecedented urbanization, economic and technological change and increasing social mobility.”

“On behalf of the independent Gold Medal Jury, I extend my congratulations to IBM for advancing sustainability across its business operations and for enabling the public and private sector to extend their own aspirations and achievements,” stated Dr. Abrams.  “The Smarter Planet initiative and its application to making cities more sustainable, will establish long-term benefits for society and shareholders by improving the quality of life for the majority of the world’s population that now lives in cities.  As with past recipients, the Gold Medal provides a positive incentive for IBM to continue to improve its noteworthy achievements through innovative investments in people, technology and systems.”

The World Environment Center’s Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development was established in 1985 to recognize significant industry initiatives in global environmental excellence and sustainable development.  Recent recipients of the WEC Gold Medal Award are: Nestlé (2011), Wal-Mart Stores (2010), The Coca-Cola Company (2009), Marks & Spencer (2008), Alcan Inc (2007), ABN AMRO Bank (2006), Starbucks (2005), Johnson Controls Inc. (2004), and the Ricoh Group Ltd. (2003).

The WEC Gold Medal Jury is independent of WEC and its programs, and is composed of international leaders from academia, government, non-governmental organizations and retired industry professionals.

The World Environment Center, headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices and operations in emerging and developed markets, is unique in its direct application of sustainable development strategies and practices to the business operations of its member companies. WEC creates sustainable business solutions through individual projects in emerging markets; convenes leadership roundtables to shape strategic thinking across a range of sustainability topics; and honors industry excellence through the annual Gold Medal Award.  An independent non-profit organization, WEC conducts no advocacy activities. For more information please visit

Document Actions

WEC member Ricoh again named one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations

For the 8th year in a row, Ricoh Company, Ltd., a specialist in office solutions and IT services, has been rated one of the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World”. The 2012 Global 100 was unveiled during the annual World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland. Dr Terry F. Yosie, President and CEO of the World Environment Center and speaker at a recent Ricoh event, said, “Global recognition is well-deserved for Ricoh, with the company going beyond legal obligations by proactively looking for ways to reduce its impact on the environment and promote biodiversity through innovative business services.”

Please see the full press release here.

Document Actions

Interview with WEC's Terry Yosie and IBM's Wayne Balta in Bloomberg article

Bloomberg BNA caught up with Wayne Balta of IBM and Terry Yosie of WEC to learn more about their new partnership to launch an Innovations in Environmental Sustainability Council. "We wanted to have deep conversations with like-minded companies about systemic innovation,” said Balta, IBM's vice president of corporate environmental affairs and product safety. “If you look at these firms, they all have well-recognized, long-standing commitments to operating well, and they are also companies that have a bias towards innovation. They purposely come from diverse industry sectors because that will give us an interesting discussion.” Read the full article and learn more about the inaugural February 2012 meeting here.

Document Actions

IBM and WEC Announce New Sustainability Council IBM and WEC Spearhead Corporate Sustainability Coalition Working on Green Innovation
IBM and the World Environment Center (WEC) announced on 17 January 2012 the formation of the Innovations in Environmental Sustainability Council, comprised of leading global companies that will explore how innovation in business process and technology can enable strategic solutions to major sustainability challenges involving materials, energy, water, infrastructure and logistics. The first meeting of the Council will be held in Orlando, Florida, February 7 and 8. For more information and an interview with WEC President and CEO Terry Yosie please see the GreenBiz article


Document Actions

WEC Participates in National Congress on Cleaner Production in El Salvador

November 9, 2011 -- WEC's Ernesto Samayoa participated today in the National Congress on Cleaner Production in San Salvador, El Salvador, hosted by that country's Ministry of Economy.

WEC's Cleaner Production Partnership work, funded by the U.S. Department of State, was highlighted through the event's program.

Mr. Samayoa participated as a moderator for a panel discussion on loans and financial mechanisms available to the bank sector for the purpose of fostering Cleaner Production practices and investments.

Document Actions

World Environment Center and Net Impact Spotlight Business Skills for a Changing World with New Report on Teaching Sustainability in Business Schools

WEC and Net Impact released a joint report evaluating the skills required for advancing the sustainability strategies of global companies. The report, Business Skills for a Changing World: An Assessment of What Global Companies Need from Business Schools, highlights the skills required for careers in companies with strong sustainability commitments, and discusses what business schools can do to ensure graduates have those skills.
World Environment Center and Net Impact Spotlight Business Skills for a Changing World with New Report on Teaching Sustainability in Business Schools

The WEC-NI report was released on October 27, 2011

(Washington, D.C.) October 27, 2011 – The World Environment Center (WEC) and Net Impact today released a joint report evaluating the skills required for advancing the sustainability strategies of global companies.  The report, Business Skills for a Changing World:  An Assessment of What Global Companies Need from Business Schools, highlights the skills required for careers in companies with strong sustainability commitments, and discusses what business schools can do to ensure graduates have those skills.

The study evaluates data taken from interviews with 33 senior sustainability executives in global companies. They included senior leaders of companies sponsoring this assessment: The Boeing Company, The Campbell’s Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd., IBM, and Johnson Controls, Inc.  The data underscores the importance and business value of sustainability, and contains numerous concrete examples of what global companies are doing to implement sustainability throughout their operations, from cross-functional management advisory groups to employee driven green teams. It also looks at how Human Resources can help or hinder the acquisition of new talent with the skills necessary to enact business’ evolving priorities, particularly in sustainability.

The study resulted from a September 2010 roundtable event hosted by the World Environment Center in which representatives of global corporations and academia met to discuss the teaching of sustainability, the needs of the marketplace, and opportunities for better alignment between the two.

The report includes a review of the skill sets required of new MBA hires who plan to work in companies that are actively implementing sustainability programs.  According to the executives interviewed, the balance between inward-looking technical and management skills, outward-focused communications, and customer and stakeholder management skills is a priority for nearly all companies represented in the report.  While technical knowledge and traditional business acumen are key to understanding business and environmental challenges, it is equally as important that professionals addressing such challenges also have the communication skills necessary to galvanize various business units across the organization.  Citing examples from the executives interviewed, the report outlines the skills necessary to navigate the unique requirements of sustainability in business.

The report also underlines executives’ thoughts on the most effective ways to teach sustainability in business schools, including practical examples of curricular changes.  Executives had many suggestions on how companies could become more engaged with business schools, too, in order to make their skill needs known to the schools, such as allowing themselves to be the subject of case studies, speaking to MBA audiences, and advising schools on curricula planning.

“The integration of sustainability into the business strategies of companies is one of the most important emerging opportunities for value creation in the global economy,” stated Dr. Terry F. Yosie, President & CEO of the World Environment Center. “This study identifies the skills that will add value to a sustainability strategy, and examines the space between business and academia to determine not only what the real-time needs of the market are, but also how graduate students are being taught to address them.”

The report is being released in conjunction with the 2011 Net Impact Conference, held this year in Portland, OR.  Net Impact’s annual conference brings together over 2,500 business school students and practitioners to discuss trends in socially and environmentally responsible business.

“Students are demanding to learn sustainability-relevant skills from their MBA programs, and are looking for employers who value this mindset,” said Liz Maw, Executive Director of Net Impact. “We are excited to see companies engaging more with business schools to prepare future sustainability-minded leaders.”

Dr. Yosie will lead a panel discussion at the Conference on October 29, in which the teaching of sustainability in business schools, and the skill requirements of the marketplace, will be addressed.

Net Impact logo

Document Actions

World Environment Center (WEC) to participate in Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative Ministerial Meeting

World Environment Center (WEC) to participate in Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative Ministerial Meeting

WEC's Ernesto Samayoa

WEC has been invited to participate in the Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial meeting to be held in Dominican Republic, on October 4th and 5th, 2011. On behalf of the World Environment Center, Mr. Ernesto Samayoa, Director of Operations for Latinamerica, will participate in the panel discussion “Sustainable Entrepreneurial Practices and International Environmental Cooperation,” where he will present WEC´s successful “Greening the Supply Chain” initiative. The "Greening the Supply Chain" initiative has been developed throughout Latin America, North Africa, and Asia, promoting economic growth and sustainable development among SMEs of developing countries.

WEC was recently awarded funding from the Department of State to execute the new initiative “Pathways to Cleaner Production” under the framework of Pathways to Prosperity, to promote the adoption of best practices in Latin America.

Document Actions

White House Council on Environmental Quality Appoints Gwen Davidow of World Environment Center to Senior GreenGov Position

August 17, 2011 - The World Environment Center (WEC) announced today that Gwen Davidow, Senior Director of Corporate Programs & Operations will take a short term assignment with the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), within the Executive Office of the President, to further the mission of the U.S. Government’s major sustainability initiative known as GreenGov.

In this position, Ms. Davidow will serve as the Senior Program Manager in the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive to support OFEE’s efforts in implementing the GreenGov Symposium and the GreenGov Awards programs scheduled for October 31 to November 2, 2011. She will work to develop public-private partnerships, promote technology sharing between the private sector and Federal agencies and manage interagency coordination initiatives.  Ms. Davidow’ experience in working with leading private sector companies in sustainable development will further inform and expedite private sector innovations in sustainability to the Federal government.

At the World Environment Center, a non-profit, non-advocacy global sustainability organization, Ms. Davidow has focused  on the design of collaborative programs with the private sector  such as the Greening the Supply Chain initiative in China, and she provides central management to WEC’s U.S. government-funded sustainability initiatives and public-private partnership activities that include a variety of non-governmental organizations.  Ms. Davidow holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Virginia and has an M.B.A. in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.  She has lived in Chile, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe and is fluent in Spanish.

Document Actions

Ingersoll Rand becomes WEC's newest Member Company

The WEC cadre of member companies expands to include Ingersoll Rand

Headquartered in North Carolina, Ingersoll Rand is a $14 billion globally diversified industrial products and services company.  Its product mix includes:  stationary refrigerator equipment, air conditioning systems and services, transport temperature control equipment, and locks and security systems.

Document Actions
Document Actions