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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
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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:

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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:

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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 ( Environmental Forum.

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WEC releases 2014 annual review

WEC releases 2014 annual review


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


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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:

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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:


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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:

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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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Earth Week Guest Post: WEC Shares 5 Sustainability Lessons with General Motors

Business risks from megatrends, global competition for access to talent, and better internal integration of sustainability management: these are a few issues highlighted by WEC CEO Terry Yosie in his guest blog post for GM's FastLane. Check out the full article here.

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World Environment Center and U.S. Department of State Innovate Environmental Performance in Honduras

San Pedro Sula, Honduras, March 27, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Based on a unique partnership designed to advance environmental and economic growth in the private sector, the World Environment Center (WEC), in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, has delivered significant results to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Honduras by improving their performance and strengthening their competitiveness in the international market. WEC’s team worked with Honduran agro-industry to reduce energy and water consumption, minimizing waste and raw material usage and lower operating costs. 

Through their participation in this project, 13 Honduran Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) generated savings of $257,888 and invested $222,498 in Cleaner Production practices and technology. In addition, collective environmental benefits realized by these companies as a direct result of this project include:

  • 3,774,355 gallons of water saved
  • 163,025 less kWh used
  • 20,122 gallons of fuel saved
  • 346 tons of CO2 reduced

WEC and its partners, the Honduran National Cleaner Production Center, provided advanced technical expertise for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) members of the Agroexporters of Honduras (FPX) and the Federation of Poultry Producers of Honduras (FEDAVIH), two of the leading national industry associations in the country. Throughout the project’s two years, WEC’s team has worked with the participants and the Cleaner Production Center, laying the foundation to improve environmental performance in the SMEs while increasing their competitiveness through a business model that integrates best practices into their operations.

WEC has been partnering with local technical experts throughout Latin America for over six years in projects such as this to combine economic growth with sustainable environmental best practices in SMEs. The combined results of these activities have generated over $1.4 million in savings, reducing CO2 emissions collectively by 2,100 tons, water usage by more than 13 million gallons, and electricity by more than 1 million KWh during the life of the projects in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 

Click here for the full press release and here for the Spanish version.


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WEC Member-Authored Engineering Article Published in ACS

On the heels of its dynamic roundtable on the teaching of sustainability in engineering schools, WEC is pleased to announce its peer-reviewed journal article, "Building a Sustainability Road Map for Engineering Education." Appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, the article is authored by Neil Hawkins of Dow, Robert Patterson of Shell, John Mogge of CH2M HILL, and Terry F. Yosie of WEC. The full article can be found here.

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WEC's Great Work in Peru-- en espanol [VIDEO]

Check out this fantastic video about WEC's work in Peru! WEC was highlighted in an international Cleaner Production conference at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola in Lima, Peru in October. The “Pathways” project works in tandem with 7 universities in Central America and Peru to further promote sustainable practices in advanced engineering curriculum and to strengthen the connection among clean production, the rising work force from local universities, and the private sector.

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Chile Looks to Global Markets to Promote Premium Olive Oil

Thanks to enacting WEC-advised higher environmental and production efficiency standards, the Chilean olive oil sector has its sights set on global markets. Fresh Fruit Portal explains many of the advancements made by the industry.

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WEC Initiative Helps Chilean Olive Oil Sector Save $2M

Thanks in part to a World Environment Center-sponsored Cleaner Production Agreement between the Chilean Cleaner Production Center and the olive oil trade association Chileoliva, the Chilean olive oil industry stands to save approximately 4 million liters of water and 2 million KWH per year, which translates to annual savings of almost 1 billion pesos, or USD $2 million. 

On Oct. 16, 2013, the World Environment Center announced at the Annual National Conference on Olive Oil in Chile the successful completion of a U.S. Department of State-funded project to expand the sustainable development commitments of the Chilean Olive Oil industry by reducing energy and water consumption, minimizing waste and raw material usage and lowering operating costs. Dr. Terry F. Yosie, WEC’s President and CEO, presented the final results of the project at the Conference.

Through their participation in this project, 11 olive oil producers generated savings of $157,800 and invested $114,800 in Cleaner Production practices and technology.  In addition, collective environmental benefits realized by these companies as a direct result of this project include: 487,027 kw hours saved; CO2 emissions reduced by 263 tons; 8,855 cubic meters of water saved.

The project’s success was highlighted by Dr. Yosie in his speech at the conference, “Innovation and market scale are two of the most important factors in making your industry more competitive and more sustainable,” he stated. “ChileOliva’s partnership in our project is a leading example of innovative thinking, a commitment to quality, and the implementation of sustainable practices across a national industry for the benefit of the international market.”

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WEC Awarded High-Profile State Dept Innovation Challenge Program

pathwaysThe World Environment Center (WEC), through a grant by the U.S. Department of State, is launching a new program to select and bring to scale innovative, locally produced concepts in support of the multilateral Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative.  Pathways has brought together 15 partner countries in the Western Hemisphere, including the U.S., that share a common vision on the need to identify and accelerate the adoption of effective policies and practices for promoting inclusive economic growth. WEC and Context Partners (CP) will initiate the program this month with an international competition, the “Pathways to Prosperity Challenge,” to search for the four most innovative and scalable ideas for generating inclusive economic growth among the partner countries.

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