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WEC Annual Review 2012 now available

From the 10th anniversary of our European operations to the formation of a groundbreaking WEC-IBM innovation council to the launching of an expansive engineering education initiative in Latin America, 2012 has been a banner year in both the scope and depth of WEC's accomplishments. We invite you to learn more about WEC's thematic and geographic expansion this year by taking a closer look at our 2012 Annual Review.

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Sustainable Cities: WEC weighs in on interconnected systems [VIDEO]

Cities have great advantages. They provide good jobs and are the most efficient form for delivery of services such as waste disposal, power, education, fire protection, and transportation, when compared with rural areas. City dwellers also use less energy than their counterparts in the countryside. Many experts envision that cities of the future will utilize more sustainable water, waste, energy, and transportation infrastructures. But what will drive the innovation needed to create these cities? And what role will government, industry and NGOs play in bringing about this change? Certainly not immune to partisan politics, cities have nonetheless been the proving ground for sustainable development, as ELI's expert panelists, including WEC's Terry Yosie, debated on November 8, 2012.

Lynn Scarlett, Former Deputy Secretary of the Interior (Moderator)
Shlomo (Solly) Angel, Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning, New York University
Ken Cornelius, Head-Global Center of Competence Americas, Siemens Infrastructure & Cities
Colin Harrison, Distinguished Engineer, Enterprise Initiatives, IBM
Julia Parzen, Coordinator, Urban Sustainability Directors Network
Carter H. Strickland, Jr., Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Terry Yosie, President, World Environment Center 

You can find the full video here.

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Justmeans highlights the new WEC- University of Michigan partnership

Designed to provide cross-disciplinary curriculum and training for eight graduate student fellows in 2013, the WEC-Erb Institute (University of Michigan) partnership is an exciting new step in equipping the next generation of business leaders with on-the-ground sustainability experience:
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The imperative need for smarter buildings

"Buildings emit more harmful carbon dioxide emissions into the environment than cars... What's more, up to 50 percent of energy and water used in buildings is wasted." So states Wayne Balta of IBM and member of the IBM-World Environment Center Innovations in Environmental Sustainability Council. The need for greater efficiency in buildings is imperative, says Balta, the smart technology exists, and the opportunity to act is now. See his full article in Earth Times here.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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


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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.

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