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Capacity Building

Implementing solutions for sustainable development.

Around the world WEC sets up projects in collaboration with business, governments, academia and NGOs. Our work under this program is structured into 4 areas:

1.    Greening the Supply Chain (GSC)

WEC’s GSC projects are aimed at SMEs in lower supply chain tiers and are often (co-) financed by governmental agencies. For global corporations this can be an efficient way to help improve the production processes at suppliers over which they otherwise have little control. For governments this is an effective way to collaborate with a partner country to transfer knowledge and management skills for the benefit of an industry sector and for achievements in combating global challenges such as climate change and water scarcity.

Methodology: WEC manages the project, finds local partner organizations and technical experts, and coordinates with the funding organization, local governments and industry associations. WEC’s project team identifies action plans and assists companies in implementation.


2.    Promoting and Scaling Social Innovation

WEC works with innovative start-ups that have created businesses to solve societal challenges. In a major project funded by the U.S. State Department, WEC facilitated the identification of exceptionally valuable business ideas through an international competition. With the four winners and another 26 semi-finalists WEC and its partners are developing strategies to expand their businesses and to promote inclusive economic development in 14 Latin American countries. Please see for further details.


3.     Preparing Future Business Leaders to Implement Sustainability

WEC collaborates with business and universities to integrate corporate experience in implementing sustainability into business and engineering schools’ curriculums. Real cases provided by WEC and its network are used in the classroom to understand global sustainability challenges for business and society. Companies supporting this important initiative recognize the need for staff that is trained in systems thinking, in understanding global trends and in designing suitable products and processes.


4.    Sustainability Advisory for Global Companies

WEC conducts research and analysis for member companies on sustainability issues central to their businesses. This offer is part of every company’s membership at WEC and limited in scope. Sustainability Advisory can generate from expert interviews, company surveys or literature research.


Supply Chain: Results
WEC has implemented projects in Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Romania. Our funding partners have included Alcoa, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott Hotels, Shanghai General Motors, SGM Wuling, Walmart, USAID and the U.S. State Department.

2015 Morocco-Cleaner Production with 15 textile and food-processing companies
2015 Egypt-Energy Efficiency with 10 textile and food-processing companies
2014 Chile-Olive oil sector agreement
2013 Morocco-Cleaner Production Guide for Food Processing Companies (French)
2013 China-Greening the Supply Chain with SGM Wuling
2011 Costa Rica and Nicaragua-Cleaner Production with Marriott and Coca Cola
2011 China-Greening the Supply Chain with Shanghai General Motors
2009 Australia-Greening the Supply Chain with GM Holden [also see Australian gov. press release]
2009 El Salvador and Guatemala-Greening the Supply Chain with Wal Mart
2008 El Salvador-Alliance for Private Sector Competitiveness
2007 China-Greening the Supply Chain with Shanghai General Motors
2007 Romania-Greening the Supply Chain with Alcoa Fujikura
2007 Mexico, Guatemala and Belize-Conserving the Maya Forest

Social Innovation: Results
2014 winners of the Pathways Challenge competition
to find the most promising inclusive businesses in 14 Latin American countries are:

- Lutheran World Relief (Nicaragua)
- Compite MAS (Chile)
- ICAM GROUP (Mexico)
- Vista Volcanes (Guatemala)

WEC held its first Executive Roundtable on the topic of Social Innovation in:
2011: Social Innovation Roundtable in collaboration with IMD International and Novartis

Preparing Business Leaders: Results
Since 2011 WEC has interviewed companies on the relevance of their future workforce’s skills related to sustainable development and has facilitated events with business and universities related to this topic. Furthermore, we have involved graduate students in our capacity building projects with SME’s in newly industrialized countries. And on a limited scale we also started to invite students to our Executive Roundtables, where they learn how thought leaders discuss the implementation of sustainability in global companies’ core strategies.

2015 Latin America-Pathways to Prosperity Project with Higher Education for Development
2015 Sustainability and the Chief Financial Officer: Challenges, Opportunities, and next Practices
2014 Gold Medal Colloquium: Preparing Business Leaders for a Sustainable Future
2014 WEC Supply Chain Roundtable, with student participation
2013 Preparing the Next Generation of Engineering Students to Implement Sustainable Development
2011 Business Skills for a Changing World

Building a Sustainability Roadmap for Engineering Education,
     by Neil C. Hawkins, Robert W. Patterson, John Mogge, and Terry F. Yosie.
The New Leader: Transforming Sustainability Challenges into Core Business Opportunities,
     by Stanford Business School and WEC, April 2014.

Sustainability Advisory: Results
2014 Natural Capital Valuation
2013 Conflict Minerals and Due Diligence
2013 Current approaches to Sustainability in the Pharmaceutical, Material Science & Agribusiness industries
2011 Company Car Policies to Reduce CO2-emissions
2011 Extending the Use of Renewable Energies
2010 How Global Companies have structured their Sustainability Management
2010 Trends in SRI Evaluation
2009 Current Practice in Disclosing Scope 3 GHG-Emissions


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