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Thought Leadership

WEC is a platform for global companies to share strategic insights and competencies.
By facilitating high quality Executive Roundtables designed for peer-to-peer discussions on practical solutions for sustainability challenges, WEC provides companies with the opportunity to learn from the top thought leaders.

Our Roundtables are designed to enable strategic discussions among vice presidents of various industries, generally from the sustainability, operations, procurement, and marketing divisions.  Key aspects of the format are the relatively small number of selected participants, few presentations with more room for interactive discussions and a focus on strategies and practices to implement sustainability goals. While company representatives typically make up 80% of our roundtable participants we always provide some space for NGOs, academia and government representatives.

WEC typically plans 4 roundtables a year, with two each in Europe and North America (and in Asia respectively), and also holds the prestigious annual Gold Medal Colloquium as part of its Gold Medal Award event. Previously known as the International Environment Forum (IEF), these events have been held over 180 times since 1977.


WEC facilitates Executive Roundtables in cooperation with its member companies and strategic partners. In the last five years these events have been hosted by AECOM, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boeing, CH2MHILL, Chevron, Dow Chemical, IMD International, Ingersoll Rand, Johnson Controls, Merck, Novartis, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, SC Johnson, Shell, and Volkswagen.

Roundtable and Gold Medal Colloquium Summaries

Roundtable topics have included sustainable corporate governance structures, sustainable supply chains, climate change, water challenges, natural resources constraints, greener products, and social innovation.

Summaries as follows:

2016  Business Planning for the Future: New Business Models

2016  The New Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): How Do Companies Respond?
2015  Innovative Governance Structures for Corporate Sustainability

2014  Transformational Collaboration in Sustainable Supply Chain Management
2014  Innovations for Managing Business Risks from Natural and Material Resource Availability
2014  The New Leader: Transforming Sustainability Challenges into Core Business Opportunities
2013  Top 12 Take-Aways From WEC's 2013 Gold Medal Week (Gold Medal Colloquium)
2013  Creating Shared Value Through New Forms of Collaboration
2013  Building a Sustainability Roadmap for Engineering Education
2012  21st Century Megatrends and their Impacts on Business Strategy and Innovation Opportunities
2012  Practical Business Solutions to the Climate-Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Gold Medal Colloquium)
2012  Systemic Solutions for innovation in sustainability
2011  Managing Social Responsibility Challenges to Business in Less Developed Nations
2010  Strategies to Ignite Broad Based Market Demand for Energy Efficiency
2010  Scaling Up Sustainability Management in Global Companies
2010  Water as a strategic Issue for business and society
2010  Sustainable Consumption: Strategies and Practices of Business, Expectations and Behaviour
         of Consumers (Gold Medal Colloquium)

2009  Verifying Green Product Design and Marketing
2009  Creating Solutions for Greenhouse Gas Reductions with Business and Government
2008  Technology-Based Solutions to Global Environmental Challenges
2008  Effective Integration of Sustainability Issues into the Supply Chain

Recent speakers

Senior respresentatives of companies:
Boehringer Ingelheim (Thomas Zimmer); Cisco Systems (Bas Boorsma); Coca-Cola (Jeff Seabright); Dow Chemical (Neil Hawkins); DuPont (Linda Fisher); FEMSA (Francisco Suarez), F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Peter Schnurrenberger), Glaxo SmithKline (Alan Pamba), IBM (Wayne Balta), McDonald's (Bob Langert), Marks & Spencer (Mike Berry), Merck (Martin Hostalek), Nestlé (Claus Conzelmann), Ricoh (Ionebu Kakegawa), Rio Tinto (Elaine Dorwad-King); Shell (Allard Castelein), Unilever (Gavin Neath), Volkswagen (Gerhard Praetorius), etc.

Senior representatives of academia/government/NGO/Think-tank:
Ecologic Institute (R. Andreas Kramer); Ethical Trading Initiative (Peter McAllister); Five Winds International (James Fava); Forum for the Future (Peter Madden); FSG (Marc Pfitzer); Harvard University (Jane Nelson); IMD International (Francisco Szekely); Institute for Human Rights and Business (John Morrison); Stanford University (Pamela Matson); The Natural Step (Karl-Henrik Robèrt); The Nature Conservancy (Mark Tercek); Trucost (Richard Mattison); University of Augsburg (Armin Reller); University of Michigan (Andrew Hoffman); University of Rotterdam (Michael Braungart); University of Texas (David Allen); Volans Ventures (John Elkington); World Economic Forum (Bernice Lee); WWF (Jason Clay), etc.

In addition to roundtables WEC also designs events and workshops to enable the implementation of best practices. Participants are small groups from several companies or from one company alone.

Interested companies should contact: (for the Americas and Asia); (for Europe, Africa and Asia)

















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