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2020 Gold Medal Award Application

Gold Medal

  • Deadline for Nominations: October 25, 2019
  • Deadline for Full Application: November 21, 2019

Nominations to the 2020 Award are now CLOSED!



The WEC Gold Medal Award is presented annually to a global company that has demonstrated successful integration of sustainability as a core part of its business practice, with commitment at all levels of the corporation; that has demonstrated its commitment to innovation to provide ground-breaking solutions in its industry to critical environmental and social challenges; and that has invested in global leadership to transform market conditions so as to accelerate progress toward a sustainable future.  

The successful applicant will demonstrate its performance on all three of these elements, bolstered by evidence that its path has resulted in extraordinary results and impact.

Global corporations that can document well-implemented, outstanding and sustained success are eligible to compete for the award. 

Successful applicants will tell the story of the strategy it has chosen, explain its implementation, provide evidence of results, and convey the company’s passion and commitment through concrete examples that give a sense of the level of difficulty of the endeavor, intensity of investment, and the concrete demonstrated results achieved.

Who Is Eligible?

  • Multinational manufacturing, processing and/or services companies with operations outside the headquarters’ country.
  • Parent companies or subsidiaries.
  • Candidates that show improvement in sustainable development over consecutive years.
  • Past applicants may re-apply with the same application within three years of original submission.

The winner of the 2018 Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development will be honored at WEC's gala in Washington, DC on May 16, 2019.

2020 Application Process

Each applicant is invited to submit a full application only after its nomination has been accepted. Eligible applicants are evaluated on the basis of a clearly articulated set of values, a history of proven accomplishment, a global outlook and a commitment to sustainable development. The narrative and signature contribution as described below will be used to establish the outstanding and unique nature of the submission.

The Full Application consists of four sections: 1) the Executive Summary, and Narrative, which consists of 2) Corporate Sustainability Commitment; 3) Industry Innovation; and 4) International Sustainability Leadership.


Briefly discuss and summarize your submission.


The Narrative should focus on the following three principles below, and demonstrate that all three are indeed part of the applicant’s routine business practices.

CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENT: Governance, Strategy, Operations and Products

Demonstration of an exemplary, published, fully integrated and implemented corporate policy committing the company to the following practices and providing evidence of concrete, demonstrated results:

  1. Explicit commitment to a mission of sustainable development that incorporates stewardship of economic, environmental, and social components into corporate governance, strategy and operations, as well as in company products and services;
  2. Comprehensive integration of the sustainable development components at all levels—including the board and top executives-- and locations of the company and its value chain, accounting for worldwide environment, health, safety and social standards;
  3. Commitment to efficient operations, including but not limited to: state-of-the-art facilities (LEED or LEED equivalent); energy and water efficiency; integrated, lean, environmentally and socially responsible supply and value chains; and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and products;
  4. Commitment to enhancing livelihoods and the human rights and well-being of people throughout the global value chain, with an emphasis where pertinent on indigenous peoples;
  5. Commitment to transparency. Publishes those goals and reporting on performance and progress to employees and the public on a regular basis using established business reporting standards, adopting new reporting standards as they emerge.
6. Sets specific, measurable goals and benchmarked performance against recognized leaders, and demonstrates results. 


Demonstrated commitment to harnessing company operations to invest in and enact innovative step change toward ground-breaking solutions that will impact global environmental performance and social well-being at scale, throughout and beyond the applicant’s industry. The application should provide concrete demonstrated results.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss the way in which they have contributed to innovation that makes sense in their industry context, focusing mainly on the initiative with the highest impact. Examples of ways that leadership might be demonstrated are outlined below.  The applications should provide concrete metrics that demonstrate results.  It should also provide a brief narrative that provides the context of these results and gives a sense of the level of leadership and investment that was required for successful implementation.  

  1. Examples of specific corporate initiatives that accelerate economic, environmental and social improvement at scale;
  2. Implementation of cutting-edge, holistic management practices, technologies, products and/or services that enhance quality of life and promote sustainability;
  3. Demonstrated corporate leadership in addressing emerging global challenges. Examples could include leadership and investment in relevant science and technology; in advancing human rights; in creating new approaches to enhancing resilience to a changing climate, among others.
4. Contributions to corporate citizenship initiatives with emphasis on their durability and in the spirit of partnership with the developing world.


Demonstrated international leadership—at both the national and global level-- accelerating change to a sustainable future as evidenced by contributions to global sustainability solutions, informed by emerging international agreements and initiatives. The application should provide concrete demonstrated results.

A brief narrative that provides the context and provides a sense of the level of intensity of leadership and corporate investment is encouraged. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the way in which they have contributed to transformation that makes sense in their industry context, focusing mainly on the initiative with the highest impact. They should discuss how they are responding to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreements and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Examples of ways that leadership might be demonstrated are outlined below.

  1. Leadership in a coalition or partnership aimed at transforming a critical value chain in its sector or addressing and solving a critical global megatrend challenge that is particularly relevant to its industry (examples of such a challenge might include a focus on climate change, resilience, water scarcity, resource constraints, rapid urbanization, human trafficking, health care challenges,  etc.).  Describes action taken through multilateral arenas, multi-stakeholder partnerships, international industry & finance agreements/ coalitions that set specific, big goals and concrete plans to get results;
  2. Driving change through outreach to and engagement with national-level and international legislators, regulators, civil society leaders and others seeking policy and non-regulatory and other innovative solutions to sustainable development challenges facing not only industry but all sectors of society;
3. Leadership in programs and initiatives that prepare future business leaders and citizens to implement sustainability.
Questions? Please contact Ms. Smitha Konduri at

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