Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Value Chains Summary

Gold Medal Symposium Hosted with 2022 Winner, AB InBev

The World Environment Center along with 2022 Gold Medal Winner AB InBev hosted the Gold Medal Symposium on Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Value Chains. Speakers included sustainability executives from AB InBev, Mastercard, Inter-American Development Bank, and Colgate-Palmolive.

Read the summary of the discussion below.

Join our next Gold Medal Symposium by becoming a WEC Member today: https://www.wec.org/membership

Join our next Gold Medal Symposium by becoming a WEC Member today: https://www.wec.org/membership

October 2022 – Message from the President and CEO

October 26, 2022

We are thrilled to share our latest update on the work of the World Environment Center.

Our mission, to advance sustainable development through corporate business practices, has never been more urgent. Last month, the UN reported that the Human Development Index, which measures the health, education, and living standards of nations, fell globally for the second year in a row—the first time in 32 years of measurement. The combined effects of pandemic, war in Ukraine, and climate change caused 90 percent of countries to lose ground in one or both of the last two years.

That’s the sobering part of this message. The exciting part is how businesses around the world are rising to the challenges of climate action and sustainable development.

You’ll see in these pages how WEC is helping our member companies strengthen their value chains with sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship through Executive Roundtables.

New members Suzano and Wells Fargo enhance our diversity of experience and perspective. New partnerships with the U.S. Department of State and the Walmart Foundation allow us to support more small businesses in Latin America, especially women entrepreneurs.

New leaders on our Gold Medal Jury will make WEC’s 2023 Gold Medal Award even more prestigious and inspiring, as we continue to celebrate the impact of 2022 Gold Medalist AB InBev.

We are proud to support you in your important work to accelerate sustainable business. Please let us know how we can do even better!

Glenn Prickett is the President and CEO of the World Environment Center. He has spent three decades leading international environmental, natural resource and climate change policy in some of the world’s preeminent NGO’s.

WECosystem Action Forum Summary

U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and Implications for Sustainable Business

IRA Event Image WECosystem Action Forum

WEC hosted a virtual member discussion on Thursday, October 6th @ 12pm EST. Speakers Carla Frisch from the US Department of Energy and Grace Van Horn – Principal Consultant at ERM joined WEC along with members from 15 different companies for a conversation on the implications and business opportunities in response to the recent passage of the US inflation and Reduction Act.  Read the summary of the discussion below.

Join our next WECosystem Action Forum by becoming a WEC Member today: https://www.wec.org/membership

Join our next WECosystem Action Forum by becoming a WEC Member today: https://www.wec.org/membership

The World Environment Center Presents The Clean Tech Fair

Clean Tech Fair graphic

The World Environment Center (WEC) and its international partners are excited to present the Clean Tech Fair this November 3rd, 7th, and 14th from 9AM to 12PM ET. 

Our partners for this event include The Royal Scientific Society (RSS) in Jordan, La Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc, (CGEM), Bank of Africa (BMCE Group) and EDIC Consulting in Morocco. 

Topics on the agenda include Solid Waste, Water and Wastewater, and Energy and Air Emissions. 

Presenters from these organizations will speak on strategies and solutions within these domains for how companies can improve their environmental performance, implement current technological solutions and increase sustainable practices within their operations. 

This free Virtual Fair is open to all and is designed to connect international experts and key stakeholders of the industrial sector with current technological solutions for their business challenges. 

Learn more and register via the Eventbrite link: https://bit.ly/3BYula8  

About the Project 

The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs has funded the World Environment Center to promote environmental governance through improved practices and technologies in Morocco and Jordan. The purpose of this initiative is to strengthen environmental governance that will lead to the adoption of improved environmental practices, technologies, and services, particularly in addressing air pollution, water and waste management challenges. WEC has partnered with EDI Consulting in Morocco and Water and Environment Center/Cleaner Production Unit at the Royal Scientific Society in Jordan to provide their on-the-ground knowledge and support to achieve project objectives. 

WEC and its local partners will create public-private partnerships involving priority sectors to address those environmental challenges, while fostering the use of U.S. environmental technologies. 

About World Environment Center 

WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems. It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive level learning and competency in incorporating sustainable development principles across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program. WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany. 

World Environment Center Welcomes New Gold Medal Jury Members 

The World Environment Center’s (WEC) is honored to have three new members join this unique group of sustainability leaders, which independently selects the recipient of the annual WEC Gold Medal Award for International Achievement in Sustainable Development winner each year. The jury represents leaders from academia, civil society, and the private sector. .  

The new WEC Jury Members: 

  • Olufunmilayo “Funmi” Arewa – Shusterman Professor of Business and Transactional Law at Temple University – James E. Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, USA Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Arewa’s major areas of scholarly research include business law, music, entrepreneurship, technology, copyright, film, and Africana studies.  Prior to becoming a law professor, Professor Arewa practiced law for nearly a decade, working in legal and business positions primarily in the entrepreneurial and technology startup arena, including law firms and companies in the Silicon Valley and New York. She also served as Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel of a venture capital firm in Boston. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a Visiting Lecturer at the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS) at the University of Michigan and served as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and Montevideo, Uruguay. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. (Anthropology) from the University of California, Berkeley, an A.M. (Applied Economics) from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an A.B. from Harvard College. In addition to writing about music, Professor Arewa has studied classical voice for many years.
  • Karen Fawcett – formerly Global CEO Retail, and Global Head Brand and Marketing for Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore  Karen Fawcett was formerly CEO Retail, Brand and Marketing for Standard Chartered Bank, which focused primarily on Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Her broad career across complex global businesses covers wholesale and retail banking, global strategy, technology transformation, and brand & marketing. Ms. Fawcett holds several non-executive director positions, with a portfolio across financial services & digital transformation, education, and climate change mitigation. These positions are with the following entities: the LGT Private Bank Foundation Board; INSEAD; Temus Pte. Ltd.; Global Evergreening Alliance; and BetterTradeOff Pte. Ltd. And and Aegon’s Supervisory Board. Prior to her career in banking, Ms. Fawcett was a Partner at global management and information technology consultancy firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton, where she advised insurers, banks, and asset managers on a wide range of strategic, technological, and operational transformations. 
  • Tim Mohin, Experienced Sustainability Leader, PA, USA    Tim Mohin is a globally recognized sustainability leader. He served as chief executive of the Global Reporting Initiative; he also held sustainability leadership roles with Intel, Apple, and AMD and worked on environmental policy within the U.S. Senate and Environmental Protection Agency. He is the author of Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Treehugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations and a founder and former Chairman of the Responsible Business Alliance (formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition). Currently, he is living in Pittsburgh, PA where he bikes with the N+1 cycling team and spends time with his grandchildren. Glenn Prickett, WEC’s President & CEO shared, “WEC is truly delighted to have access to such a well-respected group of leaders to help support our efforts as we work to advance sustainable development.”

  • About the World Environment Center WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems. It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive level learning and competency in incorporating sustainable development principles across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program. WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany

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If you would like more information on the Gold Medal Award or the nomination process, please contact Smitha Konduri at info@wec.org

Call for Nominations for the WEC 2023 Gold Medal Award are now OPEN!

As the world moves to rebuild our economies and to tackle climate change and systemic injustices, corporate leadership on sustainable development is more important than ever.  The Gold Medal Award recognizes excellence and provides inspiration to other companies worldwide. Nominations are now being accepted for the World Environment Center’s (WEC) 2023 Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. The Gold Medal Award is presented annually to a global company that demonstrates deep, organization-wide commitment to sustainability in its business practice and beyond. Learn more about the WEC Gold Medal Award here.

Submissions of the 2022 WEC Gold Medal Award Nomination Form must be received by Friday October 21, 2022. Self-nominations are welcome. WEC membership is not required as a criterion for submitting a nomination nor for receiving the award. 

Now in its 39th year, the WEC Gold Medal Award is the most prestigious recognition of a global company’s contributions to sustainability, as embodied by the winning company’s global engagement and ongoing commitment to sustainable development. An independent jury of international experts in business and sustainability selects the Gold Medal awardee. 

In 2022, the independent Gold Medal Jury selected AB InBev’s application in recognition of the company’s strong sustainability track record, ambitious commitments, and its focused ESG strategy aimed at creating shared prosperity across its value chain. The Jury recognized AB InBev for catalyzing impact beyond its own operations through its 2025 Sustainability Goals and ambition to achieve net zero across its value chain by 2040; its engagement with suppliers, business partners and consumers to scale impact; and its commitment to innovation through the award-winning 100+ Accelerator Program. 

Previous recent recipients of the WEC Gold Medal Award include AB InBev (2022), Microsoft (2021), The Ford Motor Company (2020), Ingersoll Rand (now Trane Technologies, 2019) Ecolab (2018), HP (2017), CH2M (now Jacobs, 2016), SC Johnson (2015), Unilever (2013), IBM (2012), Nestlé (2011), Walmart (2010), The Coca-Cola Company (2009), and Marks & Spencer (2008). 

About the World Environment Center 

WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems. It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive level learning and competency in incorporating sustainable development principles across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program. WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany. 

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If you would like more information on the Gold Medal Award or the nomination process, please contact Smitha Konduri at info@wec.org

WEC Executive Roundtable “Advancing Climate Justice” Summary

The confluence of the climate crisis with urgent demands for social justice has elevated the principle of climate justice to the center of public debate around climate action by governments and the private sector. Advocates for decarbonization, sustainable development, and human rights agree that a just transition to a low-carbon future is essential so that its benefits and burdens are shared equitably. What is climate justice and how should business respond to the obligations and opportunities that a just transition will create?

The World Environment Center, in collaboration with Dow and Ecolab, convened a two-day Executive Roundtable to help WEC members and other global companies develop effective policies and practices to put justice at the center of their climate strategies. Twenty-five leaders from business and NGOs participated in the roundtable . The report below is a summary of its key insights.

Note:  WEC Executive Roundtables are conducted under the Chatham House Rule.

WEC Executive Roundtable “Greening the Grid in Europe: Accelerating Access to Green Electricity for the Industrial Centers” Summary

Download full summary in English here

During discussions at COP26 and in the aftermath, the business community made clear that companies want to become carbon neutral at least by 2050 or earlier. Many companies have set ambitious carbon abatement goals by 2030 that rely on access to energy and power from renewable sources. However, with the vast quantities of renewables being produced in large windfarms far away from the industrial centers, these companies rely on an adequate transmission infrastructure to bring the renewable power to their sites.

This Executive Roundtable has been developed to assist decision-makers in understanding at what time and to what extent zero-carbon electricity may be fully accessible for their company’s use – and how reliable it will be. The energy system of the future depends on a strong transmission backbone, distributed generation, smart demand management and storage opportunities across the continent. At the same time, processes to build the green grid are often held up by political disagreements, civil society campaigns, and unreliable value chains. Practical solutions must be found.

The Roundtable brought together 29 senior sustainability and grid-infrastructure experts from 7 countries – with 83% from large companies of various industries and 17% from academia/NGO/associations.

To read the full summary, key point details and additional information, click HERE.

Note:  WEC Executive Roundtables are conducted under the Chatham House Rule.

World Environment Center Awards the 2022 Gold Medal for International Corporate Sustainability to AB InBev

World Environment Center presents the Gold Medal Award to AB InBev at Planet Word Museum on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 in Washington. (Joy Asico / Asico Photo)

The World Environment Center was pleased to award its 38th Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development to Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s leading brewer. The Gold Medal Award was presented to AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris at an in-person ceremony at Washington, DC’s Planet Word on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.

The Gold Medal Award is presented annually to a global company that has integrated sustainability into its business practices, created ground-breaking solutions to critical environmental and social challenges, and demonstrated global leadership to accelerate progress toward a sustainable future. An independent Gold Medal Jury comprised of recognized sustainability experts selects the Gold Medalist through a global competition among nominated companies invited to apply for the Award.   

The Gold Medal Jury selected AB InBev this year in recognition of the company’s strong sustainability track record, ambitious commitments, and its focused ESG strategy aimed at creating shared prosperity across its value chain. The Jury recognized AB InBev for catalyzing impact beyond its own operations through its 2025 Sustainability Goals and ambition to achieve net zero across its value chain by 2040; its engagement with suppliers, business partners and consumers to scale impact; and its commitment to innovation through the award-winning 100+ Accelerator Program.

Gold Medal Jury Chair Linda Fisher, former Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer of DuPont, said “on behalf of the Jury, I extend my sincere congratulations to AB InBev for its thoughtful approach to sustainability. AB InBev has demonstrated its commitment to renewable energy, water stewardship, smart agriculture, circular packaging, and human rights.  These commitments coupled with a global supply chain have a far-reaching and positive sustainability impact around the world.”

“We are honored to receive the 2022 Gold Medal Award for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. Beer is inclusive, natural and local. We envision a future that is more sustainable and more inclusive. This award recognizes our ambition on sustainability, and I want to thank our team for their commitment as we continue to dream big to create a future with more cheers,” said Michel Doukeris, Chief Executive Officer, AB InBev. 

“We congratulate AB InBev and salute the company’s commitment to sustainable development,” said WEC President & CEO Glenn Prickett. “In these challenging times, we hope that recognizing AB InBev’s leadership with the Gold Medal Award will inspire other companies to aim higher in their commitments to sustainability.”

Preceding the award ceremony, WEC hosted its annual WEC Gold Medal Symposium, which this year focused on the theme “Leadership for a Sustainable Future: Building a Next Generation Business Today.” Featured panelists included Ezgi Barcenas, Chief Sustainability Officer, AB InBev and Thomas L. Friedman, Foreign Affairs Columnist, The New York Times.

About the Gold Medal
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 Microsoft (2021), the Ford Motor Company (2020), Trane Technologies (formerly Ingersoll Rand; 2019), Ecolab, (2018), HP Inc. (2017), Jacobs – formerly CH2M (2016), SC Johnson (2015), Unilever (2013), IBM (2012), Nestlé (2011), Wal-Mart Stores (2010), The Coca-Cola Company (2009), and Marks & Spencer (2008).

The 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. 

About the World Environment Center
The World Environment Center advances sustainable development through corporate business practices. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in Europe and Latin America, WEC creates business solutions through executive roundtables on key sustainability challenges, builds capacity of small enterprises in emerging markets, and honors industry excellence through its annual Gold Medal Award. WEC is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization. For more information, please visit www.wec.org.

2022 WEC Gold Medal Symposium “Leadership for a Sustainable Future: Building a Next Generation Business Today” Summary

Download full summary in English here

On the occasion of awarding the 2022 Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development to AB InBev, the World Environment Center (WEC) convened a Symposium for business executives to discuss with thought leaders and practitioners how to navigate the business risks (and opportunities) from a more unpredictable global economy than any time in recent memory. The war in Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the catastrophic climate crisis are changing the world like nothing else in the past 80 years. Business leaders must assure business continuity in the near term while taking action to build a resilient, next-generation business. Held under the Chatham House Rule, this Symposium was a dialogue designed to share goals, strategies, and practical solutions, and to lead the global transformation towards resilience and sustainability.

To read the full summary, key point details and additional information, click HERE.

Note:  WEC Executive Roundtables are conducted under the Chatham House Rule.

WEC Webinar “Understanding ESG Book: A New Open-Source Platform that Promises to Make Sustainability Data Available and Comparable for all Stakeholders”

Download full summary in English here.

Growing demand for ESG evaluations as part of well-informed financial decision-making, accelerated by increased government regulations in the EU and the US, has made evident that the current ESG reporting system has to improve. Companies are currently under the burden of an ever-increasing number of surveys, many asking for similar information, while fund managers are often unhappy with the quality of the data available. Thus, a high quality open-source platform that allows users to upload data and enable investors to sort data according to their preferred frameworks & needs has been awaited by the business community.

During the webinar Daniel Klier, ESG Book CEO and Daniel Hochman, Head of Sustainability Research at Bridgewater Associates discussed the opportunities of this new platform.

To read the full summary, key point details and additional information, click HERE.

Watch Daniel Klier’s interview with WEC President & CEO Glenn Prickett as he discusses ESG Book, HERE.

Note:  WEC event are conducted under the Chatham House Rule.

WEC Executive Roundtable “Financing the Transition to Regenerative Agriculture: Sharing Risk with Producers”

Download full summary in English here

The WEC Executive Roundtable “Financing the Transition to Regenerative Agriculture: Sharing Risk with Producers” is the third in a series on regenerative agriculture in collaboration with Syngenta.

No doubt that the current industrialized agricultural system is subject to change. The EU Green Deal and Farm-to- Fork strategy is setting a landmark while alternative practices beyond organic have also developed in the US and other parts of the world. Two WEC Executive Roundtables in 2021 explored how agricultural value chains can advance sustainable development and climate action. Regenerative agriculture practices that restore soil health, sequester carbon, and boost productivity and resilience were identified as a promising approach. A major barrier to achieving scale is that farmers bear most of the risk associated with changing practices.

This Roundtable series seeks to create a space for bottom-up conversations on what the Food & Agriculture sector explicitly needs to thrive. The aim of this 3rd event was to share innovative approaches to support farmers in the transition to regenerative agriculture. How can financing and technical assistance be deployed to share risk across the value chain? Can farmers benefit from voluntary carbon markets? What about other approaches that don’t rely on carbon credits?

The Roundtable brought together 45 senior sustainability, procurement, and government affairs executives from 15 countries – with 60% from large food companies and commodity traders, 38% from academia/NGO/agronomic service providers, and 2% farmers.

To read the full summary, key point details and additional information, click HERE.

View summary from the first event of the series HERE.

Note:  WEC Executive Roundtables are conducted under the Chatham House Rule.