WEC & Partners host first Panel session of its Virtual Training & Study Tour

Under WEC’s State Dept funded Environgmental Governance project, in partnership with Jordan Engineers Association, Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, WEC kicks off its Virtual Training & Study Tour Panel 1 on November 9th, with Frank Werner, Director of WEC Europe & Associate Professor Weslynne Ashton making a business case of circular economy and environmental management systems to increase performance by Jordanian companies.

Increasing the adoption of improved environmental practices, technologies, and services, particularly in addressing air pollution, and water and waste management challenges is the objective of WEC’s environmental governance program in both the private and public sectors through a combination of building local experts and business capacity and developing industry self-assessments for data creation and awareness raising for solutions to address environmental challenges.  These efforts will incentivize continued improvement and acquisition of advanced environmental technologies and services

Environmental self-audits allow a company to identify present and potential compliance problems and tackle them before they mushroom and lead to liability or penalties. Increased awareness about environmental management performance can help the company devise strategies to improve manufacturing processes and achieve cost-savings. 

With a clear business case to increase environmental performance of Jordan companies, this Training & Virtual Study Tour is designed to strengthen capacity building in companies that join the project, by training their staff – split into 4 virtual sessions and in a practical part by making an environmental self-audit in their companies with the support of WEC/RSS – providing access to international experts and interacting with relevant stakeholders of the Industrial Sector that provide technological solutions.

Agenda for the event can be found here (PDF opens in a new window). To find more information about WEC’s Capacity Building Programs you can visit here.

The Challenge & the Opportunity

Imagine a vast array of ecosystems comprising a diverse and beautiful countryside with millions of hard-working people committed to the environment. Central America is a region that faces enormous challenges conserving healthy areas that represent their biological and natural resources heritage. Also, challenging is that the population growth and lack of economic vitality that can contribute to stress in this region.

Ernesto Samayoa, Director of Latin American Operations for the World Environment Center, for more than a decade has been working with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to build capacity, build competitiveness, and educate about sustainable growth.

“Our network throughout the region into Europe or even Northern Africa can be the real difference for many of these micro, small and medium sized businesses,” Samayoa said. “With the support from the agro-business company Vista Volcanes, WEC helped many smallholder farmers work in partnership with a cooperative to supply green beans with organic practices, which now can be found in grocery stores and restaurants throughout the United States. This has made a real difference to hundreds of farmers with a better and fair price at the end of the day.” 

Or another great example of working with smallholder farmers in terms of helping them work together to build capacity is that of cocoa producers in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. “They were small farmers and just didn’t have the capacity to do it on their own, but by coming together and then with our help in building the connections and linkages, we helped them fill two shipping containers and that cocoa was sold in Belgium to make fine chocolate,” Samayoa said. “They earned a much better price as well as learned from each other on different methodologies of their agro-businesses.

With up to 95% of companies in Central America as MSMEs, which creates 61% of all jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean, the prosperity of these companies is vital for the stability of the region. WEC has supported a Red de Innovación e Impacto  since 2014. La Red is a collection of 37 innovative organizations from 11 countries in the region. The U.S. State Department has funded WEC and its partners, Le Groupe-conseil baastel Itée (Baastel), and RioSlum Studio, to select organizations that are accelerating business development and promoting sustainable economic growth in Latin America.

Samayoa said, “it has been amazing to see the passion of small farmers and micro-entrepreneurs for the environment with these businesses on things like improving soil conditions through organic agricultural practices, which allows the healthier supply of products to the final consumer. As a fourth-generation coffee grower and an industrial engineer, there is nothing more fulfilling than to see my five children grow up in a region that is perhaps better because of my work contribution.” 

With the financial support from the Walmart Foundation, WEC is starting “Creating Sustainable Value Chains: from subsistence farming to successful agribusinesses in Central America” Program. 

Through this innovative initiative, WEC and local partners will provide integral technical assistance to more than 1100 small farmers in Central America. Training on business, financial and agricultural skills will be shared, helping farmers on competitiveness increasement through higher productivity and cost savings based on technical skills. WEC will also help them on the development of business connections to access markets, national and internationally, as well as sharing digital technology and connectivity toolkits. 

Building on Walmart Foundation’s involvement, Ernesto and the WEC team see a promising opportunity for WEC members and other companies to provide similar support for small producers in their supply chains–in Latin America and other developing regions.  “The Walmart Foundation’s support is a great example of enlightened philanthropy–doing good for people and nature in a region of strategic importance to the company,” said Glenn Prickett, WEC’s President & CEO.  “We can provide WEC members with similar opportunities through our capacity building programs.”

Published here in English. Ver en español

WEC & Bank of Africa – BMCE Group Sign an Agreement to Promote Environmental Governance in Private and Public Sectors of Morocco

Photo by Cytonn Photography from Pexels

The World Environment Center (WEC) and Bank of Africa signed early this year an agreement that will enable public and private sectors in Morocco to improve their environmental performance through green technologies, practices and services, addressing air pollution, water, and waste management challenges in the country.

Both parties agreed to work in the identification of environmental pollution drivers and sources, mapping policy assessment options, enable conditions to promote technology adoption, and look for the identification of regulatory or other barriers to technology adoption in the country.

The agreement aims to reach an awareness and understanding of local private sector companies so they can invest in better technologies, foster U.S. providers and develop trainings and roundtables to share and disseminate information to manage tools and best practices. The results will be achieved working in collaboration with relevant key local stakeholders mainly from private and public sectors. WEC also will involve U.S. corporate member companies to foster the use of U.S. green technologies exchanges.

“WEC’s model is to partner with local institutions and experts that are able to build relationships with beneficiaries and to strengthen their own capacity to enable continued implementation long after the funded project term ends. WEC has been working in Morocco since 2010 in different initiatives that helped companies saving costs and resources through cleaner production initiatives,’ said Ernesto Samayoa, director of operations of WEC during the signing of the agreement.

“By sowing this exclusive partnership with the World Environment CenterBank of Africa – BMCE Group continues its journey towards environmental, economic and social impact by developing and offering Sustainable Finance with Technical Assistance from key partners like the WEC to the Moroccan and African markets,” said Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi,  Group Executive Managing Director.

WEC´s funding for the project comes from the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; it is focused to promote environmental governance through improved practices and technologies in Morocco. WEC is an independent, global, non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices of member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders.

Among the leading pan-African financial groups, Bank of Africa, is a universal banking group with diversified and multi-business focus areas namely commercial banking and investment banking as well as specialized financial services such as leasing, factoring, consumer credit and debt collection.

Bank of Africa is now the most internationally oriented Moroccan banking group with a presence in thirty countries throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.

The Bank of Africa will commit through the agreement to establish specific credit lines for businesses that are willing to participate in the project, disseminate success stories, and promote Best Practices among local companies.

Press release can be found here.

WEC & IfS release new sustainable management guide

Latin American companies are witnessing an increasing demand for systematic management of global challenges such as climate change, access to clean water, waste reduction and decent labor conditions. Not only national legislation is taking these issues up, but companies especially in Europe and the U.S. are increasingly requiring advanced environmental and social sustainability when selecting their suppliers. A team of international experts describes key elements of a management system which makes it easier for companies to implement the growing environmental and social requirements from industry customers, investors, governments and civil society.  

The practical guide, written by WEC and other experts from Chile, El Salvador, Germany, Mexico and the US, will help companies developing a sustainability management system to navigate through the international requirements and find ways to implement them. For the first time, a thorough evaluation of the 15 most important frameworks in this respect took place and was benchmarked with the practical experiences of approximately 100 companies from Chile, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Switzerland and the US. The guide is part of a scientific research project conducted by WEC & Institute for Sustainability (IfS) and financed by the German Environmental Ministry. Partners in the study included the Chilean Sustainability Consultancy APLE as well as the Private Sector´s Commission for Studies on Sustainable Development (CESPEDES). 

Read the guide in English I Haga clic para leer en español. Read the Study here. Learn about the several examples here in English & Spanish. A summary of the Sustainability Management Frameworks is provided here.

WEC HostsLa Red de Innovación e Impacto Annual Summit in Panama City, October 22-23, 2019

The U.S. Department of State, the World Environment Center (WEC), Le Groupe-conseil baastel Itée (Baastel), and RioSlum Studio are proud to announce that the 2019 Annual La Red de Innovación e Impacto Summit is taking place in Panama City on October 22nd and 23rd, 2019. La Red is an international network of innovative organizations supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to drive sustainable economic growth and prosperity across Latin America.

The Summit will provide members with training and capacity building in, among other topics, communication and best management practices as well as networking opportunities with stakeholders and other key representatives from the region. Additionally, key actors from corporate value chains, Ministries, multilateral agencies, and the US Government will be in attendance to discuss growth opportunities in Latin America. Highlighted speakers include:

  • Roxanne Cabral, Charge’ de Affairs a.i., U.S. Department of State- U.S. Embassy In Panama
  • Isabel Rioja-Scott, Political and Economic Counselor, U.S Department of State- U.S. Embassy in Panama City
  • Nelson Larrea, Officer and Technical Advisor, CAF Panama (Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina)
  • David Morales, Trade & Agri-Food Systems Officer, FAO for Central America
  • Felipe Ariel Rodriguez, President of CECOMRO (Center of Competitiveness of Western Region of Panama)
  • Ambassador Carmen Gisela Vergara, Executive Director,PROPANAMA
  • Gerardo Escudero, Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura (IICA) – Panama

Up to 95% of companies in Central America are MSMEs, creating 61% of all jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The success of MSMEs and the prosperity of the region are inextricably linked. In order for MSMEs to succeed, they must be empowered with support and incentives to access new markets, adopt sustainable practices, and strengthen workers’ rights. 

La Red member organizations provide comprehensive assistance to MSMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean, empowering them to grow and thrive. La Red helps member organizations increase their impact by leveraging their work with financial aid, technical assistance, and expert connections. Through the work of La Red, more than 5,000 MSMEs in Latin America have benefited from technical assistance, of which more than 95% were from Central America. More than 1,800 people have found new or better employment and almost all of them (1,787) were workers in Central America. Also, more than 4,500 farmers have improved their operations as a direct result of the work of member organizations funded by La Red -all of them in Central America.

“Through LA RED´s Annual Summit that will happen soon in Panama, LA RED members, which are organizations that are currently providing innovative solutions to Central American (CA) micro enterprises from the agro, agroindustry and textile sectors, will have a great opportunity to expand their network with key stakeholders that the Summit will gather” states Ernesto Samayoa, WEC Director of Operations for Latin America. He also explains that “with this important event, LA RED members will be able to share their great impacts that they are creating in their countries, and we expect to build a stronger network, where more C.A. micro-businesses can have more opportunities to be part and access international supply chains that are already being developed and strengthened through LA RED´s programs in this region”.


About LA RED

The U.S. Department of State has funded the World Environment Center (WEC) and its partners, Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée (Baastel), and RioSlum Studio, to select organizations that are accelerating business development and promoting sustainable economic growth in Latin America. The Program, La Red de Innovación e Impacto (La Red), was established in 2014 and is a collection of 37 innovative solutions from 11 countries in the region.

Read the Press Release in English & Español

WEC Elects New Board Officers

The World Environment Center’s (WEC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Exequiel Rolón and Lars Murawski to its board of directors.

Exequiel Rolón
Fresnillo, Head of Sustainability (Mexico)

Exequiel Rolón is Sustainability and Community Relation Manager at Fresnillo plc. He oversees sustainability reporting, community engagement, social impact projects and embedding ethics in the organizational culture. He works closely with operations and development projects to gain and maintain the social license to operate. He has work experience in the Canada, Peru, The Dominican Republic and Madagascar. He received his MBA from HEC Montreal and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Lars Murawski
Boehringer Ingelheim, Vice-President EHS & Sustainability (Germany)

Lars is the Corporate Vice-President EHS & Sustainability for Boehringer Ingelheim. He is a process engineer by education, with specialization in wastewater treatment and bio-process engineering. Lars started his professional career at Boehringer Ingelheim in 1997 as a plant & process engineer in Ingelheim before he moved to the company’s chemical site Malgrat der Mar in Spain in 2003. One year later, he became responsible to lead international Business Process Excellence – projects as a Six Sigma Black Belt and he established and steered BPE in the worldwide Chemicals network. Using this experience, he performed an extended business trip to set up BPE in Petersburg site, USA.

In 2008-2009 Lars became project lead to outsource Drug Substances to China and coordinated NCE production in the network. Since then, Lars has held positions of increasing responsibility. Some of which have included: 2014: Corporate Vice-President EHS & Sustainability, 2013: Head of EHS, Projects, and General Services in Vienna, Austria, 2010: Senior Manager for Corporate EHS. Lars also serves on WEC European Supervisory Board.

The World Environment Center is thrilled to have Exequiel and Lars as members of WEC’s board.   They bring deep expertise, seasoned judgment, and broad, global experience that will help WEC become even more effective in our mission.   You can see the press release here.

Secretary Moniz to Present Ingersoll Rand With WEC’s 2019 Gold Medal Award for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development

Secretary Moniz presents Ingersoll Rand Chairman & CEO Michael W. Lamach the WEC Gold Medal Award in Washington DC

The World Environment Center (WEC) is pleased to announce that its 35th annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development will be awarded to Ingersoll Rand (NYSE: IR). Ingersoll Rand is a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, delivering innovative solutions to customers through the Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Thermo King® and Trane® brands.

Former United States Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz will present Ingersoll Rand’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael W. Lamach, the Gold Medal Award on Thursday, May 16, 2019, during the Gold Medal Presentation Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Through a global competition, the independent Gold Medal Jury selected Ingersoll Rand for integrating sustainability into the core of their business. In 2014, Ingersoll Rand announced 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance targets in the area of operations and supply chain, products and services, and people and citizenship. Since then, it has achieved significant milestones and progress largely by engaging its more than 44,000 employees around the globe in sustainable practices, investing in energy efficient products and services and by incorporating renewable energy technology into its operations.

Lori Michelin, World Environment Center President and CEO, said, “Ingersoll Rand innovates where global trends—such as climate change, urbanization and resource scarcity—intersect with buildings, industrial processes and transportation markets. The World Environment Center congratulates Ingersoll Rand on its Gold Medal Award and looks forward to its continuing leadership to strengthen business performance and create a better society.”

In acknowledging receipt of the prestigious global sustainability award, Michael W. Lamach, Ingersoll Rand chairman and CEO, said, “We are honored to be recognized by the World Environment Center for our contributions to a more sustainable world. Sustainability is core to who we are. The passion and commitment of our people around the world and our leading innovation practices keep us at the forefront of addressing global challenges and enhancing quality of life. With next generation sustainability aspirations, we continue to challenge ourselves to find new and better ways to shape the future.”

Preceding the award ceremony, WEC will host an Executive Roundtable, which will focus on “Innovation in the Built Environment.” This event will bring together business leaders, academics and non-profits to discuss trends and solutions to address sustainability in the built environment. There is much opportunity, as buildings account for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

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: Ecolab, (2018), HP Inc. (2017), 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. 

Read the press release here

Leading Companies in Mexico Proposing Solutions to Water Use Challenges

Photo credit: Vegan Liftz

Yesterday, a group of leading companies convened by CESPEDES and The World Environment Center with sponsorship of Dow Chemical, ECOLAB and Coca-Cola FEMSA, gathered to share best practices and initiatives to address challenges for sustainable water management, calling to action to accelerate partnerships between private sector, civil society and governments to guarantee water access in safe conditions for everyone. 

During the forum, participant companies shared their challenges and learnings while implementing projects to optimize processes for responsible use of water and all coincided in the importance of generating company commitments under the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate initiative.  

Among best practices, ECOLAB presented the “Smart Water Navigator” a tool to self-assess and develop plans for continuous improvement facilitating companies to improve water management and stewardship practices, assess water risk, determine their place on a water maturity curve, and find necessary steps to get water-smart.

Additionally, participating companies agreed on the need to foster conservation initiatives to protect watersheds through multisector programs such as “Water Funds”, highlighting the recently launched fund “Agua Capital”, a social investment with participation of CitiBanamex, HSBC, Mexichem, Grupo Modelo, and Coca-Cola FEMSA, oriented to the conservation of water resources in the Mexico City area. 

You can read the full press release in English here.  Haga clic para leer en español.

WEC to Promote Environmental Governance in Morocco and Jordan

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.

Press Release can be found here.