Geneva, April 16, 2012– The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today announced the appointment of Gail Whiteman, Professor at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) as its first Professor-in-Residence. As a sustainability expert with deep links to the scientific community, Professor Whiteman will provide academic advice to and help set priorities for the WBCSD’s work program and its executive education programs.
Peter Bakker, President, WBCSD said: ”I am pleased that Gail Whiteman has accepted this position. She brings a tremendous knowledge of sustainability topics. She will challenge us and strengthen our thinking by bringing access to a wide ranging network of academic perspectives and academic rigor to our work program. We are at a crucial point in time for the world: we need to accelerate the pace of change towards sustainability not just within the private sector, but in society at large. The change needed can only be achieved through a broad collaboration of all parties in society sharing their knowledge and working together. Gail will play a key role in helping bring about this change.”
According to Whiteman: “I am delighted to accept this position. The WBCSD is the leading industry organization on corporate sustainability and Peter Bakker is an inspiring leader. I am honored to be able to help him accelerate the pace of sustainable change within the private sector. At present, we are at a critical juncture and corporate sustainability faces a paradox: on the one hand, sustainability is no longer a fringe topic and companies have begun to integrate sustainability in all decision making. On the other hand, data from science indicates a worsening, and in some cases, alarming state of affairs for our planet. Why this disconnect? Part of the problem may be that we are not harnessing the power of science to help us reinvent the system.”
The WBCSD’s new position of Professor-in-Residence forms part of its strategy of accelerating scale in corporate sustainability.