Published: Tue, Nov 20, 2018
Type: News

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Geneva, 20 November 2018: Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), was today ordained Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, in recognition of his long-lasting commitment to engaging business in tackling global sustainability issues.

Mr Bakker received the decoration on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary celebrations of Nyenrode Business University, from the hands of Yvonne van Mastrigt, the Mayor of Stichtse Vecht, on behalf of HM King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands. Among those present were Mrs. Neelie Kroes, former rector of Nyenrode, Herna Verhagen, CEO of PostNL and various other prominent figures.

In his keynote, Peter explained the connection between the dream of the founders of Nyenrode - to make the Dutch economy flourish - with the challenges of global sustainability. The importance of this dream and the challenges it presents are just as great in 2018 - and possibly even more complex - than already recognized in 1946. The society in which we live will go through unprecedented transformations in the next 15 years – “business must take a leading role in managing these changes. We are well beyond philanthropy and CSR. It’s time to brutally confront the facts of our own business models and act to make them sustainable” he stated. In return, this will lead to untapped new opportunities for business. The definition of what a flourishing economy is will have to change by integrating societal and environmental performance into the Cost of Capital for business.

Peter Bakker is a distinguished business leader who, until June 2011, served as CFO and then CEO of TNT NV, the global transport and logistics company. Under Bakker’s leadership, TNT became the first logistical partner of the United Nations World Food Programme and helped the UN tackle famine and malnutrition on a global scale. This partnership gave a strong signal to the business community, both in the Netherlands and abroad, that business needed to step up to address issues linked to sustainable development. This model has since been followed by many companies   

Peter Bakker is Chairman of War Child in the Netherlands and serves as a member of corporate sustainability advisory boards. He has been a recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award (2009) and the Sustainability Leadership Award (2010).

In 2012, Peter Bakker became President and CEO of WBCSD in Geneva, Switzerland. WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. WBCSD member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing a combined revenue of more than USD $8.5 trillion and with 19 million employees.