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WBCSD grows leadership to strengthen capital markets engagement

Published: 6 Sep 2022
Type: News

Geneva, 5 September 2022: Mr Pepijn Rijvers joined WBCSD’s leadership team as Executive Vice President, Redefining Value, on 1 September. He will lead the organization’s work to engage the capital markets with the sustainability agenda – and mobilize more capital to achieve a world in which 9+ billion people live well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century.

The Redefining Value program is a key pillar of WBCSD’s strategy helping to accelerate and scale sustainable transformation through business leadership. The organization brings together leading companies to collectively develop and implement transformational solutions – to avert the climate crisis, restore nature and tackle inequality.

Pepijn will drive a focus on true value toward a world in which capital markets reward the most sustainable companies, recognizing the value of financial, environmental, social and governance performance – and more companies innovate in ways that contribute to a flourishing society.

Peter Bakker, President & CEO of WBCSD said: “Pepijn, a former executive of Booking.com, ran an 10+ billion dollar business for the travel company and excels in data analysis. He brings a unique mindset on valuation, capable of entirely redesigning and redefining value. Pepijn will significantly advance what we offer our member companies and ensure we can accomplish a lower cost of capital for more sustainable companies.”

“Capitalism’s core features of private enterprise and competitive markets are indispensable if we are to achieve the scale and speed of transformation needed to achieve WBCSD’s vision of a world in which 9+ billion people can live well within planetary boundaries.” says Rijvers. “But our success or failure in achieving our vision depends significantly on whether capitalism can be reinvented for the better in the next 10 years. The reality is that this is not simply a social and environmental agenda – it is about creating the conditions for long-term business success.”

In addition to Pepijn, two other executives have joined the leadership team of WBCSD.

John Revess, with 4 years at the organization and an extensive business background, has taken up the role of Vice President, Business Engagement, to strengthen the business-centric approach of WBCSD and oversee fundraising operations. 

Stephanie de Heer has joined from the Rainforest Alliance, where she co-led the successful merger with UTZ as Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. As the new Vice President, Marketing & Communications, she will be responsible for the external and internal positioning and reputation of WBCSD.

Both Pepijn and Stephanie are based in Amsterdam, where WBCSD recently opened an office, in addition to Beijing, Delhi, Geneva, London, New York and Singapore.

WBCSD’s Strategy 2022-2027 is a focused five-year strategy to accelerate the transformation of businesses and their value chains, and the systems in which they operate through climate, nature and equity action. The strategy aligns with the business action agenda Vision 2050: Time to Transform, developed by more than 40 of its leading member companies and launched in 2021, as well as WBCSD’s membership criteria.

Peter added: “We are well underway with the strategy announced last year. A growing number of companies are joining us including most recently Amazon, Braskem, ManpowerGroup, McDonald’s, MSC and Takeda – affirming that sustainability is becoming mainstream. Urgent business leadership is much needed to get the sustainable transformation ahead done. We can no longer ignore the pressing signs that surround us, the bush fires, water levels and mounting inequality as recent examples.”

In October, WBCSD hosts its annual meeting for the CEOs of its member companies in Tokyo, Japan. During this hybrid conference, business leaders will discuss and agree the latest actions for a net zero, nature positive and equitable world through value chain transformations.

Around 10% of WBCSD’s members are based in Japan, demonstrating the leading role of Japanese companies in the sustainable system transformation journey. The Council Meeting is being prepared in close collaboration with METI, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and will also support the preparations for the G7 in Japan in 2023. For more information, please see the event page.

And, for information about our upcoming involvement at Climate Week NYC on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, please visit here.

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