We Mean Business coalition appoints María Mendiluce as CEO

Published: 13 May 2020
Type: News

We are delighted to announce that María Mendiluce, has been appointed the permanent CEO of the We Mean Business coalition. María comes to the coalition from her role as Managing Director for Circular Economy, Cities & Mobility and Climate & Energy, at WBCSD. María has been the coalition’s interim-CEO since January 2020, when former CEO Nigel Topping moved to his new role as high level Climate Action Champion for COP26. 

María brings a wealth of expertise along with clear focus and great energy to the role. She has already been steering the coalition through the uncharted waters presented by the coronavirus pandemic – the biggest social and economic disruption of our time. In her role she will lead the coalition’s response to adapting to its strategy in the wake of COVID-19. She will help shape the voice of major businesses that are calling on governments to deliver zero-carbon economic stimulus packages with the aim of preventing the world lurching into future climate-related shocks. 

María has played a pivotal role in expanding WBCSD’s climate and energy work, guiding over 200 member companies on transformative actions energy, circular economy, plastic waste and urban mobility to influence the decarbonization of companies and economies. She has over 20 years’ experience in sustainable development, energy and climate action. She is also passionate about defining and implementing solutions for sustainable business transformation and previously held senior positions at the Spanish Prime Minister’s Economic Bureau, in the CEO’s office of Iberdrola and at the International Energy Agency. María holds a PhD in energy economics and regularly teaches at different universities and publishes in academic journals and media.

She says: “The emergence of the pandemic does not reduce the human and economic risks of the ongoing climate crisis, which is a present threat to human lives, health and the economy. Spending and policy decisions made now must address both issues, ensuring we build back better. We need plans that create decent jobs, reduce emissions and increase resilience in the future. As CEO at the We Mean Business coalition, together with our partners and the businesses we work with, I want to help drive forward a zero-carbon recovery that is good for people, economies and both human and planetary health. Governments need to take confidence from the growing call from businesses for policies that will boost the economy and get us on track to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. By doing so they will enable companies to invest now and innovate at the scale and pace that is necessary to build back better and create the future we all want.”

Steve Howard, Co-Chair of the We Mean Business coalition board said: “The current pandemic is a powerful reminder of our fragile society.  We know that without a step change in action, climate change will impact us like a pandemic that doesn’t end.  The role of business is now greater than ever and María is a perfect fit to lead the coalition as it urges governments to build back better towards a zero-carbon future. ”  

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD and We Mean Business coalition board member said: ”María will be starting this new role at one of the most testing times ever. Given her track record at WBCSD, we are confident that she is the right person to lead the coalition and that her outstanding leadership strengths will be as valuable to the coalition as they have been to WBCSD for the last 12 years. Business leadership is absolutely vital for the short-term recovery and the future resilience that is now the number one priority for business, nature and people.”

This was originally published on https://www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org/

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