Thomas Andro started his career with Solvay in 2007. After 10 years in Finance, he joined the Sustainable Development Function to lead Business, Investors and Digital related projects.
Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company, headquartered in Brussels with around 27,000 employees in 58 countries committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges.
What were the reasons for joining the WBCSD Leadership Program?
“I started to work in sustainability a few months ago after having held different positions in Finance and Risk Management. As I was just joining the Sustainable Development Function, I was offered to join the WBCSD Leadership Program to develop the leadership responses required to address key sustainability challenges and opportunities and push our sustainability journey forward. The objectives were to acquire an in-depth view of sustainability practices and to be exposed to the latest insights from other companies. I also wanted to enhance my leadership skills to influence change for sustainability, whilst also gaining an academic recognition from a world-renowned partner (Yale University). As the feedback from the previous Solvay participants to the WBCSD LP program were highly positive, I was very motivated and excited by this opportunity.”
Why do you believe companies should send participants to the program?
“Better understanding of the world’s complexity, including social and environmental challenges and opportunities, is a necessity today to take better decisions towards becoming a better business by being more sustainable.. The WBCSD Leadership Program is a unique opportunity to understand such challenges and opportunities through both an academic and business perspective. The strength of the program lies in this combination of academic rigor, with an emphasis on practical application, and action. This program is really providing a compass to navigate in a complex environment towards more resilience!”
How did the program help in achieving your objectives?
“This program gave me the chance to learn from concrete business cases from other leading companies, to interact with strong partners and to get access to robust tools and expertise. Today's new products, projects and investments, decide tomorrow's profile of a company. Thanks to this program, I better understand how to engage our internal and external stakeholders to build a better business for a better world. We reviewed concrete examples evidencing that financial performance without sustainability would not stand the test of time. For my individual project, I have investigated the current status of natural and social capital in the product portfolio management of my group. It has been a unique opportunity to come back to my company with strong takeaways on innovation, valuation and collaboration, so as to better embed sustainability across our businesses. I have also been able to come back to my former colleagues in Finance, Risk Management and Insurance to propose concrete actions to better integrate social and natural capital in the decision-making process. This should lead to better decisions based on more robust information. “
Your personal comments on the program
“This program has been a great opportunity to develop my cross-industry and international relationships, to gain insight into innovative new approaches and to inspire me to take actions. It has given me the chance to better understand myself, my drivers and even to challenge myself. This experience will be memorable, creating strong and sustainable shared value, for me and my company. I am more convinced and prepared to support my group in its objective to provide solutions for a sustainable world.”