WBCSD steps up the course for systemic business transformation

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28 October, 2021




Premier global business and sustainability platform presents new strategy and leadership

Geneva, 28 October 2021: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the premier CEO-led platform for global business and sustainability with over 200 member companies, presents its Strategy 2022-2027 and leadership to step up business action for system transformation.

Through WBCSD, the world’s leading sustainable businesses are brought together to work on accelerating the system transformations needed for a net-zero, nature-positive and equitable future. The Strategy 2022-2027 is a focused five-year strategy that is aligned with the recently launched business action agenda Vision 2050: Time to Transform and WBCSD’s membership criteria.

At its Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on 27 October, 100% of WBCSD member votes approved the strategy that is unique for tackling the three most pressing global sustainability challenges our world faces – the climate emergency, the loss of nature and mounting inequality – in an interconnected way. The strategy has three pillars:

  1. Imperatives: It’s urgent that in the current decade, all companies implement ambitious action plans to address the three global challenges. Through the Imperatives Climate Action, Nature Action and Equity Action, WBCSD will support business to shape strategies and formulate their actions to be on track by 2030 for the transition to net zero emissions; becoming nature positive; and contributing with intention to an inclusive and equitable society. By working on all three imperatives simultaneously, WBCSD provides a uniquely integrated offer to help leading companies tackle the biggest sustainability challenges society faces.
  2. Pathways: Vision 2050: Time to Transform made it clear that business has a leading role to play in the required system transformations. This leadership will manifest itself through the transformation of the value chains from raw material all the way to end-use and waste management. Through the Pathways, WBCSD will bring its member companies together around focused collaborative solutions in the following value-chains: Food, Energy, Products & Materials, Transportation & Mobility, Built Environment, and Health & Wellbeing.
  3. Redefining Value: It’s inevitable that the Capital Market engagement for business will radically change in the current decade. Changes in Governance through frameworks like TCFD, standardization of ESG disclosures through ISSB and development of True Value approaches, will hold business accountable for its impacts on Natural and Social Capital. Through Redefining Value and its CFO Network, WBCSD will support its member companies in leading the reinvention of Capitalism.

Additionally, members approved the new composition for WBCSD’s Executive Committee (ExCo). As of 1 January 2022, the ExCo, consisting of 23 of the member’s executives, will have a new Chair, a new Vice Chair, two new members and two successors. Five ExCo members are re-elected for another two-year mandate.

  • Ilham Kadri, CEO Solvay and part of the ExCo since 2019 (currently in a Vice Chair role), will be the Chair of the ExCo, succeeding Sunny Verghese, CEO Olam, who is ending its term and was at the helm of the ExCo from January 2018.
  • Current ExCo member Piyush Gupta, CEO DBS Bank, has been appointed as Vice Chair, joining Keryn James, CEO ERM, and Alan Jope, CEO Unilever in that role.
  • Florent Menegaux, CEO Michelin, and Catherine MacGregor, CEO Engie, will join the ExCo.
  • Current ExCo members from Toyota, Takeshi Uchiyamada, and Sinopec, Yaofeng Cao, will be succeeded by their colleagues Shigeru Hayakawa, Vice Chair Toyota, and Liu Hongbin, Vice President Sinopec.
  • ExCo members Peter Oosterveer (Arcadis), João Castello Branco (The Navigator Company), Wiebe Draijer (Rabobank), Nadir Godrej (Godrej Group) and Jan Jenisch (Holcim) have been re-elected for another two-year mandate.
  • Ana Botín, CEO Santander, will end her term in the ExCo.

During the ExCo meeting on Tuesday this week, ExCo members approved a third term of five years for the President and CEO Peter Bakker.

Peter Bakker: “Sustainability is going mainstream for governments, business, consumers, and financial markets. This momentum has been building for several years and has accelerated sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic. The link between the pressure on the environment, human health and the need for more equitable economic progress has become much clearer to all stakeholders.”

“WBCSD is the premier global business and sustainability platform, a position that was further solidified by the recent launch of Vision 2050: Time to Transform. Our unique offer is to support our member companies in implementing business solutions towards their net zero, nature positive and equity targets in their own operations as well as their value chains. The collective action and global voice that our community is mobilizing sets the example for industries and society to follow. Our leading work on Redefining Value helps companies map and position their transitions towards the financial markets. Our plans for the next five years support the acceleration of real action and leadership.”

“I am confident that our new strategy and updated Executive Committee will enable us to create maximum positive impact for the planet and its people and I am excited to head into my third term as CEO.”

Ilham Kadri, CEO Solvay and new WBCSD Chair: “I am honored to be named chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Our members have embarked on an incredible journey to lead real action on issues that require a truly collective effort to solve climate change, nature loss, and mounting inequalities. As the leading business voice on sustainability, WBCSD is uniquely positioned to accelerate the transformations we need with other stakeholders to execute our strategy to tackle climate change, nature loss and mounting inequalities. I look forward to further accelerating the fight against the critical challenges facing our planet and society with the urgency they deserve.”