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Sustainability Outgrows Its Silos

Diverse Business, Government and NGO Leaders Converge at NYC Summit on Keeping Sustainability Commitments

More and more major companies are announcing ambitious commitments to green supply chains and source environmentally and socially sustainable commodities, including a spate of new “deforestation-free” declarations. But implementing them is the hard part. It requires transparency, accountability, and bringing sustainability out of departmental silos and into central focus. Achieving positive impacts at scale requires collaboration and integration across departments, institutions, landscapes, and sectors.  It also demands shared definitions and integration of various interlocking sustainability goals—from protecting water, forests and other ecosystems to community and worker rights. This Manhattan event, organized by the Rainforest Alliance, gathers and networks CEOs and leading sustainability practitioners from around the world. Journalists and bloggers are invited to attend and cover. Side interviews are available on request.


On May 13, 2015, CEOs of major companies and other leading sustainability practitioners from around the world will gather in New York for a Leadership Summit on implementing sustainability goals. It’s organized by the Rainforest Alliance and sponsored by the NYU Stern School of Business.


Global sustainability leaders in the business, government and NGO sectors will participate on May 13, including those listed below. To RSVP or request side interviews, contact Brittany Wienke,, 646-452-1939, or Stephen Kent,, 914-589-5988.

  • Marina Silva, Brazilian environmental advocate and political leader, who organized Amazon rubber tappers with slain environmental leader Chico Mendes, served as Brazil’s Minister of the Environment and ran for president in 2010 and 2014.
  • Dr. Naoko Ishii, President, Global Environment Fund, who will give the keynote talk at the Leadership Summit.
  • Dean Scarborough, Chairman and CEO of Avery Dennison, a leading labeling and packaging company. It sources sustainably produced paper, pursues a wide range of other internal sustainability goals and uses its scale and buying power to help move the entire industry toward responsible sourcing.
  • Kees Kruythoff-Tielenius, President, Unilever North America. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan is working to improve health, well-being and livelihoods of a billion people and halve the environmental impact of its products, including Breyers® ice cream. One of the world’s largest vanilla buyers, Breyers® now sources vanilla from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in Madagascar, which helps protect the island’s spectacular biodiversity and expand access to healthcare and education.
  • Robert Goodwin, Director of Corporate Affairs & Philanthropy, Mattel, Inc. and Executive Director, Mattel Children’s Foundation. Mattel is implementing sustainable sourcing, improving the transparency and traceability of its supply chain, and working toward its goal of 85% of the paper and wood fiber in its packaging coming from recycled or sustainable sources.
  • Andy Brown, Managing Director, Taylors of Harrogate, part of the Bettys & Taylors Group. It sources sustainable coffee and tea and works with farmers in Rwanda and Uganda to promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Marcelo Strufaldi Castelli, CEO of the Brazilian company Fibria, the world’s largest producer of hardwood eucalyptus pulp. Cited as one of the world’s top sustainability leaders by RobecoSAM, which conducts assessments for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Fibria combines conservation with economic development for local communities, and runs one of Brazil’s largest biome restoration projects.
  • Hernán Rodriguez, Gerente General, Empresas CMPC S.A., a leading Chilean wood, pulp, tissue and packaging company. CMPC’s Forestal Minnico division earned Forest Stewardship Council certification for its forests, and promotes safety standards, education, and environmental protection and development opportunities for workers and local indigenous communities.
  • Representatives TBA of the Costa Rica Tourism Board. A global leader in sustainable tourism, Costa Rica shelters about 5% of the world’s known biodiversity, with 26% of its land set aside as protected area.
  • Tensie Whelan, President, Rainforest Alliance, which works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
  • Sonila Cook, partner and global head of energy and environment at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, and a member of Rainforest Alliance’s Board of Directors.

Other participants include the CEOs of AMResorts, Balzac Brothers, Cafetalera Aquiares, Chiquita, Clif Bar, Columbia Forest Products, Domtar, Nespresso, Tata Global Beverages, and more.

Where and When?

The Leadership Summit on implementing sustainability takes place Wednesday, May 13 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at New York University’s Stern School of Business, Kaufman Management Center, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY. Journalists and bloggers are invited to attend and cover. Side interviews can be arranged on request, whether during the workshop or phone or in-studio interviews at other times.

Participants can also be interviewed later that evening, May 13, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at a cocktail reception preceding the Rainforest Alliance's gala awards dinner at the American Museum of Natural History, on Central Park West at 79th Street, where MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts will serve as host.

To RSVP for the summit and/or the cocktail, or to request an interview, contact Brittany Wienke,, 646-452-1939, or Stephen Kent,, 914-589-5988.

Forest canopy - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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