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Top Businesses Address Sustainability in WRI's Corporate Consultative Group

WRI’s annual MindShare Meeting helps companies stay in front of the latest environmental trends.

WRI’s Corporate Consultative Group (CCG) hosted its annual MindShare Meeting last month, a one and a half day conference that gives members of the CCG the chance to engage with the Institute’s experts and with each other.

“This is a group of our business peers, our customers, and competitors,” Alison Taylor, Vice President of Sustainability at Siemens, says of the meeting. “It’s a great opportunity to learn about the best practices in our area, the challenges that we all face, and the challenges that some of our peers or competitors face that we haven’t yet contemplated.”

Participation in the MindShare Meeting, which focused this year on issues from water risk and corporate climate leadership to the green supply chains of the future, is just one of the many benefits of CCG membership. Other benefits include tailored advice from WRI staff and access to an international network of peers, through meetings and a private members’ website that allows members to share news, register for events, and connect with one another.

The MindShare meeting "is a great opportunity to learn about the best practices in our area, the challenges that we all face, and the challenges that some of our peers or competitors face that we haven’t yet contemplated.”

---Alison Taylor, Siemens

WRI president Jonathan Lash says businesses are partnering with WRI through the Corporate Consultative Group in order to stay ahead of the curve on issues related to the environment and sustainability.

“We provide a unique window on risks and markets in the future. Look at water, carbon, fisheries, coral reefs, forests; trends in all of those areas are shaping tomorrow’s markets and the kind of regulatory and consumer risks that companies face in the future. WRI looks at all of those trends and provides ideas about how to address them.”

WRI is uniquely suited to work with businesses. We’re solutions-oriented; our work is non-partisan and based on analytical research. According to Alison Taylor, WRI’s “credibility and rigor” stand out. “I also think the global understanding at WRI distinguishes it from other NGOs. WRI works on a lot of issues relevant to an international company like Siemens; climate change, for one, and also water risk, which is growing in importance.”

<p>The Corporate Consultative Group MindShare Meeting, November 2010. Photo credit: Walton Upchurch</p>

The Corporate Consultative Group MindShare Meeting, November 2010. Photo credit: Walton Upchurch

Liba Rubenstein, Director of News Corporation's Global Energy Initiative, says that WRI’s work on forest legality has been of particular relevance to her business, “both in newsprint and for lumber used on movie and television sets.

“We’re also very interested in WRI’s coral reefs initiative. That’s an area where WRI’s on-the-ground experience can help us to create something that resonates with our audiences.”

The specific reasons companies join the CCG vary. A company that’s just starting to think through its sustainability initiatives might join because it wants to know where WRI stands on a range of issues. Several companies are interested in WRI’s policy analyses and updates from the Hill, while others are specifically interested in WRI’s tools, like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol or our corporate ecosystem services review. Overall, companies join the CCG to stay apprised of WRI’s corporate-relevant work, which touches a range of issues, from climate and water to forestry and community engagement.

The CCG currently has 37 members and offers the best available way for innovative and leading companies in their sectors to engage with WRI on a broad range of topics.

For more information on CCG membership and benefits, contact me at wupchurch@wri.org

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