WEF highlights from DSGC companies

This article highlights the main commitments and new partnerships made at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos by DSGC companies. The WEF took place from 23-26 January, bringing together leaders from governments, businesses, NGOs and young professionals. This year, the theme was ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.’ In the WEF Global Risks report, launched at the start of the conference, climate change was highlighted as one of the most significant challenges to civilization as we know it.

Climate change:

  • The alliance of CEO climate change leaders, including DSM, Heineken, Philips and Unilever, launched its ‘Two degrees of transformation’ report, highlighting 5 trends with the biggest potential for transformation: reinventing businesses, bridging sectors, creating sustainable value chains, harnessing data and connectivity and financing change.

  • Unilever signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an Indonesian palm oil plantation company PTPN to support local mills and smallholder farmers to produce palm oil according to NDPE standards. This means no deforestation, development on peat, or exploitation of people and communities.

Carbon pricing:

  • DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma wrote an opinion article for the WEF, with plea on carbon pricing to realise a low carbon economy.


Renewable energy:

  • The RE100 initiative (including AkzoNobel, DSM, Philips and Unilever), committed to 100% renewable power, launched a progress report 2016-17. The report shows that the RE100 businesses are actively reshaping the energy market through their global investment decisions and increasingly, members are directly growing renewable energy capacity.


Circular Economy:

  • Philips contributed to the Circularity Gap report, welcoming this first step towards a global circularity metric. The report shows that only 9,1% of our world economy is circular, leaving a massive circularity gap that requires actions across nations, sectors, supply chains and cities.

  • DSM, Philips and Accenture joined Factor 10, a new WBCSD’s circular economy initiative, focusing on implementing scalable solutions.

  • Philips CEO Frans van Houten won the Fortune award for Circular Economy Leadership, organized by WEF and the Forum of Young Global Leaders, in collaboration with Accenture Strategy. In accepting the award, van Houten extended Philips’ commitment of 15% of revenue from circular solutions by 2020 to 100% by 2025.

  • Unilever called on the consumer goods industry to step-up its efforts regarding plastic waste and create a circular economy for plastics. Unilever, as well as 10 other companies, has pledged to ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The company itself is making progress on a technical solution to recycling multi-layered sachets through CreaSolv technology (which will be open source).


  • Heineken launched a new partnership with the Global Fund, to further advance the goal of ending HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics in Africa. Heineken will lend its expertise in the area of logistics and communications to support the Global Fund in better reaching specific demographic groups that are most at risk.

  • Unilever is also partnering with the Global Fund to improve health, reduce infections and save lives in key geographies in Africa and Asia. This includes looking at how to leverage Unilever’s hygiene behavior change expertise to support Global Fund’s work on preventing critical diseases.

  • Unilever, together with the Lego Foundation, IKEA and National Geographic, established the Real Play Coalition, a movement that elevates the importance of real play in schools and cities.

  • Unilever has expanded its commitment to support social enterprises through its TRANSFORM joint initiative, increasing its size from £10 million to £40 million. The initiative supports market-based solutions that meet low-income household needs in developing countries.