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European CSO Awards/24 Winners

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By illuminem briefings

· 4 min read

illuminem is delighted to announce the winners of the Chief Sustainability Officers Awards/24, organized by future/io. In its inaugural edition, the award ceremony was held in Davos on the 15th of January during the Economic Forum.

This prestigious recognition, awarded by a Grand Jury of globally recognized leaders in the sustainability world, celebrates exceptional individuals who have showcased outstanding leadership and ingenuity in advancing sustainable practices within their respective organizations.

Join us in congratulating the three main winners:

• Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever (UK) - GREEN Award

• Karen Pflug, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ingka Group/IKEA (Sweden) - GOLD Award

• Daniella Vega, Global Senior Vice President Health & Sustainability, Ahold (Netherlands) - SILVER Award

Special mentions for remarkable performance in specific areas include:

• Finance - Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand, Group Head of Sustainability, Handelsbanken (Sweden)

• Green Transition - Andreas Wade, Director Group Sustainability, Viessmann (Germany)  

• Insurance - Linda Freiner, Group Head of Sustainability, Zurich Insurance (Switzerland)  

• Governance - Petra Wicklandt, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Merck (Germany) 

Arthur Schneider, Head of Sustainability Management, Bechtle Group (Germany) was awarded the Peer Award.

Please find below a more detailed overview of the winners and their achievements in sustainability

#1 Rebecca Marmot, CSO, Unilever (UK) 

Chief Sustainability Officer Rebecca Marmot is a key figure at Unilever, playing a crucial role in advancing the company's sustainability goals. Leading advocacy and partnership efforts, Rebecca spearheads transformative projects across various focus areas defined in Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan. These priority areas encompass tackling climate change, eliminating deforestation, promoting sustainable agriculture, supporting smallholder farmers, improving water and sanitation, advancing hygiene, creating opportunities for women, managing plastics and the circular economy, overseeing impact finance, and promoting health and wellbeing. 

#2 Karen Pflug, CSO, Ingka Group/IKEA (Sweden)

Karen Pfluug holds the position of Chief Sustainability Officer at Ingka Group and IKEA, championing transformative efforts to realize their ambitious objectives of achieving climate positivity by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Operating under the guiding principles of the People and Planet Positive strategy, she tackles interconnected challenges, including climate issues, unsustainable consumption, and inequality. Karen assumed the role of Chief Sustainability Officer for Ingka Group in August 2021, leading the sustainability center to support the company in meeting the ambitious goals outlined in the IKEA People and Planet Positive strategy.

#3 Daniella Vega, Global Senior Vice President Health & Sustainability, Ahold (Netherlands)

Daniella Vega, in her role as the Global Senior Vice President of Health & Sustainability at Ahold Delhaize, stands as a distinguished sustainability expert with a well-established record of achievements in the media, fashion, and food retail sectors. Drawing from her extensive experience, she demonstrates a remarkable ability to navigate diverse industries, underscoring a history of impactful contributions to sustainability initiatives across various domains. Daniella's expertise lies in the precise development and execution of comprehensive sustainability strategies, revealing a nuanced understanding of the media, fashion, and food retail landscapes.

The following criteria have been considered in selecting the winners:

  • Showcasing impactful thinking and sharing knowledge to enhance efforts and exert influence on a broad scale

  • Going beyond regulatory requirements in advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) progress, with a forward-thinking timeline towards Net-Zero and beyond.

  • Pioneering action projects within their industry, experimenting and innovating to pave the way for new initiatives and aspirations

  • Demonstrating leadership through educational training initiatives, involving all team members and stakeholders by implementing educational programs that impact every sector of the company and instill sustainability thinking in its corporate culture

  • Upholding sustainability through branding and media content, exemplifying a commitment to transparency and impact in reporting efforts and communications

As the leading platform in sustainability, illuminem once again extends heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the CSO Awards/24 for their well-earned accomplishments. Gratitude is also expressed to all nominees and the TOP100 European CSOs for their unwavering commitment to advancing sustainability within the corporate sphere.

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