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Penn State Alum Lori Michelin new President and CEO of World Environment Center (WEC)

I had the pleasure this week of meeting Lori Michelin, former VP of Sustainability at Colgate-Palmolive and newly selected as the President and CEO of World Environment Center (WEC).

We discussed ways Smeal and WEC might work together. We are both focused on advancing the principles of sustainable development through business.

I didn't know much about WEC but they have been around since the 70s and have offices in North America, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

WEC’s mission is to:

  • Promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems;

  • Foster leading edge ideas about economic development, environmental protection and social responsibility through roundtables and other forums that engage the leadership of a diverse number of organizations; and

  • Recognize performance excellence by companies that advance sustainable development.


WEC recognizes global leaders and this year selected Ecolab as its 2018 WEC Gold Medal Winner. Ecolab was selected "based upon its commitment to global water conservation...The company helped customers conserve 171 billion gallons of water in 2017 and aims for 300 billion gallons of water conserved annually by 2020."

Ecolab video (2 mins)


WEC's value proposition focuses on:

Using leadership as a criterion for decision making by: recruiting as members companies that are leaders in sustainable development implementation; developing strategic initiatives that create unique value for business and society; and differentiating WEC as a unique global organization to advance the interests of civil society.

Being business-relevant. WEC’s business model is unique in its “direct, on-the-ground” application of sustainable development strategies and practices in developed and emerging markets. It convenes customers and suppliers to solve problems, helps integrate sustainable development into business operations and assesses business relevant strategies and processes across multiple sectors.

Behaving globally. WEC addresses issues from a global perspective that demonstrates connectivity among member companies and WEC partners and stakeholders.

Building learning and competency. Through its focus on emerging issues, core competencies and problem solving, WEC advances learning and builds competencies among member companies and other organizations participating in its various activities.


We look forward to exploring how Penn State and the Smeal College of Business can work with Lori and WEC.

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