CEMS Announces Partnership with WWF International

WWF International is a non-governmental organization founded in 1961 that works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and nature. To learn more about this unique partnership, we interviewed Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International.
Marco Labmertini, Director General of WWF International.
“The CEMS alliance has been collaborating with Social Partners for over ten years. We highly appreciate and value this cooperation which helps us open students’ eyes on fundamental values and realities such as the absolute necessity to protect the planet, fight against corruption, and provide a decent life and work opportunities to less privileged people.”
Nicole de Fontaines, CEMS Secretary General

1. How did you first hear about the partnership opportunity? 

The opportunity of a partnership with CEMS sounded instantly exciting when we heard about it through a colleague who had been in conversations with other youth and student networks, with the aim of developing globally responsible leaders in sustainability. 


2. What made you interested in partnering with CEMS? How does this fit with WWF objectives?

WWF works tirelessly to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

We have never been clearer that we are destabilising climate and losing nature at a shocking and dangerous rate. We are failing in our moral duty to coexist with nature and the planet’s amazing diversity of life, but we are also beginning to threaten our climate, food, water, our health. Pandemics, wildfires, wildlife decline, and climate change are all symptoms of our dangerously unbalanced relationship with the natural world. The science has ever been clearer that we must change course.

And awareness is growing. The world is more conscious of the problems and solutions and more committed to addressing them than ever before. And future global leaders will be vital to this endeavour.

As a CEMS Social Partner, WWF is keen to work with CEMS to advance its crucial mission in preparing and educating future leaders to a carbon neutral, nature positive and equitable society and economy.


3. How do you hope to interact with the CEMS community (seminars, internship/job opportunities, cross collaboration with companies)?

WWF looks forward to exploring, together with the CEMS community, how we can best build on and leverage each other’s strengths so that our collaboration fosters valuable, practical experience in the fields of sustainability and conservation to future leaders.  In  particular, we look forward to joining you in the CEMS classroom with WWF experts, as well as working together with CEMS students, through internships, that will help shape tomorrow’s sustainable world.


4. What is the importance of the business community in achieving your mission?

Business and finance are today still driving a heavy footprint on the planet, but they also depend on nature and the goods and services that healthy natural systems provide. In total, around $44 trillion in annual economic value generation - over half of the world’s GDP - is moderately or highly dependent on nature, according to the World Economic Forum’s “Nature Risk Rising” report.

A growing number of corporations and financial institutions are committing to address climate change and biodiversity loss, assuming responsibility for using natural resources sustainably and greening their supply chains. Indeed, WWF works extensively with corporate partners to help embed sustainability into their functioning, as well as with entire market sectors (fisheries, palm oil, etc.) to make them more responsible and sustainable.

Yet more decisive action needs to be taken. Instilling the values of sustainability and equity in future executives, leaders as well as consumers and practitioners will be a key component of setting the planet on a more sustainable path.


5. Do you have any messages you would like to share with the 2020 graduating class?

2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year.  Yet it has also starkly highlighted the inherent dangers of humanity’s unbalanced relationship with nature.  2020 has also illustrated how quickly our societies can adapt when it is needed.

Protecting and restoring nature is a challenge and an opportunity that no single actor can achieve alone. It takes a broad, inter-generational coalition across all of society, from governments, business, finance, civil society, individuals, indigenous peoples and local communities around the world, committing to work together on finding and driving the solutions in an equitable way.

We are faced with the need for a deep transformation in our relationship with the planet.  We know what the problems are, and we know what it takes to fix them. This is a huge challenge as well as an unmissable opportunity – and one which CEMS new graduates and alumni can help address.  As you embark on your careers as the future stewards of our planet, I encourage you to embrace this opportunity whenever you can and make it a reality.


To learn more: If you would like to discover collaboration opportunities or learn more about how to become a social partner, please reach out to us by filling in the Contact Form.