Olam International CEO to chair WBCSD

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Sunny Verghese, co-founder/CEO of Olam International.
Sunny Verghese, co-founder/CEO of Olam International.

Related tags Sustainable development Sustainability Ceo

Sunny Verghese, co-founder/CEO of Olam International, a leading supplier of cocoa beans, has become chair of The World Business Commission for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) this week, replacing Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever.

Verghese is allegedly the first ever Asian CEO and CEO from an Asia-based company to be appointed as chair in WBCSD’s 25-year history. 


WBCSD is a global network of more than 200 CEOs, responsible for a combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees, pushing for sustainability in business.  

“Creating a sustainable future for all is fundamental to our survival,” ​said Verghese.

“In leading a global agri business operating across 70 markets, I’ve seen how each action we take separately as business leaders can impact millions of people, as well as the planet. The potential is even greater when we come together to take collective positive action.”​ 

Verghese will be in the role for two years, connecting businesses to WBCSD’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); energy and circular economy; cities and mobility; food, land and water; people; and redefining value. 

Influence & support

Former chair, Polman, said he was delighted to welcome Verghese to the role and, in his four years at the helm, he had seen WBCSD grow in influence and impact. 

Sunny’s extensive global experience complements his critical understanding of the strategic imperative for driving sustainability in business, and I am sure under his leadership WBCSD will continue to thrive​,” he said.

Verghese will also be working alongside current WBCSD CEO and president Peter Bakker. 

WBCSD has a global network of almost 70 national business councils and can work with member companies across the value chains to deliver business advice on the most challenging sustainability issues. 

Related news

Show more