World Environment Center Initiates Major New Sustainable Development Project with Latin American Universities

Sep 5, 2012 5:45 PM ET
Press Release

(3BL Media) San Jose, Costa Rica – September 5, 2012 - The World Environment Center (WEC) today announced the launching of a major new initiative with universities in seven Latin American nations to improve the teaching and application of sustainable development. The initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with Higher Education for Development (HED).

The “Pathways to Cleaner Production in the Americas: Educating Future Professionals” (Pathways) project spans seven countries – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Peru – to combine environmental and engineering education with access to local private companies.This collaboration will provide students the opportunity to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in cleaner production initiatives, while companies gain the opportunity to develop young talent and key skills that are needed in sustainable industrial development.

“As economies grow from individual enterprises to regional networks and markets, so must sustainability education march along with it and in support of it,” stated Dr. Terry F. Yosie, WEC’s President & CEO.“This hemispheric educational initiative is a logical extension of WEC’s mission to further sustainability through innovative partnerships, leveraging so many of our already existing relationships and magnifying the regional efforts to strengthen economies and societies.”

WEC will implement these activities in partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology, the New York Institute of Technology, and the National Cleaner Production Center in each country to work toward regional goals set forth by the U.S. Department of State. These goals include:

  • Developing a workforce better prepared to implement cleaner production activities through practical, hands-on experiences for future engineers and practitioners.
  • Increasing resource efficiency in the private sector and reducing consumption of materials, energy and water.
  • Generating economic savings and increasing the competitiveness for partner MSMEs through their implementation of new technologies and improved business practices.
  • Enhancing the capacity of Pathways countries to implement energy efficiency and cleaner production practices.
  • Increasing employment opportunities for students as they enhance their skill set and build relationships with local cleaner production centers and businesses.

The Pathways initiative underscores a much broader global undertaking of the World Environment Center to advance WEC’s sustainable business mission through collaboration with private sector, governments, and academia in preparing future sustainability leaders.


About the World Environment Center: WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC creates sustainable business solutions through individual projects in emerging markets; convenes leadership roundtables to shape strategic thinking across a range of sustainability topics; and honors industry excellence through its annual awarding of the Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. WEC is headquartered in Washington, DC, with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany. For more information, visit