Feike Sijbesma appointed new Co-Chair of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation
ROTTERDAM, DECEMBER 9, 2020 – The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) has appointed the outgoing CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of Royal DSM, Feike Sijbesma, as the Co-Chair of the Board alongside Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations. This appointment will be effective from March 2020.
ijbesma is a widely respected international leader in sustainability. He is credited for repositioning Royal DSM from a chemicals company into an innovative science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living. In transforming Royal DSM’s portfolio, Sijbesma more than tripled the company’s value over the last decade; demonstrating that doing well by doing good can go together. He took the company into a partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, earning him the UN’s Humanitarian of the Year award. He also introduced carbon pricing into Royal DSM to future proof the business and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy.
Sijbesma is a Climate Leader at the World Bank, member of the Supervisory Board of the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and non-executive board member of Unilever. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the World Economic Forum and heads the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders. In 2016 he received the Fortune Award for Circular Economy Leadership and in 2018 he was ranked as one of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, as well as one of the global best performing 100 CEO’s by Harvard Business Review in 2019.
Sijbesma studied medical biology at the University of Utrecht and business administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He also received an honorary doctorate from Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
The Global Center on Adaptation is an international organization, hosted by the Netherlands, dedicated to accelerating adaptation to climate change at speed and at scale. Among its key activities, the GCA is the lead partner institution for the Climate Adaptation Summit being hosted in Amsterdam on 22nd October 2020 by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, the first major international leaders gathering entirely dedicated to adaptation.
We are all witnessing how climate change is visibly affecting societies and business – it is impacting (food) supply chains, damaging infrastructure and harming marine life. We must take an integrated, strategic approach to adapting to this global challenge. I am excited about working with the Global Center on Adaptation to ensure climate risks are made visible so we can bring out bold ideas and inspire innovation beyond what people currently think is possible
Feike Sijbesma, on accepting the appointment
I am looking forward to working closely with Feike as my co-chair to show how adaptation can lead to better growth and development. Adaptation is not a separate agenda – effective adaptation is about integrating climate risk into what political and business decision-makers do at every level. Feike’s experience in the private sector shows that change is possible, but we do not have any time to waste
Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations and Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation
I am delighted that Feike Sijbesma has accepted to join as Co-Chair of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation, alongside Ban Ki-moon. Climate change is here and now. Government officials and business leaders need to radically rethink how they make decisions. We need a revolution in understanding, planning, and finance that makes climate risks visible, incorporates these risks into all decisions, and releases public and private financial flows. Feike’s experience and leadership will be invaluable in jump starting these necessary transitions for change.
Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation
Notes to Editors:
About the Global Center on Adaptation
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization, hosted by the Netherlands, which works to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, from the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each other and work together for a climate resilient future. Founded in 2018 and working from its headquarters in Rotterdam with a knowledge and research hub based in Groningen, and a global innovation hub for climate adaptation in Beijing, the GCA is establishing a worldwide network of regional offices in Africa, Asia and the Americas to aid the fulfilment of its mission. Through this evolving network of offices and global and regional GCA teams, the organization engages in high-level policy activities, new research contributions, communications, and technical assistance to governments and the private sector, much of which have significant economic and financial components. The GCA is the lead partner institution for the Climate Adaptation Summit in Amsterdam on 22nd October 2020 hosted by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands – the first major gathering of international leaders dedicated entirely to adaptation. The GCA is also the Managing Partner of the Global Commission on Adaptation co-chaired by Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgieva, which was formed to mobilize knowledge resources and catalyse political support for urgent action to climate adaptation solutions. The GCA is also the Managing Partner to the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance and to the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of 48 developing countries highly vulnerable to climate change. In the run-up to the 2020 Climate Adaptation Summit, the GCA is driving a “Year of Action” on climate adaptation to translate commitments secured by the Global Commission on Adaptation into concrete activities on the ground. The Climate Adaptation Summit itself will adopt a “Global Compact on Adaptation” to carry forward visionary efforts to significantly scale up adaptation over the next 5 to 10 years.