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Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement

Pavan Sukhdev (1978, Physics), President of the Board of WWF International has been awarded the 2020 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for being a pioneer in illuminating and quantifying the economic value of our natural environment. He shares the award with conservation biologist Dr Gretchen C. Daily.

Established in 1973 by the late John and Alice Tyler, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is one of the first international premier awards for environmental science, environmental health, and energy.

From 2008 till 2011, as Special Adviser and Head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, Pavan worked in partnership with international and national agencies, including twenty UN agencies and organizations, and several universities and research institutes to deliver two important studies: UNEP’s widely appreciated and influential report “Towards a Green Economy” and the landmark G8+5 commissioned and EU-supported report suite, known as TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity). Pavan was appointed UNEP Goodwill Ambassador in 2012. Yale University, USA, awarded Pavan the McCluskey Fellowship 2011. While at Yale, Pavan wrote Corporation 2020, a book that envisions tomorrow’s corporation as an agent of an inclusive, green economy.

More recently, Pavan founded GIST Impact a sustainability consulting group with many firsts to its credit, which advises and assists corporations and governments in implementing many of the strategies and methods outlined by TEEB, the Green Economy Initiative, and Corporation 2020. GIST is an acronym for “Global Initiative for a Sustainable Tomorrow” and its mission is to make sustainability accessible to all. It evolved from Pavan’s NGO, GIST (Green Indian States Trust), which had carried out the pioneering ‘Green Accounting for Indian States Project’ (2004-2008).

An international banker for 25 years, Pavan’s last assignment in the finance sector was to lead Deutsche Bank’s Global Markets business division in India. This included setting up their “Global Markets Centre” – GMC Mumbai, a dedicated global hub for capital markets “front-office” off-shoring.

Pavan has served many years on the boards of several global institutions such as the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), Conservation International (CI) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Pavan was awarded the 2013 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development, earlier recipients included Gro Harlem Brundtland and Al Gore. He won the 2016 Blue Planet Prize of the Asahi Glass foundation for his pathbreaking work on sustainability metrics at the national, provincial and business levels.

You can watch a discussion between Pavan and Dr Gretchen Daily on YouTube.

Photo: Leonardo Druscovich

Published: 7 October 2021

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