Leaders in Sustainability #3 – Andrew Steer

The environmental movement is one that is categorized by its diverse and multifaceted efforts. While positive in that it targets problems from a variety of different angles and mediums, its multilayered aspects can sometimes make the movement seem overwhelming and abstract. However, one way to help demystify its broad landscape is to clarify who the leaders of sustainability are and what the different spheres they work within are. Below is the third of five main leaders who are steering the push for sustainable change:

Andrew Steer

Who he is:

  • President and CEO of the World Resources Institute (WRI)
  • WRI- an international research organization serving over 50 countries, including the U.S., Europe, China, and Brazil
  • Works to address 6 layers of sustainability in terms of environment, economics, and resources: food, forests, water, climate, energy and cities.
  • Respected for his “generosity of spirit, warmth and openness, which engenders a deep sense of trust.”

What he has done for sustainability:

  • 1992- Chief Author of World Development Report on Environment and Development for the Rio Earth Summit
  • 2010-2012- Employee of the World Bank Group as the Special Envoy of Climate Change, the now position of Rachel Kyte
  • Still serves on the Executive Board of the UN Secretary General’s “Sustainable Energy For All” initiative
  • Member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED)
  • Member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Interested in generating development that is both economical, resourceful, and sustainable.
  • Latest project: helping to push notions of sustainable cities, arguing “the world can save $3 trillion in the next 15 years” just by developing cities more efficiently. The WRI initiative to take action on this is named C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.


His Words:

“Well this is a decade where it would be nice if there were global rules that everybody followed. But there aren’t and there aren’t going to be this decade. So what we need to do is we need to rely on leadership. Leadership at the national, global, local, community, corporate levels. And this is what WRI is good at.”


Source: http://www.wri.org/profile/andrew-steer
Written by Julie Elliot, Class of 2015


Photo by: I ISD RS @ Seventh Session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 6-10 January 2014

Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute

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