Retreating and Repositioning
At the beginning of the 1990's, Stephan Schmidheiny turned increasingly to societal discourse and philanthropy. After being appointed "Chief advisor for business and industry" in preparation of the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, he occupied himself more deeply with questions on ecological and social sustainability. He published several international bestsellers on the topic and acted as a catalyst for politics and business through the World Business Council for Sustainable Development that he founded. With Fundes, Avina Stiftung, Fundación Avina and the Viva Trust, he also established four unique non-profit organizations.
Various universities have recognized his pioneering work in the field of eco-efficiency with an honorary doctorate. As such, INCAE Business School in Costa Rica, Yale University in the U.S., Rollins College in the U.S. and Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Venezuela bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate.
After his brother Alexander's early death, in 1995, Stephan Schmidheiny began to actively shape the former's art collection. The focus of today's "Daros" collection is North American and European art from the second half of the 20th century and it’s considered one of the most important worldwide. Since 2010, works from the Daros Collection have been shown in the permanent collection of Fondation Beyeler in Riehen BS, Switzerland.
In 2001, Stephan Schmidheiny decided to gradually withdraw from all his functions and public life. He also announced this publicly in 2002. From that time, the provisions of his heritage were carried out.