Biography - Stephan Schmidheiny

Biography

Introduction Biography

Stephan Schmidheiny has made industrial history, as both an entrepreneur and pioneer. After taking over responsibility for the family firm Swiss Eternit Group in 1976, he began to push for an end to asbestos processing, leading the way in the world in this regard. He subsequently played a key role in saving the Swiss watch industry, and built up an industrial group in Latin America. He served as an advisor to the United Nations and the OECD, established the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and set up numerous organisations that promote sustainability. As a philanthropist and author, and as the person who coined the term 'eco-efficiency', he has lent crucial impetus to the debate on sustainable economic, social and environmental development worldwide.

Panama Canal Authority

Election to the International Advisory Board of the Panama Canal Authority

OECD High Level Advisory Group on the Environment

Appointed Co-Chair of the High Level Advisory Group on the Environment of the OECD; publication of a report; 1998 completion of the group’s work

Rio Summit

Spoke at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development UNCED in Rio de Janeiro

Business Council for Sustainable Development

Foundation of the Business Council for Sustainable Development

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

Appointed “Principal Advisor for Business and Industry” to Maurice Strong, the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development UNCED, in preparation of 1992 Rio Earth Summit

European Round Table of Industrialists

Elected to the European Round Table of Industrialists; stepped down in 1993