They won the sustainability prize in Davos

The Futur/io CSO Awards 2024 were presented at the same time as the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The awards recognize outstanding managers responsible for sustainability in the economy as Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs). The three winners all come from large European companies - and have actively shaped sustainability change not only in their companies, but also in an interdisciplinary way.
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PRESS RELEASE, DAVOS, 15th JANUARY 2024 – Futur/io, one of Europe's leading institutes for sustainable leadership and innovation, presented the names of the winners of the first Futur/io CSO Awards this night. Prior to this, the Grand Jury, consisting of globally recognized leaders, had selected the top three places from 20 nominees (who in turn came from a TOP 100 list) after careful analysis and assessment. The main criterion for the list was the "Outstanding Leadership" of the CSO (short for "Chief Sustainability Officer"). He or she should be a "first mover", experiment and show a great pioneering spirit in terms of sustainability.
The CSO Awards were sponsored by the auditing and consulting firm Mazars, among others. With their sponsorship, the partners are honouring the important role of CSOs in the transformation of companies towards more sustainable and responsible business models.
The winners: Karen Pflug, Ingka Group/Ikea, Daniella Vega, Ahold, and Rebecca Marmot, Unilever.
The winners: Karen Pflug, Ingka Group/Ikea, Daniella Vega, Ahold, and Rebecca Marmot, Unilever.

The winners of the Futur/io CSO Awards:
• 1st place: Rebecca Marmot, CSO, Unilever (Great Britain)
• 2nd place: Karen Pflug, CSO, Ingka Group/IKEA (Sweden)
• 3rd place: Daniella Vega, Global Senior Vice President Health & Sustainability, Ahold (Netherlands)
Special Mentions:
Finance: Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand Handelsbanken (Sweden)
Governance: Petra Wicklandt Merck (Germany)
Green Transition: Andreas Wade Viessmann (Germany)
Insurance: Linda Freiner Zurich (Switzerland)
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In their roles as CSOs, the managers address interdisciplinary topics such as climate change, equality and greener consumption and show that sustainable practices drive positive change and thus have a positive impact on people, the planet and profits. The aim is to establish best practices as benchmarks for other European companies.
Rebecca Marmot, CSO at UNILEVER, was delighted to receive the first prize as CSO OF THE YEAR. She is one of the pioneering CSOs in Europe and has been working in this position at Unilever for over 10 years. Her achievements are recognised worldwide and she will also receive the TIME 100 Award in Davos this evening. Rebecca has also been recognised by Business Chief's Top 10 CSOs for European companies.
Karen Pflug, CSO at INGKA GROUP/IKEA took home the second prize. Under her leadership as CSO, IKEA has been recognized with numerous awards. She is a member of the UN Global Comact and leads international rankings such as Business Chief TOP 10 CSOs of Europe. One focus of her work is on entrepreneurial activities, such as the recent COP28 in Dubai.
Daniella Vega, CSO at AHOLD, won the third prize for her commitment to sustainability, which has been recognized by many rating agencies and rankings, such as Sustalitics and the UN Global Compact. Her work includes the launch of a climate plan, including SBTi interim and net-zero targets for scope 1,2 and 3 (in line with the UN’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius) and a new strategy to help customers make healthier and more sustainable choices. AHOLD was recognized this year with a triple A (AAA) rating by MSCI as a leader in the retail category, and has inaugurated a €500 million Green Bond, which reinforces the retail groups commitment to achieving net-zero.
Harald Neidhardt, CEO & Curator Futur/io Institute: "The position of CSO managers in companies is becoming increasingly important. I am delighted that with our new award, we have been able to recognise three women who fulfil this role in an outstanding way. In doing so, we are setting an example for transformation in companies in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals."
The winners of the Futur/io CSO Award /24 in Davos were chosen by a grand jury: Sandrine Dixson-Declève/Club of Rome, John Elkington/Volans, Horst von Buttlar/Wirtschaftswoche, Helle Bank Jorgensen/Competent Boards, Cordula Meckenstock/BayWa, Chris Luebkeman/ETH Zurich and Harald Neidhardt/Futur/io.
Jury member Sandrine Dixson-Declève, President of the Club of Rome.
Jury member Sandrine Dixson-Declève, President of the Club of Rome.

The Futur/io Institute congratulates all the winners, the nominees and the TOP 100 European CSOs for their commitment to sustainability in today's corporate world.

About Futur/io:
Futur/io is the leading institute for sustainable innovation and leadership in Europe. Its mission is to create a future in which ideas, innovation and business lead to a regenerative economy that benefits not only people, but also the environment. Specifically, the institute provides sustainability leaders and innovators with tools, knowledge and a comprehensive network to jointly create a better future and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In order to better highlight the outstanding work of European CSOs, the Institute has now launched the unique CSO Awards.
For more great content from Davos, go to We Don’t Have Time’s Davos Hub. Throughout the week, we will publish interviews with great sustainability leaders and special guests.
  • Chris Ndungu

    9 w

    Hey! to me it seems to be a well night spent. It is good to see these people working together.

    • George Kariuki

      12 w

      The Futur/io CSO Awards are a positive step towards accelerating corporate sustainability efforts.

      • Henry Alan

        13 w

        Best wishes. They genuinely merit acknowledgment for their contributions to sustainability.

        • Esther Wanjiku

          13 w

          Great work futur/io is doing to ensure sustainable business growth while at the same time conscious of th3e environment

          • Pflug Karen

            13 w

            Many thanks to Future IO for the recognition of the work we are doing at Ingka Group and IKEA and also, more importantly for recognising the amazing work of so many fantastic sustainability leaders. I feel very humbled to receive this award on behalf of the brilliant team of passionate sustainability and business leaders across our organisation. I also look forward to collaborating more with the inspirational leaders making a positive difference every day. Big thanks to We Don't Have Time for supporting the awards, would have been great to be there! Kind regards, Karen

            • Esther Wanjiku

              13 w

              @pflug_karen You guys are doing amazing work and the recognition for your efforts is well in. Kudos

            • Joseph Githinji

              13 w

              Congratulations to all the winners, this is well deserved. Happy to see sustainability frontiers feted.

              • Princess

                13 w

                Congratulations to them for winning the Futur/io CSO Awards in recognition of their outstanding leadership in sustainability.

                • Rashid Kamau

                  13 w

                  Great achievement needs to be celebrated and indeed we're celebrating the magical win. Let's keep winning.

                  • Rotich Kim

                    13 w

                    This is so encouraging well deserved 💪

                    • Tabitha Kimani

                      13 w

                      Congratulations. They truly deserve to be recognized for their input in sustainability.

                      • Kevin

                        13 w

                        Saw the snippets on twitter and this was truly a night of awe

                        • Ingmar Rentzhog

                          13 w

                          This was a magical night! Great people acting for the climate in the same room! Well organized by futur/io

                          Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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