Annual Retreat

CEF’s annual retreat is by invitation only for member organizations. CEF Members drive the meeting’s agenda, so the topics can vary significantly from year to year. Most of the meeting is conducted in small, not-for-attribution working sessions to foster candid peer-to-peer exchanges and practical outcomes. A variety of formats are used, including problem-solving or best-practice exchange roundtables led by a facilitator, case study presentations followed by questions, pre-arranged side meetings, and more. CEF bars traditional slide presentations to foster an atmosphere of free-flowing dialogue. Tailored research provides a foundation for fast, efficient exchange of best-practice insights and tools at the meeting. Some plenary sessions are on-the-record, videotaped and posted on the CEF website.

The 2018 Annual Retreat theme was “From Insight to Action” The event was held June 17-20, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.


  • Safe Space. The meeting is designed to foster candid, provocative exchanges among a senior practitioner peer set: the majority of the meeting is held under “Chatham House” not-for-attribution rules.
  • VP and C-level Only. Participants are almost exclusively VP and C-level executives from a wide variety of functions – top sustainability officers plus CEOs, COOs, CIOs, CTOs, CFOs, VPs of Supply Chain – with some exceptions for director-level executives who are influencers within their organizations.
  • Execution, Not Rhetoric. CEF members will not sit through lengthy keynote speeches that extol the importance of going green or predict the future. Instead, they will participate actively in peer-to-peer working sessions that focus on actionable, ROI-driven execution plans and practices.
  • Small Working Sessions and Roundtables. The heart of the meeting is small, off-the-record working sessions that foster full participation from all members. A small number of plenary sessions feature senior executives and thought leaders from around the world.
  • Cross-Functional Learning. Recognizing that corporate eco-success usually involves cooperation among multiple business departments and top management, CEF draws practitioners from a variety of functional areas by inviting a team of three senior executives of member organizations to participate.
  • Participant-led Agenda. The agenda and format for the CEF Annual Meeting is driven by the Leadership Council, Advisory Board and CEF members. The result is a timely, execution-oriented, “By Business, For Business” meeting for experts ready to roll up their sleeves and discuss real-world issues that matter to their success today.
  • Cross Industry Leverage. CEF members benefit from the cross-pollination of ideas and experience from diverse industries, which produces new ideas for problem solving and innovation.
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