Corporate Eco Forum

Special Initiatives - C.K. Prahalad Award



The C.K. Prahalad Award, created in 2010 to honor founding CEF Advisory Board member C.K. Prahalad, recognizes exceptional, globally significant private-sector action that exemplifies the fundamental connection between sustainability, innovation and long-term business success in a globalizing world. The Prahalad Award seeks to honor globally significant action(s) by companies, individuals, and/or collaborations in any or all of the following areas:

  • Groundbreaking private sector sustainability innovation
  • Catalytic industry or value chain sustainability leadership
  • Extraordinary contributions to reducing business environmental footprints and/or solving environmental problems

Note: nominations for the 2014 Award are now closed. Winners will be announced at CEF’s upcoming annual meeting on June 16 to 18.


Vidal Garza Cantú, FEMSA Foundation

Vidal Garza Cantú, Director of the FEMSA Foundation, was recognized for being a major force in helping companies understand that well-functioning natural ecosystems are a business and economic imperative, not a matter of philanthropy. Under Garza’s leadership, the FEMSA Foundation helped launch the Latin American Water Funds Partnership, to conserve and restore forests and grasslands around watersheds, safeguarding their ability to offer services such as water retention and filtration without the need for costly and inefficient manmade alternatives. Garza’s charismatic and passionate leadership–coupled with his hardheaded business experience–is influencing companies worldwide to think about the true business value of nature.

Hannah Jones, Nike

As head of Nike’s Sustainable Business & Innovation team, Hannah Jones leads a global team responsible for enabling Nike’s sustainable growth. Her numerous accomplishments include leading Nike to implement the Considered Design standard, which marries performance and innovation with sustainability to create products with a lower environmental footprint, and rolling out its Sustainable Manufacturing & Sourcing Index (SMSI), an innovation that puts environmental and labor metrics on equal footing with traditional supply chain measures of performance. A pioneering champion of transparency, collaboration and open innovation, Jones supported the creation of the LAUNCH 2020 partnership with NASA, USAID and the US State Department to foster and scale sustainable innovation, among other pioneering initiatives.

Kurt Kuehn, UPS

Kurt Kuehn, The Chief Financial Officer of UPS, was honored for being one of the first prominent CFOs in the world to articulate why sustainability is fundamentally linked to a company’s financial success. Kuehn has been vocal in public forums about how sustainability can reduce costs, mitigate risks, generate new revenue opportunities, fuel innovation, and help companies attract and retain top talent. For over a decade, Kuehn has shaped UPS’s sustainability strategy, including their very first sustainability report in 2002. As a CFO, his vocal, visible sustainability leadership is one of the surest signs that UPS is truly building sustainability into its DNA.

Watch the Video Tribute to the 2013 Winners


Neil Hawkins, Dow Chemical

Neil Hawkins, VP of Sustainability and Environment, Health & Safety at The Dow Chemical Company, was recognized for his long track record of exceptional sustainability leadership within and outside of his company. His most recent standout achievement was forging a breakthrough collaboration with The Nature Conservancy to help Dow and other companies recognize, value, and incorporate nature’s services into global business goals, decisions and strategies. Watch video of Neil Hawkins acceptance speech.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition was honored for its pioneering efforts to unite the world’s apparel and footwear companies around a shared vision to reduce environmental harm and have a positive impact on communities. The Coalition is developing an Index to measure the environmental and social performance of apparel and footwear products across the value chain. Since its 2011 launch, the Coalition has grown to include companies representing over one third of the world’s apparel and footwear industry. Watch video of Jason Pearson acceptance speech on behalf of the Coalition.

Unilever and CEO Paul Polman

Unilever and Paul Polman were recognized for matching a bold vision of “long-term capitalism” with equally impressive action. The company’s Sustainable Living Plan sets out ambitious goals for 2020 that build on a long history of commitment and action on corporate sustainability issues including: halving the company’s overall environmental imprint, helping over one billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, and sourcing 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably. Watch video of CEO Paul Polman’s acceptance speech.

Watch the Video Tribute to the 2012 Winners


Coca-Cola and CEO Muhtar Kent

Coca-Cola and CEO Muhtar Kent were honored for their galvanizing international leadership on critical global environmental issues– including helping catalyze 450 members of the Consumer Goods Forum to pledge net zero deforestation by 2020 in procurement– as well as the company’s comprehensive efforts to embed sustainability intocore business strategy. Video and background


Walmart Brasil and CEO Hector Nunez

Walmart Brasil and CEO Hector Nunez were recognized for historic leadership in galvanizing sustainability supply chain commitments that could be decisive in protecting Amazon ecosystems. Video and background.

About C.K. Prahalad

ck_portraitC.K. Prahalad was the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan specializing in corporate strategy. After decades of interaction with Global 500 CEOs as one of the world’s most well-respected management strategists, C.K.’s passing brought an abrupt end to what would surely have been a successful mission to innovatively expand sustainability agendas in boardrooms and executive suites across the globe. C.K. was also a founding member of the CEF Advisory Board and an active participant in the CEF Annual Meetings. With Ram Nidumolu and M.R. Rangaswami, C.K. authored a 2009 Harvard Business Review cover story, “Why Sustainability is Now the Key Driver of Innovation.“ C.K. authored or co-authored many best-selling business books, including Multinational Mission: Balancing Local Demands and Global Vision (1987), Competing for the Future (1994), The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers (2004), and The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profit (2004). A prominent world-class figure, C.K. was named number one in the Thinkers50 (the most influential thinkers in management alive today) poll conducted by Suntop media and the Times of London. He was consulted by the top management of many of the world’s foremost companies. C.K. served on the Board of Directors of Pearson Plc, Teradata Corporation, Hindustan Unilever Limited, TVS Capital and the World Resources Institute.

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