André Hoffmann, son of Luc Hoffmann and member of the institute’s Advisory Council, has received the WWF Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award. The annual award honours and recognises valuable contributions made toward the global conservation movement, and this year celebrates innovation in corporate sustainability and charitable giving.
The Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist has been engaged in environmental issues for close to fifty years, advocating relentlessly for businesses to become more sustainable while simultaneously helping to build expertise and capacity within non-profit organisations to create greater impact.
“André’s passion and energy to tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges is inspiring. Regardless of the hat he is wearing – philanthropist, entrepreneur or board member – he always aims to put sustainability and nature first and that is the kind of commitment we need from our leaders today,” said Pavan Sukhdev, President of WWF International.
“Receiving this award, 20 years after my father, is a great honour,” said André Hoffmann. “I am particularly grateful to the committee for having selected me as I am not an obvious choice. I do not crawl the world’s savanna or marshes to protect beautiful species but rather move in boardrooms and philanthropic forums to explore issues and beliefs around nature and humanity.”
André Hoffmann is the Vice Chairman of Roche Holdings, Switzerland, a pharmaceutical company established by his great-grandfather in 1896. He also serves on the board of Genentech Inc. in California, USA. He has contributed to the development and success of Inovalon Inc., a data-driven, cloud-based, analytics company providing meaningful insights into the US health system. In parallel, Mr Hoffmann has long been a strong advocate and voice for nature conservation and sustainability.
“We simply cannot continue to do business as before,” said Hoffmann. “Nature is essential to our survival and there is no long-term future business without recognising this. In our close-earth system, we simply cannot surpass our planetary limits. We need to focus on better use of natural and social resources. Financial returns will not suffice in the long term to reconcile business, sustainability and society.”
The Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award was created in 1970 and is presented annually by WWF for outstanding service to the environment. This year’s award was presented by the United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, on behalf of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.