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Manager, Soft Commodities Forum

Location Genève, Switzerland
Closing Date January 28, 2019
Contract Fixed-term
Job Level Manager


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We help make our member companies more successful and sustainable by focusing on the maximum positive impact for shareholders, the environment and societies.

Our member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing combined revenues of more than USD $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Our global network of almost 70 national business councils gives our members unparalleled reach across the globe. WBCSD is uniquely positioned to work with member companies along and across value chains to deliver impactful business solutions to the most challenging sustainability issues.

Together, we are the leading voice of business for sustainability: with a vision of a world where more than nine billion people are all living well and within the boundaries of our planet, by 2050.

Job Overview

The WBCSD is seeking a Project Manager to support the work for the Soft Commodities Forum (SCF). The Project Manager will coordinate and advance the development of the SCF and work in conjunction with SCF members, WBCSD leaders, and agreed external partners to help shape its agenda and accelerate action. The project manager will be a member of the Food, Land and Water program and will report to the Managing Director of the Food, Land and Water program. This is a fixed-term position.

Responsibilities and duties

The Project Manager is responsible to support in the development of the scope of work (to be done in conjunction with WBCSD, SCF companies and potential Strategic Advisor):

  1. Oversee the progression and development of framework and pathways for long-term SCF agenda:
    • Ensure the use of best practices and process for a phased-approach to achieve progressive reductions in deforestation, and land conversion, with defined milestones first on the Cerrado region of Brazil and then, other regions in the world (TBD).
    • Develop and enforce governance and participation of the SCF companies. Set policies, regulations, functions, process, and procedures and responsibilities that define the establishment, management and control of SCF inititive and the 3 workstreams on the Cerrado.
    • Assit in integrating new members of SCF.
  2. Engage and coordinate members from each company deployed into three Cerrado work stream areas to explore: a.) definitions; b.) monitoring; c.) financing:
    • Monitoring and Traceablity: Assist in the SCF to develop a minimum standard for monitoring deforestation/conversion and a standard methodology for collecting and aggregating data collectively from the SCF companies, as a group, using best available datasets (e.g., Trase, Agroideal, Agrosatelite, PRODES) and according to decisions by the Cerrado Working Group (CWG) and guidance from the Accountability Framework Initiative (AFI).
    • Reporting and Disclosure: Accelerate the alignment on the definition(s) for forests and native habitat in the Biome to apply to the implementation of deforestation-free sourcing commitments using information compiled from an agreed upon collective monitoring approach, to show progress of the SCF companies on actions taken and results achieved according to guidance from the AFI.
    • Financial Mechanisms: Help drive the SCF in the creation and execution of new financial mechanisms that increases capital available and incentivizes producers to work towards avoided deforestation and sustainable agriculture through the development of partnerships and financial products in collaboration with financial institutions and other market actors.
  3. Plan and organize stakeholder convening to inform and secure understanding. Including, but not restricted to the following:
    • Partners
    • Local stakeholders (industry and producer associations)
    • Finance
    • Government (local and federal level)
    • NGOs
    • Potential funders
  4. Assist in the development of agenda and content for potential engagement of:
    • SCF briefing to be held during WBCSD Liason Delegate and Council Meeting and/or at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
    • Industry and topical events.

Main Accountabilities:

  • Project Management: Lead day-to-day project activities to deliver the agreed SCF scope of work, action agenda and implementation plan.
  • Organizer and Catalyst: Report into and work in coordination with the Managing Director of the Food Land and Water projects of WBCSD and the WBCSD NA Director as necessary.
  • Collaboration and Cooperation: Foster and promote a pre-competitive collaborative environment across the SCF member companies by cultivating ample opportunities for companies to communicate and engage in strategy and work stream development.
  • Advocacy and Communications: Help WBCSD coordinate and facilitate efforts to reinforce the purpose and importance of the SCF’s pre-competitive initiatives to promote common sustainability solutions that can be applied system-wide at-scale in the gricultural commodities trading sector.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent professional qualification in business, agribusiness, supply chain, economics or international sustainable development
  • 5+ years of operational experience in international project management, food supply chain, agribusiness, sustainable development or a related industry, with soy sector experience a plus
  • Experience working on agricultural supply chain issues with private sector, government and other sector stakeholders
  • Excellent understanding of agro-commodities production and related global sustainability challenges, with Latin America food production experience a plus
  • Track record in day-to-day project management, planning, and execution including working with a wide range of stakeholders from different regions to achieve common goals and objectives
  • Strong project management and communications skills with ability to communicate effectively with people at all levels and different background
  • Strong facilitation skills and ability to manage complexity
  • Fluent in both written and converstional English; fluency in Portuguese, Spanish, or other languge a plus.

The position is full-time and based in New York City, USA or in Geneva, Switzerland, but will also require international travel.  Other locations may be considered.

WBCSD is a purpose driven, forward-thinking and action-oriented organization, characterised by diversity of gender, nationalities and work experiences.

The Work Environment:

WBCSD offers a competitive, modern, and flexible working arrangement:

  • Geneva-based organization with offices in London, New Delhi, New York City and Singapore
  • Competitive compensation and benefits
  • State-of-the-art facilities and ICT-enabled working tools
  • Flex-time and part-time possibilities
  • Dynamic working atmosphere
  • Open culture encouraging interaction and sharing of ideas and opinions
  • International relocation support
  • Sustainable commuting incentives
  • Annual community service

Please also note that WBCSD will only respond to candidates selected for the interview process.