CEF Annual Executive Leaders Retreat

The 2024 CEF 16th Annual Executive Leaders Retreat will be held June 9-12 in Stowe, Vermont. 

CEF Members are invited to contact CEF Executive Director Amy O’Meara for information.

A Preeminent Gathering for Influential Fortune 500 Executives

CEF’s Annual Retreat is a by-invitation gathering for senior executives from CEF Member organizations. Participants drive the agenda for the meeting, which is mostly 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 and best-practice exchange roundtables, case study presentations followed by questions, and pre-arranged side meetings.

  • Exceptionally candid dialogue under the Chatham House Rule. The meeting is designed to foster candid, provocative exchanges among a senior practitioner peer set, with the entire meeting held under strict not-for-attribution rules.
  • VP and C-level executive participation. Participants are largely Chief Sustainability Officers and other C-suite and VP-level executives from a wide variety of functions – Operations, IT, Finance, Supply Chain, R&D– plus Director-level influencers within their organizations.
  • Small Working Sessions and Roundtables. The heart of the meeting is small, off-the-record working sessions that foster full participation from all members. 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.
  • Cross-Functional Learning. Recognizing that corporate sustainability 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 Retreat is driven by the Leadership Council and 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.


2023 CEF Executive Leaders Retreat
San Diego, CA, Rancho Bernardo Inn | June 11-14, 2023

Special invited guests: Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, Chris Gaither & Abby Sturges of Renegerous, and Vidal Garza Cantú

* Watch the video honoring 2023 Prahalad Award winner: First Movers Coalition.
* View delivered remarks from US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry here.

2022 CEF Executive Leaders Retreat
Deer Valley, UT, St. Regis Deer Valley | June 26-29, 2022

Special invited guest: Rick Ridgeway

* Watch video honoring 2022 Prahalad Award winners: Shopify Sustainability Fund and Stripe Climate.

2021 CEF Executive Leaders Retreat
Cedar Creek, Texas, Hyatt Lost Pines | October 10-13, 2021

Special invited guest: Rob Swan

* Watch videos honoring 2021 Prahalad Award winners: Microsoft executive leadership team CEO Satya Natella, President Brad Smith, CFO Amy Hood, and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa; and Ecolab Chairman Doug Baker.

2019 CEF Executive Leaders Retreat
Deer Valley, UT, St. Regis Deer Valley | June 9-12, 2019

Special invited guests included Ruth King, Harmit Singh, Bill Weihl, and Dominic Waughray.

* Watch video honoring 2019 Prahalad Award winner Terracycle and Loop and posthumous award to Jim Rogers.

2018 CEF Executive Leaders Retreat
Santa Ana Pueblo, NM, Hyatt Regency Tamaya | June 17-20, 2018 

Special invited guests included Cory Muscara, Curtis Ravenal, and Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej.

* Watch video honoring 2018 Prahalad Award winner Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and tribute to winner Lisa Jackson.

2017 CEF 10th Anniversary Special Meeting
San Francisco, CA, The Palace Hotel | June 18-21, 2017

Special invited guests included Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard J. Tyson, Sir Robert Swan OBE, David Crane, Paul Hawken, Allen White, and Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.

* Watch videos honoring on 2017 Prahalad Award winners Urs Hölzle and Dr. John Goodenough and tribute to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA).

2016 CEF Executive Leaders Retreat
Miami, FL, Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne | June 20-22, 2016

Special invited guests included Christiana Figueres, Andrew Winston, Marty Spitzer, William McDonough, and Jeremy Oppenheim.

* Watch video tribute to 2016 Prahalad Award winner Joe Kaeser, CEO, Siemens and special honorary awards to Christiana Figueres and Douglas Thompson.


2016: CEF, US BCSD, and WBCSD partnership wins “Circulars” Award at World Economic Forum in Davos

Selected from over 200 entrants, the U.S. Materials Marketplace was recognized with a prestigious “Circulars” Award at the 2016 World Economic Forum Annual meeting for “disrupting business as usual by enabling the circular economy with data driven technologies.



2015 CEF Executive Leaders Retreat
Half Moon Bay, CA, The Ritz-Carlton | June 15-17, 2015

Special invited guests included Christiana Figueres, William K. Reilly, Thomas E. Lovejoy, Letha Tawny, Amy Meyers Jaffe, Roger Ballentine, Nancy Pfund, and Larry Selzer.

* Watch remarks by Waste Management CEO David Steiner
* Watch remarks by CH2MHill CEO Jacqueline Hinman
* Watch 2015 Prahalad Award tribute video

2014 CEF Inaugural Executive Leaders Retreat
Middleburg, VA, The Salamander Resort | June 16-18, 2014

Special invited guests included Monica Ellis, Liz Maw, Tensie Whelan, Terry Yosie, Andrew Winston, William McDonough, Andrew Mangan, and Andrew Morlet.

* Watch video tribute to 2014 Prahalad Award winners

2013 CEF Annual Meeting
Chicago, IL, The Four Seasons | June 23-25, 2013

Special invited guests included Jonathan Foley, Damien Ma, Jason Pearson, Donn Tice, Mindy Lubber, Susan Mac Cormac, Richard Matsui, and Yasmina Zaidman.

* Watch remarks by Ecolab CEO Doug Baker
* Watch Andrew Winston discussion with Prahalad Award winners
* Watch Discussion on steering investors towards sustainable companies

2012 CEF 5th Anniversary Meeting
New York, NY, Ritz-Carlton Battery Park | June 24-26, 2012

* Watch remarks by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
* Watch remarks by President Bill Clinton
* Watch remarks by Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
* Watch remarks by Andy Taylor, CEO, Enterprise Holdings
5th Anniversary film honoring 2012 Prahalad Award winners
* Read CEF’s The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital

2012: CEF and TNC Announce Groundbreaking Natural Capital Commitments at Rio+20 | June 20-22, 2012

* Read “The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital”

“The promise [at Rio +20] made by the twenty-four major companies assembled by The Nature Conservancy and CEF to ‘demonstrate the business imperative of valuing nature’ may, in time, prove to be among the most transformational events of the summit.” — Mark Lee, Executive Director, SustainAbility

2011 CEF Annual Meeting
Washington, DC, The Ritz-Carlton | June 5-7, 2011

Special invited guests included Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, Gov. Tony Knowles, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, David Sandalow, Jigar Shah, Mark Tercek, Carter Roberts, Ray Offenheiser, Mindy Lubber, Sherri Goodman, and Steve Clemons.

* Remarks by Prahalad Award winner Muhtar Kent, CEO, Coca-Cola

2011: CEF Chair Publishes The Green to Gold Business Playbook

CEF Co-Founder and Chair P.J. Simmons c0-authored with Dan Esty: The Green to Gold Business Playbook: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Results in Every Business Function.



2010 CEF Annual Meeting
San Francisco, CA, The Palace Hotel | June 6-8, 2010

Special invited guests included Mindy Lubber, K.R. Sridhar, Thomas E. Lovejoy, William K. Reilly, and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse.

* Watch Inaugural C.K. Prahalad Award presentation by Thomas Lovejoy to Walmart Brazil CEO Héctor Núñez and Núñez acceptance speech

2009: CEF publishes HBR cover story, “Why Sustainability Is Now the Key Driver of Innovation”
Harvard Business Review, September 2009. Co-authors: Ram Nidumolu, C.K. Prahalad, and M.R. Rangaswami.


2009 CEF Annual Meeting
San Francisco, CA, InterContinental Hotel | June 14-16, 2009

Special invited guests included CEOs from 20 breakthrough startups, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, Dan Kammen, and Mary Nichols.

* Watch C.K. Prahalad chair panel on innovation and sustainability


2008 CEF Annual Meeting
San Francisco, CA, Fairmont Hotel | September 8-9, 2008

Special invited guests included Mayor Gavin Newsom, Vinod Khosla, Andrew Winston, Dan Esty, and C.K. Prahalad.

* Watch Special remarks by Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt


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