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"Another important step in carrying out Stephan Schmidheiny's vision"

The transfer of GrupoNueva's equity to the VIVA Trust represents another step by Stephan Schmidheiny towards fulfilling his vision of closer working alliances between the business world and civil society for the promotion of sustainable development.

Stephan Schmidheiny was appointed Principal Advisor for Business and Industry by the Secretary General of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and he brought other business leaders to this forum by creating the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This Council today comprises 160 international corporations, which develop and implement eco-efficiency and social responsibility strategies and initiatives.

Over the past 10 years, Stephan Schmidheiny has consolidated his GrupoNueva business group in Latin America. Over the same period, he has built up the AVINA Foundation, a philanthropic entity that works in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.

Both GrupoNueva and AVINA are today solid organizations. Therefore, Stephan Schmidheiny, faithful to his vision and commitment, has created VIVA, a small organization that is meant to assure the vision, values, and sustainability of both operations, as well as the creation of economic, socio-political, and strategic synergies between them.

Thus today VIVA is the owner of GrupoNueva and also the main financial backer of AVINA Foundation.

VIVA assumes the owner's responsibility of guiding both entities in their strategic approaches. It also oversees their behavior and efficiency. In the case of GrupoNueva, this means helping it define its strategy in Latin America, and supporting it to achieve its profitability, growth, and innovation goals while being true to its social and environmental responsibilities. AVINA's task is to creatively and efficiently contribute to social development and sustainability in the region. Thus GrupoNueva shall generate resources that may be reinvested through VIVA and AVINA in those societies where GrupoNueva operates and elsewhere, while GrupoNueva and AVINA remain organizations independent of one another. This new model should result in a virtuous cycle that will strengthen the sustainable development of society by promoting simultaneously socially responsible and successful businesses and civil organizations, as well as a broader and more stable market for the business group.

Stephan Schmidheiny will follow this project, serving as a guide and inspiration for all VIVA, GrupoNueva, and AVINA members.

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