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Global Compact Network USA Recognizes Cristina Villalón and Raven Adams for Championing the Sustainable Development Goals
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Global Compact Network USA Recognizes Cristina Villalón and Raven Adams for Championing the Sustainable Development Goals

June 30, 2023

New York, NY June 30, 2023 — Today, Global Compact Network USA (Network USA) recognized the Global Compact Network USA local SDG Pioneers — business leaders who are championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inspiring others to advance the 2030Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Chosen from over 1,000 entities across the US, the Local Network is proud to recognize Cristina Villalón, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón, and Raven Adams, Sustainability Manager at Granite Construction, as its Global Compact Network USA local SDG Pioneers.

As the winner of the Small and Medium-Sized Companies Category, Villalón was recognized for her leadership in establishing company-wide SDG-oriented programs at the Puerto Rican architecture firm, Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón. As part of her participation in Network USA’s SDG Ambition Accelerator, Villalón led an initiative to work with MIT on developing a representation of Puerto Rico in the Living Wage Calculator. Additionally, she had worked with an external consultant to appropriately scale her company’s employee wages, ensuring all were earning fair wages. Her initiatives also promote gender equality and active participation in industry efforts to achieve net-zero emissions.

As the winner of the Large National and Multi-National Companies category, Adams was recognized for leading the sustainability program at Granite Construction, one of the largest civil infrastructure companies in the United States. Using the SDGs as a framework, Adams spearheaded the development of a comprehensive sustainability program, including GHG emissions reduction targets, a climate governance framework, and a decarbonization plan.

“We are pleased to honor Cristina Villalón and Raven Adams as the 2023 USA SDG Pioneers,” said Adam Roy Gordon, Network USA Executive Director.“ Their achievements in embedding the SDGs in their day-to-day work inspire us all to reimagine the potential of business in creating enduring positive change within their environments.”

Network USA will celebrate the 2023 USA SDG Pioneers during an awards ceremony at its flagship conference, SDG Summit USA, during the UN General Assembly on September 20.

As the winner of the Local Round, Villalón and Adams will now compete in the Global Round along with other candidates for the title of 2023 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers. The global winners will be announced this September 2023 during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit. 

“SDG Pioneers recognizes the critical role young business leaders play in developing and driving innovative solutions through new technologies, initiatives, and business models to enable us to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. We hope their work will inspire others to advance the Global Goals through the implementation of our Ten Principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption," said Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.

Network USA thanks its esteemed External Review Committee for their invaluable assistance in selecting the deserving winners for the 2023 USA SDG Pioneers program. Committee members include Ann Tracy, Chief Sustainability Officer, Colgate-Palmolive Company; Jennifer Leitsch, Managing Director, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY; Lisa Kurbiel, Head of UN Joint SDG Fund Secretariat, United Nations; Lori Llewellyn, Managing Director, North America, CDP; Sanjeev Khagram, Director General and Dean, Thunderbird School of Global Management, ASU; and Thomas Debass, Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships, US Department of State.


About UN Global Compact Network USA

The UN Global Compact Network USA is the Local Network chapter of the United Nations Global Compact. As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact calls for companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with the Ten Principles inhuman rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the collective global impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change.

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