Omnicom Taps Van Bergen To Lead Sustainability Efforts

Omnicom Group has appointed company veteran Karen van Bergen Chief Environmental Sustainability Officer, a new role at the company. She’ll report to John Wren, Chairman and CEO, Omnicom.

In this role, van Bergen will be responsible for overseeing the company’s climate change initiatives and processes which include setting measurable goals, policies and partnerships that will reduce its carbon footprint.

Van Bergen will retain her current role as executive vice president and Dean of Omnicom University.

The holding company said Van Bergen’s new appointment underpins its on-going effort to reduce the environmental impact of its operations.

The company’s major competitors also say reducing environmental impact is a top priority and most have stated goals for reducing carbon footprints and other sustainability measures, like aligning with the United Nations Global Compact and committing to the Science Based Targets Initiative. The latter program audits participating companies on their emissions goals and evaluates whether they are in-line with the global mandate to keep warming below 1.5 degrees.



Interpublic Group, for example laid out a major climate/sustainability plan last month. Today Dentsu issued its latest social impact report a good portion of which details its recent progress on and future goals around sustainability.

“By 2023, we will have exceeded our current sustainability goals and are committed to developing and implementing an even more ambitious climate action plan,” stated John Wren, Chairman and CEO of Omnicom. He added that van Bergen is right leader for this effort given her long tenure with Omnicom and “excellent previous experience with environmental initiatives at multinational corporations.”

Van Bergen was CEO of Omnicom’s PR group before shifting to Dean of Omnicom University in early 2020. Before joining Omnicom she was chief of staff to the president and vice president corporate affairs for McDonald’s European operations. Earlier she held a senior corporate affairs position at Coca-Cola Europe.


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