The Rainforest Alliance announced today that Santiago Gowland has joined the organization as Chief Executive Officer. Gowland previously served as Executive Vice President for Latin America and Global Innovation at The Nature Conservancy. Before that, he spearheaded sustainability initiatives in the private sector, including at Unilever and Nike.
The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit working in more than 70 countries to protect forests and biodiversity, take action on climate, and promote the rights and improve the livelihoods of rural people.
Gowland, a native of Argentina with a passion for conservation and sustainability, brings extensive expertise in organizational innovation and sustainability transformation across multiple sectors, cultures, and continents.
His career is focused on bridging supply chain and landscape needs through business innovations for leading brands including Unilever, Nike, and Estée Lauder—and most recently, in the global environmental non-profit sphere at The Nature Conservancy.
At The Nature Conservancy, Gowland championed the green technology strategy through systems innovation, partnerships with technology companies, and embracing lean methodologies—most notably, through the pioneering “Agility Lab.”
“I am thrilled to contribute my global conservation and business insights to accelerate the Rainforest Alliance’s vision of a world where people and nature thrive together. It’s crucial that we leverage social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities without delay. The Rainforest Alliance is uniquely positioned to bring farmers, forest communities, companies and consumers together to build a more sustainable and resilient future for people and nature,” Gowland said.
The Rainforest Alliance, with its 30+ years of experience in sustainability transformation, is creating a more sustainable world by implementing proven and scalable solutions on the ground, while testing innovative ways to drive positive change at scale.
The organization transforms the way the world produces, sources, and consumes, with a focus on cocoa, coffee, tea, bananas, forest products, and palm oil. Its four areas of work are certification, landscape management, supply chain services, and advocacy.
In 2020, 6.8 million hectares of land and more than 2.3 million farmers were certified according to the Rainforest Alliance’s rigorous sustainability standards, which are designed to improve economic, environmental, and social impacts for people and nature.