My green dream job: Chief Sustainability Officer
While browsing Dan Smolen’s blog – a real must read – I came across what became instantly my green dream job: Chief Sustainability Officer, a job solely dedicated to make companies more sustainable.
According to the article an increasing amount of large American corporations now have such jobs. I wonder if smaller companies have similar position. Likewise, I would like to know if such jobs can be found in Europe or Asia.
Today’s post brings definitions as well as tips to become a successful Chief Sustainability Officer (also known as Chief green or Chief Environmental Officer).According to Dan :
The C-level is no longer exclusively for CEOs, COOs, CIOs and CMOs. With the rapid rise of corporate sustainability consciousness has come an entirely new entrant to the C-Suite: The Chief Green Officer.
Green or Sustainability executives – at senior or middle management levels – are popping up all over. Most major U.S. corporations now have them.
From a story in the Dallas Morning News:
There’s a pent-up demand in the marketplace for sustainability specialists, but you have to ask who wants them and what does the DNA of a sustainable expert look like?” said Stephen Stokes, vice president of business and climate change at AMR Research in Boston.
“Are they a scientist, a PR specialist, a business consultant? And just where does sustainability reside at organizations?”
According to sustainability expert Rick Walker, The (Chief Green Officer) is tasked with leading his or her company by being an advocate and educator, a visionary, a change manager and a cheerleader, and above all else, a results-driven manager:
(These officers) must serve at least three roles: They must look inward, end-to-end driving business opportunity; they must look outward, walking the talk and communicating with customers and other stakeholders; and they must lead.
(They) must articulate, implement and sustain the organization’s vision of sustainability and provide visibility and transparency of that vision both internally and externally. And (they) must have both the charisma and compelling message for the organization to want to follow and recognize the benefits, both financial and environmental.”
Hiring a passionate and effective Chief Green Officer will also make a positive and indelible impression on your current and future green marketing-executive hires, by communicating that your organization is committed to sustainability.
The market need : Business need to understand and act on risks and opportunities of environmental issues ;
The mission : Guide businesses to compete and succeed in the green playing field ;
(…) Some businesses still are assuming a wait-and-see attitude about climate change legislation in the United States, but those that get started early will be ahead of the game when legislation finally arrives, giving them a competitive advantage.
(…) The chief green is responsible not just for cutting back on greenhouse gases emissions, but also for helping the business to attend to the old-fashioned bottom line: making money.
(…) Having an advanced degree may help, but it’s more important that you be eager and open to learn, and make use of experts form a wide range of backgrounds.
(If you are looking for a green job and have the entrepreneurial fiber, I strongly recommend you this book.)
A Chief Sustainability Officer’s role would also comprise allowing companies to decrease their waste, water use and miles driven by and for the company and many many other things as the whole organization can benefit from green choices.
This most interesting position is likely to play an important role if a global green New Deal was to take place as companies would have to outgreen their competitors and do so in an continuous way.
To make a long story short: this is truly the kind of job I have been longing for.
Indeed, by occupying such a position I would be able to put into application both my international management education as well as the strong sustainability acumen gained throughout the writing of this blog.