The Changing Profile of the Sustainability Lead
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The Changing Profile of the Sustainability Lead

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As organisational awareness of the importance and necessity to be sustainable continues to increase, so too does the need for senior management and human resources to understand the required skill ...

As organisational awareness of the importance and necessity to be sustainable continues to increase, so too does the need for senior management and human resources to understand the required skill sets, experience, and competencies of the individuals who can best develop, deliver and lead this strategy and vision. In collaboration with Business in the Community, Acre has drawn up example job descriptions and competency guides for the Sustainability Lead. These should be seen as templates rather than definitive guides, but they are symbolic of the current market for Sustainability Professionals.

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The Changing Profile of the Sustainability Lead The Changing Profile of the Sustainability Lead Presentation Transcript

  • The Changing Profile of the Sustainability Lead By Acre Resources & Business in the CommunityThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Sustainability as necessity As organisational awareness of the importance and necessity to be sustainable continues to increase, so too does the need for senior management and human resources to understand the required skill sets, experience, and competencies of the individuals who can best develop, deliver and lead this strategy and vision.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Sustainability is evolving To get to the holy grail of sustainable business, the impact risk, opportunity and potential for organisations through sustainability must be understood, challenged, realigned and developed, over and over again. Indeed we have observed over the last 8 or so years a change in the seemingly simple use of language; the evolution from the widely accepted term ‘corporate social responsibility’, to ‘CR’, to the currently recognised ‘sustainability’.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • The three phases of sustainability We’ve identified that three phases have so far emerged… 1. The Reactive Phase 2. The Proactive Phase 3. The Opportunity PhaseThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • The Reactive Phase The Reactive Phase, where there is a definite recognition of a need to engage in sustainability issues but a great deal of uncertainty and lack of expertise at board level. • CSR is often seen as a cost or a ‘nice to have’ rather than core to business strategy.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • The Proactive Phase The Proactive Phase, where the business case for CR has been established and approved and has senior level buy in and support. • Where there is a development of a clear vision of CR aims which are aligned with the organisation’s culture and aspirations.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • The Opportunity Phase The Opportunity Phase, where sustainability is considered a valuable part of corporate strategy and is embedded deep within the organisation. • This third phase is where typically we see a move from ‘commitment’ to ‘action’; the Sustainability Lead is a member of the Board or C-Suite. This phase has recently been exemplified by a number of high profile organisations’ appointment of a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO).The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Different skills and competencies By necessity, these different stages require different skills and competencies from a leader. We have drawn up some example job descriptions and competency guides for the Sustainability Lead at each phase. These should be seen as templates rather than definitive and, as ever, they come with the caveat that although currently relevant and applicable, they’ll change quickly as we navigate into the next phase.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • CR Practitioner Competency MapThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Reactive Phase: Corporate Social Responsibility ManagerThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Role objective • To determine the organisation’s corporate objectives for CSR providing expertise, advice and direction. Responsibilities • To develop an effective CSR programme encompassing environment, workplace, community and marketplace issues that will deliver agreed CSR targets • To establish a mechanism and strategy to engage employeesThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager • To understand industry standards for measurement and establish CSR performance indicators to bring the organisation in line • To develop and author an annual CSR report that provides clear direction on strategy, delivery and performance • To establish charity partnership programmes and develop relationships with key business contacts within partners • To act as the main point of contact for Business in the Community • To manage the company’s Business in the Community CR Index submissionThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager • To engage internal stakeholders and establish a network of CSR Champions within the organisation • To establish a CSR Steering Group within the organisation • To ensure effective communication methods are in place to communicate business ethics, CSR targets and performance • To attend relevant industry events • To act as the knowledge leader and expert for CSRThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Skills and experience • Previous CSR experience within a corporate environment • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with business heads and department leaders • Excellent written and verbal communications skills • Excellent organisational and project skillsThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Key competencies Data Gathering - Gathers data, analyses issues and breaks them down into their component parts. Makes systematic and rational judgements based upon relevant information. Engages Others - Makes it easy for people to get involved in CR activities. Fosters the long term learning and development of others in order to make CR part of everyone’s knowledge and skill set.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Operational - Ensures the CR strategy goals are met by bringing the strategy to life and building CR into business as usual activities. Organises and schedules events, activities and resources. Sets up and monitors schedules, timescales and plans. In particular, is able to bring the CSR strategy to life using personal conversations, organising CSR activities and actively linking new/existing activity to CSR.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Technical Expert - Seeks to understand the technical aspects of CSR work. Continually seeks out best practice to maintain technical currency and identify new approaches.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager KPIs • Employee Engagement score, particularly in relation to CSR measures • Quality of Carbon measurement (Scope and Reliability) • CR Report distribution and use • Number of employees volunteering in CSR initiatives • Number of CSR Champions • Ethical policy compliance • CR Index performanceThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Reporting lines • CSR Manager reports into Director of HR / HSE / Corporate Affairs • No direct reports • Shared administrative support function Salary £50,000 + benefitsThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Proactive Phase: Corporate Responsibility DirectorThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director Role objective • To develop, fine tune and implement the corporate responsibility strategy to focus on community impact, engaging staff and customers, and to reinforce the brand’s ethical stance and profile.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director Responsibilities • To clearly articulate, internally and externally, the organisation’s CR values and approach, widening the CR issues base • To develop and implement an effective community strategy which engages staff, uses and develops the core talents of the organisation, makes a positive contribution to communities in which the organisation operates, and builds external profileThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director • To develop, communicate and manage an employee volunteering and employee giving programme to achieve high levels of employee participation • To develop, communicate and implement environmental strategy • To manage/coordinate/engage a third party in the measurement of the organisation’s carbon strategy; footprint, consumption, response to legislation, and reporting on results • To determine and communicate the organisation’s carbon and waste reduction targets and strategy, and ensure progress is monitored and reportedThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director • To develop and instigate a behavioural change strategy to raise employee awareness of carbon and waste reduction at work and at home • To assess the validity of the charity partnerships programme against corporate strategy and review, developing, where appropriate, new partnerships or initiative frameworks to ensure meaningful and impactful partnerships deliver value to both partners and compliment charity/NGO and corporate strategy • To establish a robust framework to measure and report on social return on investmentThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director • To work with procurement to develop and implement a sustainable procurement strategy and influence the CR performance of the supply chain and deliver on the organisation’s CR commitments • To write the content for the CR Annual Report supporting the brand and delivering world class reporting • To manage the CR budget • To manage CR Team and key relationships with other department Directors and business headsThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director Skills and experience • Educated to degree level (or equivalent) ideally with a CR related post graduate qualification • Solid understanding of CR issues and of the social and political environment • Strategic thinker who is able to translate strategy into robust plans with clear deliverables • Proven track record of partnership working, project management and the successful delivery of CR programmesThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director • Proven experience in delivering and managing change through organisations • Proven track record of understanding CR measurement metrics including the implementation of a robust data management approach • Ability to see how CR goals fit within and enhance corporate strategy • Demonstrable ability to understand risk avoidance (financial and reputational) and commercial awareness to use CR to save and make money • Previous experience reporting into Board levelThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director • Previous budgetary experience • Demonstrable management and personnel development ability Key competencies Collaboration - Works cooperatively with colleagues and partners to build consensus and deliver desired outcomes for the organisation.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director Communication - Communicates clearly and in a compelling manner to both individuals and groups. Uses appropriate communication tools, style and language for the audience. Inspires others to get involved in CR related activities. Influence — Gains support for the CR agenda by persuading and convincing others. Understands others and influences them in a way that results in acceptance, agreement or behaviour change. In particular, is able to clearly articulate the business case for CR.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director Organisational Awareness - Understands the business. Identifies who the real decision makers are and the individuals who can influence them. Predicts how new events or situations will affect individuals and groups within the organisation. Organisational Commitment - Willing to align own behaviour with the needs, priorities and goals of the organisation, and acting in ways that promote organisational needs.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director Strategic - Demonstrates a broad based view of issues, events and activities and sees their longer term impact or implications. Identifies patterns and connections between situations to identify underlying issues in complex situations.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director KPIs • People engaged in internal speaking opportunities • Stakeholders engaged through external communication opportunities • Value of external exposure as a result of CR • Carbon reduction and resulting costs saved • Waste reduction • ‘Clean’ environmental audit • Community Investment and return on that investment (for the business and beneficiaries)The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director • Improvement in Employee Engagement score, particularly in relation to CR measures • Budget management • Risks mitigated using CR • Employee giving • Employee volunteering and connection to performance of volunteers • % of suppliers complying with procurement policies (including audit compliance) • Number of employees volunteering in CR initiativesThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director • Number of CR champions (Senior Management and other staff levels) • CR Index performance • Use and distribution of CR report Reporting lines • CR Director reports into the Board • Direct management of CR Team (2-4 people) • Project lead of large cross functional teams on specific projectsThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Corporate Responsibility Director • Budgetary management and reporting Salary £80,000 + bonus + benefitsThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Opportunity Phase: Chief Sustainability OfficerThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer Role objective • To explore activities that will make a significant difference to shareholder value whilst at the same time reviewing the company’s management of sustainability impacts and risks to reputation. Responsibilities • To look for initiatives that, on their own or in total, represent a strategic opportunity • Revenue generation • AcquisitionsThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer • New financing opportunities • Major cost savings, particularly around energy efficiency • To review and enhance the business structure, often separating out a ‘green products’ portfolio • To incorporate the drivers of change into an executive remuneration system • To change the reporting structure so that the sustainability function reports directly to the CEO • To review and enhance the business structure, often separating out a ‘green products’ portfolio • To incorporate the drivers of change into an executive remuneration systemThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer • To change the reporting structure so that the sustainability function reports directly to the CEO • To introduce the latest analytical tools to assess the organisation’s performance in the future business arena • To identify partnerships, outsourcing and collaboration opportunities; these may include: — Exploring the possibility of outsourcing energy management to an ESCO — Pioneering collaborations with competitors to form voluntary industry standards to reduce industry business risks — Partnering with NGOs to give consumer confidence in the supply chainThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer — Engaging in constructive dialogue with policy makers to reduce uncertainty in the policy framework • To engage with key stakeholders to work to: — Introduce enhanced training for managers across the organisation — Communicate the benefits of the organisation’s forward-facing strategy to financial analysts — Build reputational capitalThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer Skills and experience • Rounded commercial skill set with a developed combination of operational and business issues • The ability to analyse operational and product risk as well as consumer and shareholder drivers leading to new opportunities in changing markets • A strong grasp of technology innovation • The ability to express a vision that articulates impact on an organisation’s financial statements • Previous and demonstrable experience using analytical tools and commercial languageThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer • The ability to form a close relationship with the FD/CFO • The credibility to engage with policy makers to shape policy and understand how policy frameworks will unfold • The leadership and inspirational ability to engage the organisation and people in the ‘journey’ • The gravitas and media awareness to manage a company’s reputation; communicating with stakeholders and tailoring messages specific to shareholders, lenders, employees, neighbours, governments and members of the value chainThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer Key CSR competencies Collaboration - Works cooperatively with colleagues and partners to build consensus and deliver desired outcomes for the organisation. Influence — Gains support for the CSR agenda by persuading and convincing others. Understands others and influences them in a way that results in acceptance, agreement or behaviour change. In particular, motivates others to achieve desirable CSR outcomes.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer Integrity - Walks the talk by acting in a way that is consistent with their values and what they say. Builds credibility and trust through being open and honest about success and failure. Organisational Commitment - Willing to align own behaviour with the needs, priorities and goals of the organisation, and acting in ways that promote organisational needs.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer Self Confident - Shows belief in your capability to accomplish a task and select an effective approach to a task or problem. Strategic - Demonstrates a broad based view of issues, events and activities and sees their longer term impact or implications. Identifies patterns and connections between situations to identify underlying issues in complex situations.The Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer KPIs • Value of external exposure as a result of sustainability • Value of the organisation’s sustainable business reputation • Carbon reduction and resulting costs saved • Waste reduction • Community investment and return on that investment (for the business and beneficiaries) • Budget management • New business as a result of sustainability strategyThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer • Reduction of cost in financing because of CSR • Public Policy influence • Senior Management Team’s performance appraised on their sustainability metrics • Risks mitigated using sustainability strategy • % of suppliers complying with procurement policies (including audit compliance) • Number of sustainability champions (Senior Management and other staff levels) • Use and distribution of sustainability reportThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer • Innovation arising from organisational expertise in sustainability Reporting lines • CSO is a member of the Board or C-Suite • CSO links the Board to the Director of Corporate Affairs, the Director of HR, the Director of HSE, and the Director of Corporate ResponsibilityThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Chief Sustainability Officer Salary £200,000 + benefitsThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead
  • Contact information Please feel free to visit our websites and download the job descriptions. If you have any comments or would like to contribute to our works in progress, or indeed would like to discuss how Business in the Community and Acre can support your business in terms of strategy consulting or recruitment, please do get in touch. www.bitc.org.uk www.acre-resources.comThe Changing Profile of theSustainability Lead