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Corporate Sustainability At The Top 20090312


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How can you position your executive background to lead the sustainability function in a corporation? See highlights of Hudson Gain's Study of the Role of the Chief Sustainability Officer in Corporations. What are the skills and capabilities of a CSO?

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Corporate Sustainability At The Top 20090312

  1. 1. Corporate Sustainability at the Top: How the New Green Economy Can Propel Your Executive Job Search Victoria Zelin, Senior Vice President Hudson Gain Corporation March 2009 Five Penn Plaza, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10001 Phone 212.835.1601 Copyright ©2009 Hudson Gain Corporation
  2. 2. Agenda  Introduction to Hudson Gain  Hopes for Today  Context: Definitions of Sustainability  Sustainability Continuum  Who are the Leaders of Sustainability?  Hudson Gain’s Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Study  Positioning Yourself and Interviewing  What will You Do? 2
  3. 3. Founded in 2002, Hudson Gain Corporation believes that the work of corporate leaders is to make their organizations sustainable from the perspective of the triple bottom line: People, Profit, Planet. Hudson Gain focuses on the People part of the equation: helping management “build or buy” their leadership talent. As a leadership solutions firm, we serve the talent acquisition, talent development and change management needs of client companies of all sizes and industries. Among Hudson Gain’s leadership solutions are helping companies hire or appoint Chief Sustainability Officers and building employee engagement for Sustainability. Copyright ©2009 Hudson Gain Corporation 3
  4. 4. Hopes 4
  5. 5. The Context: Definitions of Sustainability  “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability People Planet of future generations to sustainable employee sustainable resources and customer base and operating environment meet their own needs.” Brundtland Commission (1987) Profits sustainable business increased present value 5
  6. 6. Sustainability Continuum Denial Organizational Level Leading Edge Reactive Individual Level Activist How will you position your job search in the current market? Copyright ©2009 Hudson Gain Corporation
  7. 7. Who are the Leaders of Sustainability?  Can oversee Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Community, Environmental  Some CEOs are CSOs for their organizations  Sustainability roles should grow  Employees and Customers want Green  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009  “Cap and trade”/tighter legislation  Roles can develop organically inside/or require skills/hires from outside
  8. 8. Contents of the Hudson Gain CSO Study  Going Green? Don't Hire a Sustainability Chief Until You Read This Study!  “Universal” CSO requirements  Key CSO responsibilities and challenges  Filling the role internally or externally  Examples of Top People/Companies  Sustainability 1.0 vs. 2.0  Quotes 8
  9. 9. Where Do Sustainability Leaders Come From?  Senior and middle management, or high-level technical roles  Almost all functions, depending on many factors  Previous experience in another function (not sustainability)  Typically internal, supplemented by technical consultants  Some are external hires  Builders vs. Managers, creators vs. maintainers 9
  10. 10. Our Study Found CSOs from ….  Environmental Health & Safety (EHS)  Supply Chain  Finance and Audit  Human Resources  Law Compliance  Operations  Public Relations and Communications  Engineering  Research and Development
  11. 11. Required for Sustainability Role  Communication Clear Vision  Technology Passion  Financial/ROI Organizational  Measurement Respect  Innovation Leadership  Ethics Persistence  Supply Chain Tenacity  Operations/Structure Emotional  Culture Intelligence 11 Copyright ©2009 Hudson Gain Corporation
  12. 12. Sustainability Leaders Need…  Credibility in strategic issues  Functional or technical  Political/decision-making  Negotiating internally, with suppliers  Decision-making and execution  Organization culture/style  Alignment across silos/vendors  Influence/change management skills  Industry expertise? 12
  13. 13. Positioning re: Sustainability  Position yourself above the next candidate  Past accomplishments in Supply Chain parallel sustainability work  Cost/Benefit Analysis and Cost Reduction initiatives  Shifting to a Six Sigma or Process mindset  Adding another business lens to decision-making  Mobilizing workforce for added discretionary effort  Sustainability functions adjacent to yours?  Leverage past experience into a new career  Should you hook your star to Sustainability? 13
  14. 14. Where are you on the continuum? Where do you fit on the Sustainability Continuum? Reactive Individual Level Activist Copyright ©2009 Hudson Gain Corporation
  15. 15. Transferable Skills Past Experience/Skills Reposition for Sustainability Cost Savings Process Improvement Change Management Cross-Functional Collaboration
  16. 16. Prepare for Interviews  Research the company’s stand and the media (green-washing)  Confirm with insiders before believing either press  Do they match with your expectations?  Plan how to position yourself based on their stand  After testing the water, share your position  How did you get interested in Sustainability?  Where have you been involved in projects?  What impact on the triple bottom line have you made?
  17. 17. If You Are on the Reactive End… Reactive Individual Level Activist Think of Sustainability in terms of creating a long-lasting organization vs. the “Green Thing” Copyright ©2009 Hudson Gain Corporation
  18. 18. Reflection: What will you do?  What can you do today that will help you position yourself as:  An active learner or early adopter in your own function  A collaborator or change agent across functions  Able to oversee/include Sustainability areas  A Sustainability leader 18
  19. 19. Call us when you need us! Victoria Zelin Senior Vice President 908 306 0272 Hudson Gain Corporation Five Penn Plaza, 23rd floor New York, NY 10001 19 Copyright ©2009 Hudson Gain Corporation