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THE STATE OF THE CSO

an evolving profile
Co-written and published by: Eryn Emerich/Footprint Talent + William Paddock/WAP Sustainability Consulting

Who are the? Where did they come from? What experience do they have? Do they walk the talk? How can I get their job? What education do they have? What do they have that I dont? What are their skills? What is going to happen to them? Who are they? Where did they come from? What experience do they have? Do they walk the talk? How can I get their job? What education do they have? What do they have that I dont? What are their skills? What is going to happen to them? Who are they? Where did they come from? Who are the? Where did they come from? What experience do they have? Do they walk the talk? How can I get their job? What education do they have? What do they have that I dont? What are their skills? What is going to happen to them? Who are they? Where did they come from? What experience do they have? Do they walk the talk? How can I get their job? What

CONTENTS:
Survey Questions Methodology The So What Factor A-Ha #1 A-Ha #2 A-Ha #3 A-Ha #4 A-Ha #5 In Conclusion

3 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

Copyright 2011 Footprint: Sustainable Talent / WAP Sustainability. Reproduction in part or whole is prohibited without expressed written consent of the authors.

SURVEY QUESTIONS:
Methodology: The State of the CSO: the evolving profile is a joint project between Footprint Sustainable Talent and WAP Sustainability Consulting. Over the past year, 254 CEOs, HR VPs, COOs and CSOs were interviewed, surveyed and interrogated to determine what it is exactly that organizations want to see in a Chief Sustainability Officer. The State of the CSO publication compiled insights from stakeholders in 26 different countries from businesses exceeds $25 billion in revenue down to <$1 million. Representatives from almost every industry including consulting, operations, manufacturing, advertising, architecture, accounting and education were represented.

Q:
How important of an issue is sustainability to your organization? Who is leading your organizations sustainability efforts? To whom in your organization does the person responsible for the thought leadership of sustainability report? What factors drive the importance of sustainability in your organization? Do your organizations sustainability efforts span multiple countries? What type of prior experience should a Chief Sustainability Officer or person responsible for sustainability have in order to be successful in your organization? What level of professional experience should a Chief Sustainability Officer or person responsible for sustainability have?

TODAY

IN FIVE YEARS

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

How important is it for a Chief Sustainability Officer or person responsible for sustainability to exhibit personal behaviors that reflect green, sustainable, or environmentally friendly? What type of prior experience should a Chief Sustainability Officer or person responsible for sustainability have in order to be successful in your organization? What type of prior education should a Chief Sustainability Officer or person responsible for sustainability have in order to be successful in your organization? The number of sustainability programs in academic institutions has increased significantly in the past few years. Which programs do you feel best address the need for future thought leadership in business on the topic of sustainability? Of these 5 lists of qualities, which are the most important for a Chief Sustainability Officer or person responsible for the leadership of sustainability to possess?

THE SO WHAT FACTOR? - why this information is useful.

n October 29th, 2007: Wikipedia user 100pg created the first page for what has become known as the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). In this post, 100pg stated, somewhat prophetically:

In the past three years since the creation of this Wiki post, we can report with confidence that every large cooperation in the USA and in the coming years every large cooperation in the USA and internationally will have one on board. The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) has a very important role in the way companies will be able to market themselves to the green public. Someone whose job is to understand the environmental impact of the company and look for ways to turn it inside out. Ten years ago, the job essentially didnt exist. But in the last two years, it has become common across a startling variety of industries. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has one. Ford too. Also Airbus, Albertsons, Alcoa, Alaska Airlines, and Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD). 1
Every large cooperation in the USA and internationally does not, in actuality, have one on board. We can also tell you that the emergence of this position and the Sustainability function as a whole has experienced remarkable growth, resiliency, and evolution. And finally, as this white paper will underscore, we see this evolution and expansion continuing for at least the next five years. As you will see, our research shows a clear shift between the needs of businesses in the CSO suite today, and what that office might look like in five years. The fact that the profile and requirements for a strong Chief Sustainability Officer are shifting should not be shocking to anyone tuned in the

mercurial nature of this niche. Already in 2011, Novelisthe worlds leading producer of aluminum rolled products and beverage can recycling announced the appointment of John Gardner as Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. This was followed by the recent press that CA Technologies has promoted Cynthia Curtis to Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. With the worst of the recent economic downturn behind us, companies in every sector are beginning to revisit their approach to Sustainability. 2011 is swiftly becoming the year of the CSO. The State of the CSO: the evolving profile is a joint project between Footprint Sustainable Talent and WAP Sustainability Consulting. Over the past year, 254 CEOs, HR VPs, COOs and CSOs were interviewed, surveyed and interrogated to determine what it is exactly that organizations want to see in a Chief Sustainability Officer. The State of the CSO publication compiled insights from stakeholders in 26 different countries from businesses exceeding $25 billion in revenue down to <$1 million. Representatives from almost every industry including consulting, operations, manufacturing, advertising, architecture, accounting and education were represented. There have been many pivotal studies of the growth of CSR and Sustainability over the past decade, numerous white papers on Sustainability officers and offices, and hundreds of blog posts; everyone from the Harvard Business Review and the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal have clamored to observe and comment on the emergence of Sustainability at-large. While we could cite each of these, and debate them point by point, weve decided to share our particular perspective: our findings, and how our research resonates with leaders (particularly other CSOs).

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

Organizations involved in providing insight to the State of the CSO include; Accenture, Sustainametrics, 360 Architecture, AAHS ,Accor, Agility, AkzoNobel, Amtrak, Anvil Knitwear, Inc. ArcelorMittal, Atlas Project Support, BSD Consulting, Callison, Cascade, Concepts, CB Richard Ellis, Chattanooga, TN, Huntington Beach, CA, Cocoon, Damco, Delta Energy, LLC, Emerson, EHS-International, Inc., Enovity Inc. , Fitzgerald Analysitcs, Forbo, FTSE, Georgia Pacific, Greenbridge Intl., Halex Corporation, Hasbro, ICTI, Care Foundation, Idea Power, Komatsu, Mattel, Inc., Mars, Inc., Maples Industries, Inc., Indigo Development, Interquality, KPMG, LG Environmental, Mercer, Milliken & Company, Natural Capitalism, Novo Nordisk, Panalpina, PCA, Power Hub Ltd., Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Progress Now, Pro Tech Energy, Pure Energy, Q Concepts, RimAsia Capital, Rolex, Sandvik China, Schindler Elevator, SGA Textiles, Siemens, Sodexo, Sprig Toys, Stanton Chase, Stockland, Summit Learning, Swiss Air Lines, Talaris, Teleosis Institute, TTL, Inc, U-Haul International, United Aluminum, University of Denver, WesTrac China, Zero-e
1 Wiki Post from User 100pg. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chief_sustainability_officer&oldid=167815248

Q: Will the CSO role continue to grow and expand?

A-HA #1 Sustainability will continue to grow as a strategic priority with the total number of Chief Sustainability
Officers to increase.

ccording to our study, sustainability is no longer simply a bullet on an agenda. Rather, it is seen as a top strategic priority. For 65% of our responding organizations, sustainability currently ranks as a top 10 strategic initiative. An additional 25% percent of respondents cited it as a top 5 strategic priority. We also found that the level of priority organizations are giving to sustainability is increasing. Responding organizations estimated that in five-years the priority that they give sustainability will continue to increase. Our results found a 10% increase (from 65% to 75%) for Top 10, and a 12% increase (from 25% to 33%) for Top 5. Conversely, those who denoted sustainability as Not important today were few (4%) and this looks to be decreasing over time. As a strategic priority, sustainability is on the rise. But what will its internal reporting structure look like. Currently, CSOs and other sustainability leads are reporting to the CEO or Board of Directors level 64% of the time. Within 5 years the percentage of CSOs reporting to the highest level is estimated to increase to 77%. In other words, sustainability goes, and will continue to go, straight to the top. How formal are these efforts? We found that 54% of responding organizations had a pointperson with sustainability in their title. In our projected five-year trend, 80% of organizations will have at least one person with the word sustainability in their title. This shows that the sustainability function will continue to formalize within organizations. Not surprisingly, the percentage of companies with no one working on this topic drops from 8.4% (today) to 2.5% (in five years). Of those polled, Executive Sponsorship for thought leadership in Sustainability is prevalent (40%)so this isnt the grass roots, ground-up effort it once was. While there is a clear desire and sometimes-vocal demand from Millennials, Gen Y and mid-Xers to be a part of a company that is committed to sustainability and broad corporate social responsibility, they are not the sole driver, in part because they often lack visibility and influence that executive sponsors can more easily leverage to propel sustainability efforts within a company. The wow factor is that realized profitability is driving organizations to embrace sustainability

as a source of innovation. The old school siloed CSR issue or the right thing to do is falling to days past. This new blood in the C-Suite has the potential to seriously advance the conversation of Sustainability within business. Entering into this survey, we also wanted to learn more about the true impetus that leads companies to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. Through the survey, we found that different organizations were motivated by different outcomes. Cost Savings, Competitive Advantage, Environmental Benefits and Customer Demand were the leading factors for prioritization of sustainability. The least important factors were Government Policy, Employee Attraction and Retention and Social and Community Benefits. A discouraging picture when you stop and think that people and community rank below the three Cs of customers, competition and costs. We see little change to this in the next five years other then a slight increase in the power of Government Incentives and Regulation. To recap, sustainability is growing as a strategic priority, more CSOs are expected to be installed in the future and they will report straight to the top. Given what we know about the factors that are motivating this interest (economic benefits, cost savings, beating the competition, customers demands, etc) this new crop of CSOs had better be ready to show a return on investment for their effortsand relatively soon after they start.

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

The emergence of the CSO title is indicative of the growing trend of Sustainability as a core business strategy. Like all Chief roles, its critical that there is a distinct accountability for functional excellence a high, wide and deep Sustainability perspective is integral to the executive leadership team where key decisions are made and strategic direction is set. - Frank OBrien-Bernini, Owens Corning CSO

Q: What qualities should a CSO bring to the table?

A-HA #2 To be a successful CSO, one must possess qualities of leadership and strategic thinking.

ro m our s u r vey, we fo u n d o rg a n i z a t i o n s p l a ce a h i g h va l u e o n v i s i o n a n d st ra te g i c t h i n k i n g , w h i c h we re c i te d a s t h e m o st i m p o r t a n t a t t r i b u te s o f a C S O. O t h e r h i g h l y s o u g h t a f te r c h a ra c te r i st i c s i n c l u d e d t h e a b i l i t y to p r i o r i t i ze a n d p l a n , co m m u n i c ate a n d m o t i va te, a n d d e l e g a te a n d d i re c t . Le ss p re fe r re d we re soft-skills co n n e c te d to c h a r i s m a a n d p ro fe ss i o n a l co u ra g e - p e r h a p s i n d i c a t i n g t h e a cce p t a n ce o f s u st a i n a b i l i t y a s co re co r p o ra te p o l i cy. Th i s p ro f i l e re m a i n e d t h e s a m e w h e n exa m i n e d i n a f i ve -ye a r co n tex t . I n b o t h t h e n e a r a n d l o n g te r m , a l l s i g n s p o i n t to t h e s u st a i n a b i l i t y f u n c t i o n s e r v i n g a s a n i n n ova t i o n ce n te r fo r b o t h co r p o rate v i s i o n a n d st ra te g i c g row t h . Co n ce r n i n g individual skills, h ow l o n g h ave we l a m e n te d t h e m a ny s u st a i n a b i l i t y l e a d e r s w h o h ave b e e n p u t i n to C S O ro l e s b u t a re i l l - s u i te d to t r u l y

b e c h a n g e - a g e n t s? O u r d at a s ays i t a l l : i t s n o t e n o u g h to h ave a n u n d e rg ra d i n e nv i ro n m e n t a l e n g i n e e r i n g . O n e m u st fo ste r t h e i r l e a d e r s h i p a n d st rate g y s k i l l s i f t h ey, a n d t h e i r o rg a n i z at i o n , a re g o i n g to s u cce e d . Fo r yo u n g g ra d s , t h i s o f te n m e a n s p ay i n g yo u r d u e s b e fo re t a k i n g the helm. O f co u r s e t h e re a re exce p t i o n s . Fo r i n st a n ce, G o o g l e t a p p e d t we n t ys i x ye a r o l d Ro by n B e ave r s to l e a d s i t s S u st a i n a b i l i t y p ro g ra m 2 . W h i l e t h e re a re m a ny c a p a b l e M i l l e n n i a l s re a d y to t u r n co m p a n i e s o n t h e i r h e a d s , re fo c u s i n g t h e m a s a m o re e nv i ro n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l yf r i e n d l y co m p a ny, we fo u n d t h at i t s n o l o n g e r e n o u g h fo r t h e m to p o ss e ss o n l y p a ss i o n . Acco rd i n g to t h e 2 5 4 l e a d e r s we s u r veye d ; e d u c at i o n , ex p e r i e n ce a n d p e r s o n a l co m m i t m e n t a l l m at te r. I n o t h e r wo rd s , t h e ro c k- st a r C S O m u st h ave i t a l l .

What are the most important qualities for a CSO to possess today? And in Five Years?
(note: This question was presented to participants with 5 different answer sets. Participants were asked to rank each of the answer sets individually and to attribute an importance value for todays business climate and the climate they anticipate in 5 years. Percentages represent number of respondents that labeled that quality most important.)

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

Answer Set 1 Today / 5 Years Vision and Drive 44% / 46% Operational Understanding 15% / 8% Strategic Thinking 21% / 25%

Answer Set 2 Today / 5 Years Purpose and Vision 44% / 39% Strategic Thinking 19% / 17% Dealing with Uncertainty 11% / 7%

Answer Set 3 Today / 5 Years Learning on the Go 20% / 17% Priority Setting 29% / 33% Conflict Management 13% / 9%

Answer Set 4 Today / 5 Years Ability to Develop Others 13% / 15% Ability to Think Strategically 40% / 47% Ability to Communicate 12% / 14% Ability to Develop Teamwork 17% / 16% Ability to Motivate Others 18% / 8%

Answer Set 5 Today / 5 Years Conflict Management 13% / 13% Strategic Thinking 42% / 39% Managing and Measuring Work 8% / 9% Innovation Management 17% / 16% Building Strong Teams 19% / 23%

Charisma 6% / 5% Professional Courage 14% / 16%

Problem Solving 12% / 15%

Planning 25% / 31%

Creativity 12% / 15%

Directing Others 13% / 10%

2. Robin Beavers tapped as Googles CSO http://www.greenmarketing.tv/2011/01/03/how-to-become-a-chief-sustainability-officer/

Q: What prior experience does a CSO need to have?

A-HA #3 Core competencies combine business ability with environmental applications.

u r re s e a rc h s h ows t h a t to b e a s u st a i n a b i l i t y st a r yo u n e e d h a rd s k i l l s . Th e st u d y s d a t a a ss e r t s t h a t s k i l l s e t s ste e p e d i n o p e rat i o n s m a n a g e m e n t , b u s i n e ss d eve l o p m e n t /s a l e s , a n d s c i e n ce d o m i n a te to d ay s C S O p ro f i l e. A s ex p e c te d , u p p e r l eve l ex p e r i e n ce i s va l u e d w i t h m a n a g e r i a l ex p e r i e n ce t h e m i n i m u m re q u i re m e n t a n d d i re c to r o r V P p re fe r re d . Th ro u g h o u r o f f l i n e co nve r s at i o n s a n d i n te r v i ews , we l e a r n e d w h a t a d d i t i o n a l s k i l l s a re t h e m o st d e s i re d . Fo r O p e rat i o n s M a n a g e r s , p ro ce ss eva l u a t i o n s k i l l s s u c h a s L E A N a n d S i x- S i g m a f i t n i ce l y i n to t a k i n g l ow- h a n g i n g f r u i t to t h e n ex t l eve l o f co m p l ex i t y. B u s i n e ss d eve l o p m e n t ex p e r i e n ce a n d s a l e s t ra i n i n g i s u s e f u l i n s h a r i n g a s u st a i n a b i l i t y v i s i o n a c ro ss a n o rg a n i z a t i o n . Acco u n t i n g a n d n u m b e r c r u n c h i n g s k i l l s co m e i n h a n d y w h i l e co n d u c t i n g a ss e ss m e n t s a n d m o n e t i z i n g r i s k s . N a t u ra l l y, e nv i ro n m e n t a l , h e a l t h a n d s a fe t y ex p e r i e n ce c a n b e u s e f u l a s a f ra m ewo r k fo r u n d e r st a n d i n g t h e co re s u st a i n a b i l i t y p r i n c i p l e s . S i m u l t a n e o u s l y, [ a n d s o m ew h at o d d l y] g ove r n m e n t ex p e r t i s e i n c re a s e d i n i m p o r t a n ce w h e n l o o ke d a t ove r t h e 5 ye a r p e r i o d . O n e co u l d s u r m i s e t h at t h i s ex p e r i e n ce wo u l d b e d e s i ra b l e i n t h e fa ce o f c l i m a te l e g i s l a t i o n a n d o t h e r re g u l ato r y c h a n g e s . Re g a rd l e ss , w h a t i s c l e a r i s t h at t h e s u st a i n a b i l i t y l e a d e r w i l l n e e d to b e agile in dealing with all sorts of shifts, d r i ve n by p o l i c y, t h e m a r ke t o r o t h e r w i s e. Th e a b i l i t y to d e a l w i t h u n ce r t a i n t y wa s a d e s i re d q u a l i t y o f a C S O, a f te r a l l . Fo r b e t te r o r wo r s e, we fo u n d t h at S u st a i n a b i l i t y i s st i l l b e i n g e q u a te d w i t h e nv i ro n m e n t a l , e n e rg y e f f i c i e n cy a n d g o i n g g re e n . A s we a n a l y ze d o u r f i n d i n g s , we c a n p re d i c t t h a t t h e e nv i ro n m e n t a l f u n c t i o n w i l l , i n t h e n e a r te r m , b e co m e the co m p l i a n ce and re g u l a to r y [ i .e. h e a l t h /s a fe t y] b u c ke t u n d e r a n u m b re l l a o f b ro a d e r, m o re h o l i st i c a n d st rate g i c s u st a i n a b i l i t y wo r k : a p a r t o f t h e w h o l e, i f yo u w i l l . Th e n e e d fo r a b a c kg ro u n d i n o p e ra t i o n s m a n a g e m e n t [a n d w i t h t h at , l i ke l y ex p o s u re to s u p p l y c h a i n / l o g i st i c s] i s e n co u ra g i n g to u s , s i n ce s o m e o f t h e m o st

s u b st a n t i a l a n d R O I - r i c h S u st a i n a b i l i t y e f fo r t s a co m p a ny c a n u n d e r t a ke l ay i n t h i s b u c ke t . S u st a i n a b i l i t y m u st b e a co re b u s i n e ss i ss u e a n d n o t st u c k i n E H S o r s o m e o t h e r l e ss - i n f l u e n t i a l f u n c t i o n ; i t c a n n o l o n g e r b e t i e d , n o n - st rate g i c a l l y, to t h e e nv i ro n m e n t a l p u r v i ew o f ye ste r ye a r. According to our research, academia, g ove r n m e n t a n d f i n a n c i a l s e r v i ce s we re t h e l e a st p re fe r re d ex p e r i e n ce fo r a C S O : n o t te r r i b l y s u r p r i s i n g , a s t h e re s e e m s to b e a w i d e n i n g d i s p a r i t y i n a p p ro a c h a n d c u r re n cy b e t we e n t h e t y p i c a l l y t h e o r yd r i ve n S u st a i n a b i l i t y te a c h i n g a n d w r i t i n g t h at g o e s o n i n t h e a c a d e m i a a n d t h e re a l t i m e, f ro n t - l i n e wo r k b e i n g d o n e w i t h i n co m p a n i e s . Wi t h t h i s s a i d , we co u l d a rg u e t h e va l u e i n f i n a n c i a l s e r v i ce s , s p e c i f i c a l l y t h e s k i l l s o f a n a cco u n t a n t a n d t h e i m p o r t a n ce of s u st a i n a b i l i t y d at a management, co l l e c t i o n , a n d sy n t h e s i s . To b e c l i c h e, yo u c a n t m a n a g e w h at yo u d o n t m e a s u re. Fo r ev i d e n ce o f t h i s , l o o k at t h e re ce n t a cq u i s i t i o n o f C l e a r C a r b o n Co n s u l t i n g by t h e b i g fo u r a cco u n t a n cy D e l o i t te a n d To u c h e, L L P 3 .

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

What type of prior experience should a CSO have in order to be successful in your organization? (Pick 3) TODAY 5 YEARS
Operations Management Science Development Marketing, Advertising, and Communications Legal Conflict Management Risk Management Human Resources Financial Government Academic 53% 47% 45% 24% 24% 24% 21% 17% 10% 4% 2% 52% 44% 47% 24% 20% 20% 22% 14% 12% 9% 3%

3. Clear Carbon acquisition by Deloitte. http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/press/Press-Releases/77c3ee704b1dc210VgnVCM200 0001b56f00aRCRD.htm

Q: What formal education is desired in a CSO?

A-HA #4 Experience: Core competencies combine business ability with environmental applications.

h e n i t co m e s to t h e d e g re e o n t h e wa l l , o u r s u r vey s h owe d t h at t h e M B A i s t h e g o l d st a n d a rd fo r C S O s , w i t h e n g i n e e r i n g , s c i e n ce a n d co m m u n i c a t i o n s a l l co m i n g i n s e co n d . Fo r m a l educational b a c kg ro u n d s in p u b l i c h e a l t h , e d u c a t i o n a n d P h D s a re v i ewe d l a rg e l y a s i r re l eva n t . O ve r t h e f i ve -ye a r w i n d ow, M B As a c t u a l l y i n c re a s e their i m p o r t a n ce with engineers d ro p p i n g in d e s i ra b i l i t y. S u st a i n a b i l i t y- fo c u s e d d e g re e p ro g ra m s a re a l s o m a k i n g a b i g s p l a s h i n t h e C S O o f f i ce. B u s i n e ss d e g re e s , s u c h a s a n M B A i n S u st a i n a b i l i t y w i t h a co n ce n t ra t i o n a n d fo c u s o n Co r p o ra te S o c i a l Re s p o n s i b i l i t y (C S R ) a n d S u st a i n a b i l i t y wa s re co g n i ze d a s t h e d e g re e t h a t b e st a d d re ss e s t h e t ra i n i n g n e e d s o f a C S O. S e co n d to t h e s u st a i n a b i l i t y M B A we re e nv i ro n m e n t a l engineering d e g re e s that fo c u s e d o n s u st a i n a b l e d e s i g n , c a r b o n m a n a g e m e n t p ro ce ss e s a n d l i fe c yc l e s c i e n ce s . Low p re fe re n ce wa s g i ve n to d e g re e s i n s u st a i n a b l e co m m u n i c a t i o n s . Th e e d u c a t i o n a l p re fe re n ce s fo r t h e C S O o f f i ce co i n c i d e we l l w i t h t h e m o t i va t i o n b e h i n d co m p a n i e s m ov i n g a l o n g t h e p a t h to s u st a i n a b i l i t y. A s we s h a re d i n A- H A # 1 , t h e p r i m a r y m o t i vat i o n s fo r a c t i o n a re co st s av i n g s , b u i l d i n g a co m p e t i t i ve a d va n t a g e, e nv i ro n m e n t a l b e n e f i t s a n d c u sto m e r d e m a n d . A n M B A i n S u st a i n a b i l i t y, a l o n g w i t h d e g re e s i n s c i e n ce a n d e n g i n e e r i n g , s a t i s f y t h e s e t r i p l e b o t to m l i n e m o t i va t i o n s . Re c a l l a l s o t h a t st ra te g i c t h i n k i n g a n d v i s i o n we re t h e co re q u a l i t i e s d e s i re d i n a C S O. Th e s e a re g e n e ra l l y s k i l l s d eve l o p e d i n B - S c h o o l s e t t i n g s o r at a D i re c to r - l eve l o r h i g h e r i n a n o rg a n i z at i o n . ( We co u l d a l s o a rg u e t h a t v i s i o n a r i e s a re b o r n , n o t b re d , b u t t h a t i s a d e b ate fo r a n o t h e r t i m e a n d co n tex t . ) . W h a t we d i d f i n d wa s a p e rce p t i o n t h a t M B As h o l d t h e C S O ro o st , a n d a s s u c h t h e b e st C S O s a re m u l t i - t a s k i n g p ro j e c t m a n a g e r s to t h e ex t re m e, s e e t h e fo re st fo r t h e t re e s [ p a rd o n t h e l i b e ra l u s e o f m e t a p h o r ] , a n d d e l e g a te l i ke ro c k st a r s .

M a ny n o n - M B A m a n a g e r s p u b l i c l y d i s c re d i t t h e M B A , e s p e c i a l l y s o m e o f t h e l e ss - re p u t a b l e b u t p ro l i f i c S u st a i n a b l e M B A p ro g ra m s t h at h ave s p ro u te d u p i n eve r y co r n e r o f t h e U. S . , i n c l u d i n g t h o s e ava i l a b l e o n l i n e. W h i l e we k n ow i t c a n b e fa s h i o n a b l e a n d p ro f i t a b l e to h a p h a z a rd l y l a u n c h t re n d - d r i ve n g ra d u ate p ro g ra m s d u r i n g p e r i o d s o f e co n o m i c d ow n t u r n s , t h e exe c u t i ve m a n a g e r s we s p o ke w i t h p r i vate l y st i l l h o l d M B As f ro m re co g n i ze d a n d a cc re d i te d p ro g ra m s i n h i g h re g a rd . M o re i m p o r t a n t t h a n t h e d e g re e i t s e l f i s t h e co m p a n i e s d e s i re to f i l l t h e C S O o f f i ce w i t h a f re s h p e r s p e c t i ve f ro m a l e a d i n g e d g e, b u s i n e ss - m i n d e d i n d i v i d u a l w h o i s a b l e to d r i ve d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g w i t h i n a co m p a ny s st rate g y, f i n a n ce, m a r ke t i n g and g e n e ra l b u s i n e ss divisions. Th e s u st a i n a b i l i t y f u n c t i o n at i t s b e st c a n b e a d r i ve r o f i n n ovat i o n , a n d p e r h a p s o n e o f t h e m o st i m p o r t a n t a n d v i s i b l e f u n c t i o n s w i t h i n a n o rg a n i z at i o n .

What type of prior education should a CSO have in order to be successful in your organization? (Pick 3) TODAY 5 YEARS

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

Business / Financial MBA Communication Science Engineering Social Science Masters in Science Other Masters Degree Law Degree Public Health Education

50% 36% 30% 25% 31% 26% 16% 11% 11% 7% 4%

51% 39% 35% 31% 28% 22% 16% 11% 11% 5% 4%

Q: Are personal values important?

A-HA #5 A CSOs actions must reflect personal sustainability values.

o b e a s ucce ss f ul C S O, b e pre pare d to wal k t he t al k. O ur s urvey fou n d t h at C S O s w h o ex h i b i t personal b e h av i o r s t h at re f l e c t t h e m e ss a g e they are p re a c h i n g we re m o re l i ke l y to ex perience s u cce ss , b o t h i n t h e i r c a re e r s and the p ro g ra m s t hey d eve l o p. The i m por tan ce o f p e r s o n a l b e h av i o r s t h at re f l e c t values o f s u st a i n a b i l i t y w i l l n o l o n g e r be very im p o r t a n t : i t w i l l b e a q ual i f y i ng factor. D o e s h e o r s h e d r i ve a P r i u s? Shall we s if t t h rou g h t ras h and che ck fo r recyclin g co m p lia n ce? Must t he i r ho m e b e t h e most ef f ic ien t o n t he b l o ck? To p l ay Devils a d vo c ate : wo u l d a p a i r o f Fe r ragamos a n d a G u cc i S u i t p reve n t yo u f ro m getting t h e j o b? B e h av i o r s a re, p e r h a p s , clues to p e r s o n a l co m m i t m e n t , b u t w h at we are t a l k i n g a b o u t i s m o re d i f f i c u l t to measure: t h ou g h t a li g nm e nt . So w hi l e we are nt ad vo c atin g a co m p l ex h o m e a u d i t j u st ye t , and can u n d e r st a n d t h at eve r yo n e g e t s their re cyc l i n g a b i t m i xe d u p n ow a n d a gain, the p u s h toward s i ncre as i ng t rans p are n cy of a n org a n iz at i o ns s ust ai nab i l i t y i nitiative s ex te n d s to t h e i n d i v i d u a l w h o i s leading t h e ef for t . Thus , t he co m m i t m e nt l eve l for t h e p er s o n w ho i s t he face o f i t al l mu st be h i g h a n d i n c l u d e b o t h o rg a n i z at i onal and in d iv id u a l val ue s .

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

I agree that a strong personal commitment to sustainability is very important. But some of the most effective CSOs - measured by the global impact of their programs - wear suits and loafers every day. Its part of the evolution away from Environmentalism and towards sustainability or the idea of shared value creation. -Andy Mims, VP of Sustainability, Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET)

IN CONCLUSION:
So there you have it: five A-HAs revealed from months of research, discussions and surveys. As you can see, the profile of the Chief Sustainability Officeror at least the office of the person responsible for the thought leadership of Sustainabilityis dynamic, complex, and evolving as we speak. Hang on! To recap, here is what our research affirmed:
A- H A #1 :
S ust ai nab i l i t y w i l l co ntin u e to grow as a strate gic pr ior ity with th e to tal n u m b er o f C hi e f S ust ai nab i l i t y O f fice r s to in cre ase as a ve h icle for compan ie s to add t r i p l e b o t to m l i n e va l u e.

A- H A #2: A- H A #3:

Q u a l i t i e s : To b e a s u ccessful CSO, one must posses qualities of leadership, vis io n a n d st rate g i c t hi nki ng . E x p e ri e nce : Co re co m pe te n cie s combin e bu s in e ss ability with e nviron mental a p p lic at io ns .

A- H A #4 : A- H A # 5:

Ed ucat i o n: MB As s et th e stan dard with Commu n ication s , S cie n ce s and E n g in eer in g p l ay i ng s up p o rt i ng ro l e s. A C S O s act i o ns m ust re fle ct pe r s on al s u stain ability valu e s.

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile


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ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


William Paddock is the founder and managing director of Nashville based WAP Sustainability Consulting and specializes in helping organizations build credible and measurable sustainability programs.

422 Madison Street Nashville, TN 37208 (615) 713.2001 william@wapsustainability.com www.wapsustainability.com

THE STATE OF THE CSO : an evolving profile

Eryn Emerich leads Footprint :: Sustainable Talent, an Atlanta-based firm that recruits sustainability + corporate social responsibility/ CSR leaders for corporations, higher-ed, and non-profit institutions globally.

730 Peachtree Street, NE Suite 350 Atlanta, GA 30308 (404) 590.6995 www.footprintalent.com eryn.emerich@footprinttalent.com