Chief Sustainability Officer

Create strategies to help your company go green.

What does a Chief Sustainability Officer do?

Just as Chief Financial Officers concentrate on all things financial about a company, Chief Sustainability Officers focus on all things green. This doesn’t mean, though, that they paint walls or bring in more plants. Instead, Chief Sustainability Officers create environmentally sustainable ways of doing business, and form plans to shrink their company’s carbon footprint. And while they’re at it, they also work to save their company money.

Getting a company to go green can be a difficult task and takes some convincing. If you’re a Chief Sustainability Officer, you need to be able to present and sell ideas that really shake up the way business is done. You might suggest reorganizing the way supplies are delivered, create new programs to train employees, or introduce company-wide recycling. All these ideas cost money, so you explain the ways that an investment in green technology or programs will pay off in the long run.

You use things like research, the experience of other companies, and government regulations to convince your company to change. It’s your responsibility to stay updated on the different rules that govern your industry, and the newest in green technology and research.

This job is all about collaboration and good communication. Although you’re pretty high up in the company (usually you report to the CEO or Board of Directors), you still need to be able to work with employees from all levels. You need to really understand every step of the process, every department of your company, and how they all work together, so you can create plans to match specific needs.