Every business needs a CSO. Learn why

If there was no one to devise resource conservation strategies, there would be even more waste on the planet. Sustainability issues span multiple business functions, making it difficult for organizations to create cohesive efforts.

For example, a company’s social license to operate is linked to many functions: a company’s health, safety and environmental compliance; its mode of operation, its contribution to communities, the treatment of its employees, its way of promoting itself, as well as its governance structure, ethics and others.

What does a director of sustainable development (CSO) do?

Sustainability as a career has grown considerably over the past decade, with many successful professionals working in the field with degrees, including those with a bachelor in sustainable development. A Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) has the primary responsibility for overseeing a company’s overall sustainability strategy and resolving all related issues.

The role of a sustainability manager is evolving rapidly and is able to help companies gain a great competitive advantage. As companies pledged to redouble their efforts on sustainability, the environment and other issues, the goal of the Director of Sustainability has been to promote and monitor these efforts.

Why your business needs a sustainability manager

Different governments began to impose sustainable development practices in businesses, while the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all UN member states in 2015, as a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all peace and prosperity by 2030. The 17 SDGs are integrated, as they recognize that interventions in one area will affect results in others, and development must balance environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Following the pledge to leave no one behind, countries pledged to accelerate progress for those furthest behind. This is why the SDGs were designed to provide the world with several life-changing “zeros”, including zero poverty, zero hunger, zero AIDS, and zero discrimination against women and girls.

Many professionals around the world today seem to prefer working for companies with strong environmental ethics. This is particularly common in millennials, who represent around 50% of the workforce companies have therefore had to progressively evolve and adapt their structure to attract and retain this citizen group.

Millennials not only want to know what their employers are doing to be more responsible, but they also want to be co-creators of sustainability alternatives and help companies improve their responsible business practices by providing feedback, ideas and potential solutions. . They want to be directly involved in a company’s responsible efforts, while they also expect their employers to offer effective activities related to environmental practices in the workplace. Even small businesses have understood the importance of this and are implementing sustainability as part of their basic structure.

durable note-taking, handbook and watch notebook

An IBM study, focused on the analysis of global consumer trends, reveals that currently the importance of values ​​associated with a brand outweigh other factors such as price or convenience for consumers. One of the conclusions drawn from the study is that a third of all consumers would stop buying their favorite products if they lost confidence in the brand and, in fact, another third of consumers say that in 2019 they had already stopped buying certain products for it. raison.

Consumers add that they prioritize brands that are sustainable, transparent and aligned with their values ​​when deciding to buy. Therefore, they say they are willing to pay more, or even change their buying habits, for brands that match their priorities.

Socially responsible or ethical investing is a combination of fundamental analysis, active management and engagement, with an assessment of environmental factors, in order to achieve better long-term profitability for investors, benefiting society through the influence on the behavior of companies.

William Andrews McDonough is an American architect, designer and author.  McDonough is the founding director of William McDonough + Partners, co-founder of McDonough MBDC, and co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability — Designing for Abundance.

William McDonough is an architect who awakened the profession to the idea of ​​lean design. He coined the term Cradle to Cradle. This is an important term for your business to know.

Ethical investing is very healthy and increasing. Its growth in recent years has been very significant at all levels: sectoral, geographic, by type, etc. Its implementation in some countries and in the institutional field is already very high and one of its main objectives is to ensure that it extends further into the private sector. In addition, more and more environmentally conscious investors are choosing to invest their money in green businesses.

How can hiring a CSO benefit your business?

A corporate sustainability manager is responsible with social responsibility for everything that happens in the company that may have an environmental impact. Some of the many ways a business can benefit from what a CSO does are:

  1. Encourages innovation: A CSO helps companies develop new processes and technologies to be more environmentally conscious.
  2. Good public relations: Companies that are seen as responsible companies tend to have more public relations, which allows them to increase their credibility and support.
  3. Attract the best talent: Some of the best and most talented professionals seem to prefer companies where CSOs lead their sustainability initiatives.
  4. Gain New Customers: Changes made by a CSO can allow a business to reach new audiences, which could potentially translate into more customers and profits.

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