Next-Generation Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Jobs
Approximately five years after implementing operational sustainability programs, many corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners realize they need to evolve their job descriptions, departments, and their relationships with internal and external stakeholders to achieve greater business and societal results. This Briefing Paper on Next-Generation Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Jobs provides an overview of this emerging trend, and recommends strategies for practitioners to upgrade their approach.
Coro wrote this paper on Next-Generation Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Jobs for the Conference Board of Canada’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Institute to help CR and sustainability directors transition their mandates for greater success in their organizations and beyond.
As described in Next-Generation Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Jobs, the role of the sustainability practitioner is changing in important and fundamental ways. The role shifts, job descriptions evolve, and skills change as organizations transition from an operational to a strategic sustainability focus. This is driven by the internal and external maturation of corporate responsibility and sustainability, the growing recognition of the business case, and the realization that future business prosperity requires external partnerships to succeed. To secure the business and societal benefits, and future-proof the organization, the emerging corporate responsibility practitioner role becomes more strategic, enterprise wide, and external. Evolving Job Descriptions Jobs are dynamic and they change over time to meet the priorities and requirements of the organization. Thus, job descriptions should be reviewed regularly to ensure that job duties are still applicable. As companies advance along the maturity continuum of sustainability and corporate responsibility, they evolve from a compliance and operational model to a senior-level, strategic, and external collaboration focus.
This paper describes some of the typical role shifts between old and new job descriptions of corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners. It also provides an overview of the ways in which sustainability departments are evolving their roles to become more impactful internally and externally.