From sustainability to business strategy: How the role of the Chief Sustainability Officer is evolving in shaping business strategies
LONDON, Oct. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- In a comprehensive and pioneering analysis of an essential business function, the Leonardo Center on Business for Society at Imperial College Business School, in collaboration with Emeritus, a global leader in making business accessible and affordable high-quality education, have published the conclusions of an analysis on the evolution of the role of the Director of Sustainability. The report, From Sustainability to Business Strategy: How the Chief Sustainability Officer's Role is Evolving in Shaping Business Strategies, presents a comprehensive model of how companies are evolving toward integrating sustainable behavior into business strategy.
The role of Chief Sustainability Officer was once a specialized communications role, but in more advanced companies it has become a position that shapes business strategy. Not only do sustainability initiatives drive social and environmental change, but companies that actively practice a sustainable approach gain a competitive advantage that can drive profitability.
As a result of collaboration between online learning pioneer Emeritus and the Leonardo Center on Business for Society, the report examines the ways in which the Chief Sustainability Officer has taken on new importance in companies across all sectors.
The report is based on interviews with 37 sustainability managers from large multinational companies. In addition, the report uses the Leonardo Centre's exclusive digital database, GOLDEN Sustainability Dataset, which tracks more than 900,000 sustainability initiatives extracted from more than 45,000 corporate sustainability reports published by more than 9,000 companies over a period of 20 years.
"Sustainability officers play an essential role at the world's largest and most progressive companies," said Charlie Schilling, President of Business and Workforce Development at Emeritus. "Our work with the Leonardo Center on this report provides insight, inspiration and a roadmap for how organizations around the world can effectively deploy CSO as drivers of business strategy as companies achieve their sustainability goals."
"Companies are learning to consider environmental and social impact as an opportunity to develop strategies for innovation, differentiation, cooperation and sustainable growth," said Maurizo Zollo, Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at Imperial College Business School and Scientific Director of the Leonardo Centre. on Business for Society. "This is a radical departure from the usual notions of CSR as stakeholder-oriented communication and regulatory compliance."
Among the main conclusions we can mention the following:
You can find the full report here.
Emeritus is committed to teaching the skills of the future by making high-quality education accessible and affordable for individuals, businesses and governments around the world. To achieve this, he collaborates with more than 70 top-level universities in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and China. Emeritus' online courses, bootcamps, degree programs, professional certificates, and senior executive programs help people learn new skills and transform their lives, businesses, and organizations. Its unique model of cutting-edge technology, curricular innovation and hands-on instruction from top-level teachers, mentors and coaches has trained more than 300,000 people in more than 80 countries. Emeritus was recently awarded “Online Education Solution of the Year” by the 2022 EdTech Breakthrough Awards. For more information, visit https://emeritus.org/.
Acerca del Leonardo Centre on Business for Society, Imperial College Business School
The Leonardo Center on Business for Society (Leonardo Centre) is a Center of Excellence that envisions a society in which companies pursue profit in exchange for social impact. We believe that environmental destruction and social and economic injustice are not inevitable consequences of economic growth. We bring together engineering, social and medical science scholars with businesses and policymakers to co-create solutions for a more sustainable future. A unique aspect of our work is the GOLDEN for Impact data set, an AI-based data set that includes more than 900,000 corporate sustainability initiatives from more than 9,000 companies, from the last 20 years. By combining the experience and knowledge provided by collaboration with data-based quantitative assessment of the financial, environmental and social impacts of business actions, we aim to build a truly sustainable business future.
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