Sustainability Managers, often also known as Chief Sustainability Officers are a new wave of industry within businesses focused on reducing the carbon footprint of a company.
What does a Sustainability Manager do?
They introduce recycling plans, energy-saving systems, completely rework supply chains and figure out ways, big and small to save energy and create less waste.
According to Wikipedia,“As of 2005, nearly all of the 150 largest companies in the world had a sustainability officer…”
Even cities and countries are hiring for these roles. Here’s an example of a job advert we found when researching this post for Sydney!
Although a Sustainability Manager, or CSO may not appear, at first, to be a role that would increase the profits of a business, this is a huge misconception.
The benefits of a role like this in a company are significant.
1) Carbon reduction and care for the environment is a global trend.
As China invests billions in renewable energy, Facebook and other tech giants aim to be completely carbon neutral, companies of all sizes are following their example with increased recycling facilities, improved energy efficiency projects and education of staff. Promoting environmentally friendly methods can set your business apart from your competitors and attract new customers who want to buy products and services from an environmentally friendly business. (source) It may even encourage talent, particularly millennials who, as a generation, place significant value on a company’s sustainability values (source).
2) Reduces cost to the whole business
Sustainability Managers are worth their weight in gold (almost literally!). If they’re doing their job well, they should be able to save a company a huge amount of money. With sustainable practises in place you’ll avoid purchasing/using unnecessary materials, reuse where possible and recycle.
With improved energy-efficiency and reduced waste you’ll also decrease your business energy bills. Even small initiatives like switching to low-energy lighting can have a huge effect on your bills. A client of ours can expect to save $500,000 over 10 years after upgrading their lights. (more information here)
Some examples of companies and their sustainability practices
Nike has a 140-strong team of staff that include ‘sustainability’ in their title, with even more staff involved, through supply chain and purchasing etc. Their Vice President of Sustainable Business Innovation, Hannah Jones has a great interview here which includes some interesting aspects about Nike’s sustainability practices. The company’s environmental aims are available here, including “double its business while halving the company’s environmental impact”.
Something we shared on our Facebook was an article by the BBC. British retailer Marks & Spencer have begun laser tagging avocados instead of using stickers to improve sustainability. Making this small change will save 10 tonnes of paper and 5 tonnes of glue a year. A reminder: this is just from removing stickers on avocados in one British retail chain! (source)
Sustainability and energy-efficiency are core to the work we do at Energy Makeovers. We encourage businesses to reduce their carbon footprints, their energy-bills and their waste. Sustainability Managers are welcome additions to all businesses and people we speak with every day. If you’re a Sustainability Manager, CSO or a business interested in reducing your energy bills, we may be able to help. There’s more information on our business pages, or give us a call on 1300 788 776.