Owning Sustainability: The CSO vs. the CEO

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Owning Sustainability: The CSO vs. the CEO

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Owning Sustainability: The CSO v. the CEO http://3bl.me/fptvxw @SustainableJobs applauds @GeneralElectric for spreading #CSR across company


Is sustainability best centralized or decentralized? Ellen Weinreb, founder of the sustainability recruiting firm the Weinreb Group, highlights GE as an organization that appoints leaders to run specific initiatives, such as its major ecomagination campaign, but otherwise spreads out responsibility for sustainability performance across its leadership team.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 7:00pm

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Last Fall, the Weinreb Group published CSO Back Story, identifying 29 Chief Sustainability Officers with that exact title working in the U.S. for publicly traded companies. Of the 29, we highlighted five CSOs (from SAP, EMC, AT&T, UPS and Dupont) whose perspectives included the value their role brings to their company's long-term strategy.

In each of their cases, the CSO “owns” sustainability. But what happens when a chief sustainability officer doesn't exist? Who should rightfully own sustainability at companies? 

Accenture’s recently released white paper The Chief Executive Officer’s Perspective makes the argument that sustainability could be owned by leadership in general without making it any one executive's core responsibility, compelling Environmental Leader to ask Are Chief Sustainability Officers on their Way Out?

In September 2011, I wrote a similarly titled article but with a different perspective, wondering whether CSOs are Everywhere, But Are Their Days Numbered?

To read the full article, please click here.

Keywords: Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | CEO | CSO | Diversity & Inclusion | GE | HR | Management | Research, Reports & Publications | chief sustainability officer | csr | strategy

CONTENT: Article