Jobs in CSR – A New Trend in the Right Direction
In September 2012, I spotted a job notice from NBC Universal for “Manager, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.” I went on to read the job description:
“The Manager, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility will be a key employee on the development and execution of a strategic environmental sustainability initiative, working across the company with other staff and outside partners to integrate best practices and capture current opportunities throughout the organization. They will ensure that the division-specific sustainability efforts enhance overall performance and support the growth and long-term success of the company. This position will also work with other members of NBCU’s CSR group to develop and deliver innovative pro social programs.”
Although vague, the word “pro social programs” excited me. How many large corporations are investing overhead dollars into staffing positions like this one?
A quick search on the BSR website, a network of 300 companies whose mission is to build sustainable business strategies, produced a page of CSR job postings for retailers like J Crew, American Eagle Outfitters and Electrolux.
The tide is turning.
Companies are looking at their social responsibility at every stage of their supply chain and hiring team members to source, communicate or audit their impact. Perhaps it’s the great influence of BSR as a thought leader. In its 2012 report called Redefining Leadership the authors addressed the State of Sustainable Business. They go on to state four leadership principles required for a sustainable business:
- Set ambitious targets like Walmart and Unilever that are creating a “sustainability north star” with their CEOs owning personal targets.
- Learn from the margins – meaning learn from all pockets of the world to solve sustainability problems. Use crowdsourcing models and work with nontraditional partners.
- Invest in infrastructure – of all kinds. This principle is why positions are being carved out left and right in CSR. Infrastructure is beyond bridges and roads. BSR states its social, financial and policy infrastructure and requires “whole” investments.
- Sail fearlessly into the future
The last principle doesn’t really need an explanation, now does it?