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Chief Sustainability Officer

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What Do Chief Sustainability Officer Do?

Chief Sustainability Officer Definition Communicate and coordinate with management, shareholders, customers, and employees to address sustainability issues. Enact or oversee a corporate sustainability strategy.

List of Chief Sustainability Officer Job Duties

  • Develop sustainability reports, presentations, or proposals for supplier, employee, academia, media, government, public interest, or other groups.
  • Formulate or implement sustainability campaign or marketing strategies.
  • Conduct sustainability- or environment-related risk assessments.
  • Identify educational, training, or other development opportunities for sustainability employees or volunteers.
  • Direct sustainability program operations to ensure compliance with environmental or governmental regulations.
  • Identify and evaluate pilot projects or programs to enhance the sustainability research agenda.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Chief Sustainability Officer?

These are the skills Chief Sustainability Officers say are the most useful in their careers:

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Types of Chief Sustainability Officer Jobs

  • Sustainability Research and Advocacy Director
  • Stakeholder Manager
  • Corporate Sustainability Process Manager
  • Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (VP CSR and Sustainability)
  • Sustainability Energy Manager

Chief Sustainability Officer Employment Estimates

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 308,900 jobs in the United States for Chief Sustainability Officer. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Chief Sustainability Officer. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 20,000 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Chief Sustainability Officer are Washington, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Ohio, or Pennsylvania. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Chief Sustainability Officer Make?

The average yearly salary of a Chief Sustainability Officer ranges between $68,360 and $208,000.


Chief Sustainability Officers who work in California, District of Columbia, or Georgia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Chief Sustainability Officers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $204,590
Alaska $179,630
Arizona $194,360
Arkansas $126,960
California $228,270
Colorado $198,130
Connecticut $210,650
District of Columbia $247,500
Florida $187,870
Georgia $218,590
Hawaii $201,680
Idaho $94,470
Illinois $230,070
Indiana $148,730
Iowa $211,560
Kansas $172,100
Kentucky $152,670
Louisiana $208,110
Maine $152,780
Maryland $198,260
Massachusetts $221,810
Michigan $206,660
Minnesota $195,320
Mississippi $112,310
Missouri $167,980
Montana $132,400
Nebraska $220,950
Nevada $215,590
New Hampshire $180,250
New Jersey $233,050
New York $220,040
North Carolina $210,050
North Dakota $172,900
Ohio $201,100
Oklahoma $157,540
Oregon $212,290
Pennsylvania $231,120
Rhode Island $242,350
South Carolina $182,760
South Dakota $251,950
Tennessee $152,730
Texas $239,680
Utah $165,020
Vermont $136,410
Virginia $228,540
Washington $220,730
West Virginia $153,880
Wisconsin $154,820
Wyoming $131,020

Tools & Technologies Used by Chief Sustainability Officers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Chief Sustainability Officers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Scheduling software
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Teleconferencing software

Becoming a Chief Sustainability Officer

Education needed to be a Chief Sustainability Officer:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where do Chief Sustainability Officers Work?


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.



Image Credit: Dave Dugdale via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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