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Chief Sustainability Officer

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What Does it Take to Be a Chief Sustainability Officer?

Job Description: Communicate and coordinate with management, shareholders, customers, and employees to address sustainability issues. Enact or oversee a corporate sustainability strategy.

Life As a Chief Sustainability Officer

  • Create and maintain sustainability program documents, such as schedules and budgets.
  • Write project proposals, grant applications, or other documents to pursue funding for environmental initiatives.
  • Develop, or oversee the development of, marketing or outreach media for sustainability projects or events.
  • 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.
  • Develop, or oversee the development of, sustainability evaluation or monitoring systems.

Chief Sustainability Officer Required Skills

Chief Sustainability Officers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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 Manager
  • Global Sustainability Manager
  • Director of Sustainability Programs
  • Sustainability Reports Manager
  • Environmental and Sustainability Manager

Is There Going to be Demand for Chief Sustainability Officers?

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. The BLS estimates 20,000 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Chief Sustainability Officers in U.S.

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.

Do Chief Sustainability Officers Make A Lot Of Money?

The typical yearly salary for Chief Sustainability Officers is somewhere between $68,360 and $208,000.

Salary Ranges for Chief Sustainability Officers

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

What Tools do Chief Sustainability Officers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Chief Sustainability Officers may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

How do I Become a Chief Sustainability Officer?

Are there Chief Sustainability Officers education requirements?

Chief Sustainability Officer Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Chief Sustainability Officer Work Experience

Who Employs Chief Sustainability Officers?

Chief Sustainability Officer Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Chief Sustainability Officers work:

Chief Sustainability Officer Industries


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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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