Senior sustainability roles rise four-fold at ‘Footsie’ firms
Green skills and recruitment news - by GreenWise staff
21st June 2012
More than 20 per cent of 'Footsie’ firms now have a dedicated sustainability executive at main board level or one position below, according to latest research.
The last 12 years have seen a four-fold increase in the number of senior sustainability
roles at FSTE100
firms, driven by a fundamental shift in the way they operate, according to research by green recruitment
specialist Acre Resources
. And that trend is set to quicken in pace, according to the agency.
Acre Recruitment, which has been building and analysing a proprietary database of professionals working in CSR and 'green’ jobs since 2003, says a second wave of top companies are joining the first FTSE100 companies to place sustainability on the strategic agenda. And Acre predicts that chief executive 'green’ leadership’ will drive job growth going forward.Consumer-facing companies
"The first FTSE100 companies to place sustainability on the strategic agenda were typically those in fast-moving consumer goods markets; those with a large number of vocal consumers as key stakeholders," said Acre founder, Andy Cartland. "Many of these companies were originally motivated by being seen to be doing the right thing, and by cost-savings, but have subsequently created revenue growth opportunities."
One such company is Marks and Spencer, which last year created a £105 million net profit from its Plan A sustainability programme, which was led from the top. Today, 18 top executives at the company drive the sustainability agenda, with Plan A now part of the top management bonuses. Other well-known large companies where sustainability is near or at the top of the ceos’ agenda include O2, Unilever, Kingfisher and Sky.
"We’re now seeing a second wave of large companies joining them, as others have learned from the original pace-setters," said Cartland. "Other drivers include investors and shareholders increasingly asking for sustainability credentials, and the so-called 'war for talent’; good people increasingly prefer to work for companies that take sustainability seriously."
As well as a faster rise in the number of senior sustainability roles in the UK’s largest public companies, Acre predicts new jobs will be created in the supply chains of these largest companies. Cartland described it as " a'cascade effect’ coming into play and driven by the corporate sustainability agenda."
Acre itself has been growing fast. Its net annual fee income is currently growing at 40 per cent, five times the average for this sector overall, which was 8.4 per cent in 2011, according to Recruitment Industry Benchmarking.
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