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Sustainability has become a core strategic consideration for businesses, as well as a driver of innovation and a magnet for talent. Sustainability today encompasses a vast range of ecological, economic and social issues, from climate change to biodiversity; from decarbonization to the circular economy; from human rights in the supply chain to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. More and more companies are grappling with how to build the most effective sustainability function, often appointing a chief sustainability officer (CSO) to lead the sustainability transformation by working across the whole organization to address material issues and position the business for long-term success.

CSOs need to possess a wide range of skills. They must be systems thinkers with an interdisciplinary, collaborative and analytical mindset. CSOs are also highly purpose-driven individuals with a desire to drive meaningful change in their organizations. Many are taking on challenging mandates – for example in high-emitting companies – attracted by the potential to make a significant impact, both within their organizations and in the wider world.

Our Chief Sustainability Officer Practice consultants understand the breadth of challenges facing sustainability leaders, what motivates the executives who take on such roles, and what makes them successful. We help organizations in every sector find, develop and assess sustainability leaders, advising on the optimal design for their sustainability function and the range of capabilities needed to create the greatest impact.

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We are committed to helping our clients find sustainability leaders who can accelerate transformation

Spencer Stuart has been at the forefront of identifying and placing sustainability leaders globally, whether in consumer-led or hard-to-abate sectors.
Our consultants have unrivalled access to chief sustainability officers around the world who are leading transformation programs. Whether an organization’s primary concern is to manage the energy transition or accelerate business model innovation, we understand the capabilities required to lead a successful sustainability function.
We conduct regular research on the changing role of the CSO and the evolution of the sustainability function, which is fast-moving, increasingly integrated into business units and constantly seeking to acquire new skills and capabilities.