Top Skills for a Chief Sustainability Officer
Most noteworthy are the requirements detailed as key competencies for a CSO. Top picks, for example, included:
- 1) Evaluation skills such as LEAN and Six-Sigma are helpful to reach the next level of complexity.
- 2) Business development experience and sales training is useful in sharing a sustainability vision across an organization.
- 3) Accounting and number crunching skills come in handy while conducting assessments and monetizing risks.
- 4) Environmental, health and safety experience are useful as a framework for understanding the core sustainability principles.
But that’s not all; the respondents also believe that skill sets in operations management, business development/sales, and science dominate top competences for a CSO.
Experience related to research, academia, government and financial services.
Educational Requirements: MBA is Gold
No. 1: The MBA remains gold. Declaring that “the MBA is the gold standard for sustainability chiefs, with engineering, science and communications all coming in second,” the report puts “formal educational backgrounds in public health, education and PhDs” as “largely irrelevant.”
And contrary to popular sentiment, the surveyors predict that in five years, the MBA will “actually increase their importance with engineers dropping in desirability.”
Sustainability-focused degree programs and management programs with a concentration on CSR also rated highly. Respondents believed that these programs, “best address the training needs for a CSO.”
No. 2: Engineering degrees that focus on sustainable design, carbon management processes and lifecycle sciences.
Avoid: Degrees in sustainable communications.