Is sustainability a fad?

by | 16 Dec 2022 | Insights

There is no doubt that sustainability has become a hot topic in recent years. More and more people are interested in living sustainably, and the media is increasingly covering stories about sustainability. This heightened interest has led to a boom in the sustainable living industry, with an increasing number of products and services being marketed as “sustainable” or “environmentally friendly”.

As consumers become more aware of the environmental and social impacts of their purchasing decisions, they are intensifying pressure on businesses to consider the full lifecycle of their products and services, from the sourcing of raw materials to the disposal or recycling of waste, and to mitigate any damaging effects of doing business.

When choosing a business to buy from, customers are increasingly paying attention to the company’s support of social and environmental causes. For example, many consumers now seek out businesses that use recycled or sustainable materials, support fair trade practices, or give back to the community in some way.

Is sustainability a fad?

It seems unlikely. It’s gaining more traction as people become more aware of the environmental and social impacts of their purchasing decisions. Businesses are taking notice, with many seeking to operate more sustainably to improve their bottom line and build trust and loyalty with their customers. Therefore, it seems likely that sustainable practices will continue to grow in importance in the years to come.

Even the pandemic only temporarily reduced consumer expectations. As PWC discovered…

“Consumers may have shown patience during the early days of the pandemic, as companies simplified supply chains, streamlined their product lines and cut customer service.” ~ June 2022 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey

The rise of the sustainability manager

As the importance of sustainability grows, so does the demand for qualified individuals to lead sustainability initiatives within organisations.

As the name suggests, a sustainability officer is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to ensure that an organisation’s activities consider the environmental and social impact of its operations.

Organisations are increasingly recognising the value of having a dedicated sustainability officer on staff, and many are willing to pay a premium for someone with the right skills and experience.

The skills required for the job vary depending on the organisation but often include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as experience in project management and change management. A background in sustainability, environmental science or social science is also usually required, or at least preferred.

A typical day will involve meeting with different departments within an organisation to discuss their sustainability plans and initiatives. Getting buy-in from other departments; convincing them to change the way they operate, is also their biggest challenge.

Sustainability managers are usually employed by large organisations, but there is also growing demand for these types of positions within small and medium-sized businesses. Valtus is seeing an increase in demand for interim sustainability managers and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Directors. It seems this trend is likely to increase and accelerate in the years to come.

Working with Valtus, you have access to our global network of interim managers. These are tried and tested professionals, with exceptional skills and experience in transforming companies and delivering results.

We deploy a team to complete the mission, comprising an Interim Manager to deliver the objectives and a Valtus Partner to supervise the assignment and ensure a successful outcome.

Contact us to discuss how we can help transform your business.