Companies face shortage of sustainability talent – Times of India

Demand for sustainability professionals has risen dramatically, given the issues round local weather change and the transition to a inexperienced economic system. This has created a talent scarcity within the business.
Administration consulting agency Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) just lately performed an evaluation of Asia’s sustainability expertise market. It discovered that the ‘head of sustainability’ function is turning into broader in scope and extra senior in profile.
Khushboo Kumra, advisor at RRA, mentioned with senior expertise in sustainability turning into exhausting to search out, compensation has gone up within the latest previous to course-correct present pay packages. “Sustainability expertise in organisations is slowly witnessing an elevation within the hierarchy, primarily pushed by the necessity to guarantee accountability for outcomes and alignment with enterprise leaders. We have now seen corporations right compensation by 15-20% consequently,” mentioned Kumra.
Sustainability expertise is “sticky” in organisations, provided that initiatives on this discipline have an extended lead time to impression. Corporations thus have to supply a gorgeous premium to draw expertise from different organisations, mentioned Kumra. She added that just lately, RRA noticed the compensation of a chief sustainability officer improve 55-60% for the sooner talked about causes.
ITC’s company HR head Amitav Mukherji mentioned, “Given the truth that this (sustainability) is a key focus space for the corporate, we now have recruited professionals on this house with aggressive compensation benchmarked to business requirements.” ITC just lately appointed a chief sustainability officer (CSO) — Madhulika Sharma — who has joined the corporate after working with Tata Metal for a few years.
Kumra mentioned a big Indian metal producer arrange a sustainability management programme designed to assist senior C-Suite leaders perceive the complicated challenges on account of altering enterprise landscapes. It additionally highlighted the necessity to embed sustainability as a manner of doing enterprise.
The CSO has shortly turn into a task sizzling in demand. That is particularly the case with stakeholders equivalent to traders, clients, workers and regulators demanding corporations to be inclusive and open about their sustainability targets. The function has shifted from being purely centered on inner communication to extra about delivering enterprise targets which might be intertwined with sustainability targets.
L’Oreal India director (HR) Roshni Wadhwa mentioned, “In the present day, there may be an pressing want for a brand new kind of management — one which makes sustainability a high precedence by guaranteeing that each one the enterprise actions are respectful of the planetary boundaries. Within the post-pandemic world, as corporations construct their enterprise restoration methods, sustainability has turn into the governing precept to display future-readiness, appeal to new traders & expertise in addition to construct model fairness amongst shoppers. Many corporations in the present day are seeing a surge in sustainability activations as a response to inner in addition to exterior stakeholders, resulting in a requirement for expertise on this house in India as effectively.”
At present, the scarcity of expertise is noticed extra on the high for sustainability leaders than within the center administration, the place there are nonetheless people shifting tracks to sustainability. “Sustainability has turn into a extra complete matter for companies to contemplate solely within the latest previous. Earlier, CSR (company social duty) was a small space of focus for corporations, nevertheless, one thing that might not appeal to and retain compelling expertise. With the shift in outlook, and the mandates beneath sustainability being extra exhaustive, we now have seen people selecting a profession in sustainability extra actively in the present day,” mentioned Kumra.
The skillsets of sustainability perform leaders are altering dramatically and quickly. Amongst CSOs appointed over 5 years in the past, the three commonest practical backgrounds have been advertising/communications, authorized/regulatory, and authorities affairs — these have been extra centered on components of communication or dealing with regulators and a good-to-have. Nevertheless, CSOs appointed within the final 5 years come from a extra various background and with a set of skillsets equivalent to operations/provide chain, company technique, and finance, that are extra business-oriented, and therefore centered on embedding sustainability into the material of the organisation.

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