Skill Hacks

The 4 ways to become a CSR director

Hi, I'm Peter. I co-founded SASI Co. and EcoLearn. At the academic level, I taught sustainable development at CentraleSupélec Exed, entrepreneurship and business planning at HEC.

At EcoLearn, our mission is to help professionals transform their career and/or their business towards more sustainability. To this end, we have trained more than 1,000 alumni, including several hundred in the field of sustainable business transformation, in particular thanks to our Master Class dedicated to this subject.

Part of my job as a co-founder is to coach professionals to transform their careers. Since September 2019, I have been talking every day with directors and director of sustainable development and helping them to advance their careers or their transformation projects. These hundreds of exchanges and the numerous researches on the need for skills necessary for the creation of a school have allowed me to identify some success factors that I share with you here.

The role of CSR director

The job of CSR director (or director of sustainable development) consists of managing the transition from unsustainable companies (which cross planetary boundaries and endanger their stakeholders) to sustainable companies, respecting their stakeholders and planetary boundaries. In these management professions, it is necessary to fight to design a policy of sustainable transformation, to implement and lead a doubly material roadmap, while meeting the needs of reporting and taking into account the demands of stakeholders (shareholders, customers , employees, legislators, service providers, local communities, etc.), in particular a fairer distribution of value, etc.

Suffice to say that there is work to do!

Faced with the increased requirements of said stakeholders in terms of CSR, we see an explosion in the workforce and a structuring of departments within large companies. These growing requirements are also accompanied by an increase in the complexity of these professions and therefore the need for skills.

What profile is required to become a CSR director?

Despite this increase in available positions, there are many applications - especially for retraining. It is therefore necessary to stand out, to have a long-term vision to acquire the following 3 characteristics:

1. Recognized training to demonstrate holistic and operational knowledge.

That's good because we offer the training Sustainable direction (formerly Master Class 21) which has been training SD directors and directors since 2012.

2. Sector or business expertise related to the company

In the case of retraining, it is necessary to work on skills and acquire expertise. If you want to know the most sought-after expertise, you can consult our study: “on the shortage of talent trained in sustainable skills achieved with Talent for the planet

3. Significant experience in the field of sustainable transformation

To find ideas, you can search the list of 32 professions that recruit for retraining in impact on the website jobs that makesense, Birdeo's “positive impact professions” or the list of “areas requested by companies ” by People4impact.

The 4 paths to become a director of sustainable development

To align these characteristics in their respective profiles, there are generally 4 different types of courses.

1. Patiently climb the corporate ladder

The situation is reassuring and comfortable but depends on your ability to negotiate, gain recognition, set limits and actually change jobs to have a real impact. In addition, the way can sometimes be congested and you have to be patient and navigate the company's policy well.

2. Go through counseling

People who work in consulting, gradually gain skills, recognition and expertise in a sector of activity, and end up being hired by their client. This is the most effective path in terms of remuneration, career progression , but it requires a significant capacity for work, solid skills in terms of tools and reporting and an ability to be appreciated by his client and his future employer! We have also created a Master Class sustainable Consulting to meet growing market demand.

3. The way of Interim

It is also possible to carry out sustainable management on an interim basis with one or more SMEs/ETIs.

The inflationary trend and the uncertain economic situation are preventing many companies from hiring even as pressure is mounting from the regulatory side and from civil society. Thus, some companies (especially SMEs - ETIs without a dedicated service) prefer to go through outsourced sustainable development departments on an interim basis. The missions are always so interesting but they are then often part-time. The person responsible for these missions can thus pool his time within several companies and concentrate on the design of policies in order to delegate their implementation to the employees of the company (while remaining responsible for the evaluation of this Implementation). These companies are particularly in demand for assignments on energy frugality and climate strategy as well as reporting.

4. Do a "classic" job in an SSE organization or impact companies

There is no need for sustainable management within organizations of the social and solidarity economy which are these companies are for the majority "sustainable in essence" - we then speak more of responsible for environmental performance (saving energy, circular economy, decarbonization) or commercial performance (increase the impact of the organization by increasing its action in volume). This path in the SSE is generally less profitable but it is an effective path for people who are faced with fewer job offers than applications (whose job offers are fewer than applications (such as marketing and communication).

These trades are exciting, accessible and well paid, but require a minimum of experience, training and negotiation.

To start moving in this direction you can:

In any case, the Master Class Sustainable Direction by EcoLearn will give you all the essentials to embed sustainable leadership in the organization of your choice.

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For further

👉 16 steps for your professional transition

👉 Testimonies - successful professional retrainings

👉 32 purpose-driven jobs

👉 How to find professional retraining ideas?

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