Codifying Corporate Sustainability Careers

GACSO's primary focus is the 'codification' of the role and career development. 

Creating a voice

Sustainability is increasingly being seen by more and more organisations as the key challenge that can offer the greatest opportunity for creativity and developing new strategy that will lead to long-term, sustained success. 

However, we are still in a largely bespoke phase when it comes to understanding organisational needs and defining the roles for sustainability professionals.  There is no consensus yet on the skills, talents and attributes that are needed and so personal development paths and career paths are unclear.  Existing roles vary considerable and are highly volatile with the scope often changing significantly.

Create a voice for sustainability professionals who believe that society‘s future and long-term business success depend on how businesses embrace sustainable development.

Enhance the effectiveness, influence and careers of corporate sustainability professionals by:

  • providing members (and the wider profession) with a clear consensus description of the role and its impact on the wider business
  • codifying the knowledge and skills required to work at the highest levels in corporations, purposefully aligning their interests with those of sustainable development
  • tracking key trends in corporate sustainability careers and providing members with access to career pathway data and mentoring opportunities
  • providing industry leaders with a ‘safe space’ in which to discuss the development of the profession and a mechanism to support the next generation of sustainability professionals.

In pursuing these goals we will support our members and the industry at large to make wiser choices in jobs, to be more relevant in organisations, to have more impact, work with more excellence and be part of a more respected profession.


Our activities include:

  • Sharing knowledge via White Papers and other documents
  • Presenting at industry seminars
  • Engaging with other professional bodies: HR, Legal, Training, Higher Education Institutes

Knowledge sharing

GACSO is committed to researching the many various aspects of the sustainability profession and disseminating our learnings.

We have identified a range of subject that we are addressing.  Our members' work and life experience is the first source we draw upon: collectively it represents hundreds of years of real-life experience of sustainability practitioners and is thus probably unique.

Currently we are working on:
  • GACSO's "Defining the Corporate Sustainability Professional"
  • Career Paths
  • The CSO Career Landscape
  • Members' Stories
  • State of the Profession
In 2011 we published our first document: "Defining the Corporate Sustainability Professional"

This document produced by GACSO's Founding Members is the first publication from our initiative to establish a consensus on the role of the sustainable development professional.

Further work will incorporate contributions from other professionals including HR, Recruitment, Boards of Directors, that will add new dimensions and perspectives to this definition.


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