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Chief Sustainability Officer

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What is a Chief Sustainability Officer?

Occupation Description Communicate and coordinate with management, shareholders, customers, and employees to address sustainability issues. Enact or oversee a corporate sustainability strategy.

Chief Sustainability Officer Responsibilities

  • Write project proposals, grant applications, or other documents to pursue funding for environmental initiatives.
  • Monitor and evaluate effectiveness of sustainability programs.
  • Review sustainability program objectives, progress, or status to ensure compliance with policies, standards, regulations, or laws.
  • Write and distribute financial or environmental impact reports.
  • Develop or execute strategies to address issues such as energy use, resource conservation, recycling, pollution reduction, waste elimination, transportation, education, and building design.
  • Develop, or oversee the development of, marketing or outreach media for sustainability projects or events.

What a Chief Sustainability Officer Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Chief Sustainability Officers say are important on the job.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Types of Chief Sustainability Officer Jobs

  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Sustainability Energy Manager
  • Sustainability Manager
  • Stakeholder Manager
  • Environmental Sustainability Manager

Is There Going to be Demand for Chief Sustainability Officers?

In the United States, there were 308,900 jobs for Chief Sustainability Officer in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Chief Sustainability Officer. There will be an estimated 20,000 positions for Chief Sustainability Officer per year.


The states with the most job growth for Chief Sustainability Officer are Washington, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Ohio, or Pennsylvania. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Chief Sustainability Officer

The typical yearly salary for Chief Sustainability Officers is somewhere between $68,360 and $208,000.


Chief Sustainability Officers who work in California, District of Columbia, or Georgia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Chief Sustainability Officers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $204,590
Alaska $179,630
Arizona $194,360
Arkansas $126,960
California $228,270
Colorado $198,130
Connecticut $210,650
District of Columbia $247,500
Florida $187,870
Georgia $218,590
Hawaii $201,680
Idaho $94,470
Illinois $230,070
Indiana $148,730
Iowa $211,560
Kansas $172,100
Kentucky $152,670
Louisiana $208,110
Maine $152,780
Maryland $198,260
Massachusetts $221,810
Michigan $206,660
Minnesota $195,320
Mississippi $112,310
Missouri $167,980
Montana $132,400
Nebraska $220,950
Nevada $215,590
New Hampshire $180,250
New Jersey $233,050
New York $220,040
North Carolina $210,050
North Dakota $172,900
Ohio $201,100
Oklahoma $157,540
Oregon $212,290
Pennsylvania $231,120
Rhode Island $242,350
South Carolina $182,760
South Dakota $251,950
Tennessee $152,730
Texas $239,680
Utah $165,020
Vermont $136,410
Virginia $228,540
Washington $220,730
West Virginia $153,880
Wisconsin $154,820
Wyoming $131,020

Tools & Technologies Used by Chief Sustainability Officers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Chief Sustainability Officers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Scheduling software
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Teleconferencing software

How do I Become a Chief Sustainability Officer?

Education needed to be a Chief Sustainability Officer:


What work experience do I need to become a Chief Sustainability Officer?


Chief Sustainability Officers Sector


The table below shows the approximate number of Chief Sustainability Officers employed by various industries.



Image Credit: Dave Dugdale via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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