In today’s society, sustainability is comparable to new technology. As the area continues to grow rapidly, those in the field serve as pioneers in crafting processes and strategies for continued growth. However, the profession is not set up for long-term success, as shown by a joint study from the Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CROA) found.
The State of the Corporate Responsibility Profession study surveyed CSR stakeholders, including academics, practitioners and recognized thought leaders. The findings showed that there is a long way to go in making sustainability a respected field and profession.
The BCLC and the CROA cited multiple characteristics that define a mature profession, included educational curriculum and career pipeline. These are lacking in the corporate responsibility sector, despite the increased of CSR positions within the workforce.
“Corporate responsibility as we know it today has only existed a few decades. The CR field is more intertwined than ever in smart business strategy, but it stands at a critical crossroads in its development into a mature profession,” said BCLC’s Stephen Jordan in a release.
Richard Crespin, contributor to Forbes’ The CSR Blog and executive director of the CROA believes the profession is stuck in the “chicken-and-egg conundrum.” Employers won’t put value into the profession without their being a body of knowledge behind it.
To show the value of corporate responsibility professionals, Crespin believes that they need to take their worth into their own hands. Learning more about the positions and industry will help create a body of knowledge. That way, young professionals will see a career in corporate responsibility as a sustainable position. They will reach out to organizations, like ours, who can provide them with training and certifications. Young professional will bring knowledge to the sectors that have yet to embrace corporate responsibility.
They have the growth of the profession in their hands.