What do you need to succeed in CR?June 2015
Excellent, you’ve found us, writes Claudine Blamey. After years studying or working in another profession, you’ve decided to start a career in CR and sustainability (CRS). What do you need to succeed? We’ve been asked this question a lot in recent weeks, as well as another – how can the ICRS help people beginning a career in CRS? Here are our answers.
CR and sustainability is now a major profession, encompassing all major economies in the world and business sectors. It’s also one of the most diverse professions in terms of knowledge and skill sets. Transforming businesses and economies to sustainability means addressing business resilience issues, climate change, availability of resources, the concept of circular economy, community impacts, health and safety, human rights, supply chains, diversity and inclusion, equality, and governance. We need communicators to engage all parts of the business and external stakeholders, strategists to integrate sustainability into business strategy, people with commercial awareness who can speak the language of commercial teams, analysts able to turn data into digestible information and innovators to design new sustainable products and services, and more.
This is good news for people looking to enter the sector because it’s highly likely that you have one or more of the attributes we need.
We have defined the skills and behaviours for the profession in our ICRS Competency Framework. Coupled with an enquiring mind and a good dose of tenacity and enthusiasm, that should help you meet the various challenges and overcome them. The Framework sets out five generic competences and four CRS specific Guiding Principles. When you look at this framework, reflect on the following questions:
• Which, if any, of the competences have you developed already? Remember – they’re generic business competences. It’s likely that you already have some.
•Likewise, do you understand/accept the role of the Guiding Principles?
If you identify gaps, a great way to bridge those gaps is to join the ICRS where you can access a wide variety of resources – webinars every two weeks on pertinent CRS topics; signposting to countless reports and sources of information; award winning learning materials from Virtual Ashridge; discounts on relevant books via Greenleaf publishing; and, of course, a community of members with knowledge and expertise to tap into.
We are also developing a practical, competency based eBook specifically aimed CR and sustainability professionals just starting out. It will give insights into what it really means to work in the sector.
If this whets your appetite and you’re interested in membership, find out how to apply here: https://icrs.info/membership. Affiliate membership – aimed at people with limited professional experience in CRS – is £120 per year, and just £30 for students.
The ICRS’s mission is to help people to be brilliant in their work so that they can make a positive difference to society and our planet. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7839 019
Claudine Blamey is Chair of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS) and Head of Sustainability and Stewardship at The Crown Estate.
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