Back to Blogs
Money G9f39f36c2 1280
Share this Article

Sustainability - matching purpose with profit

  • Publish Date: Posted 12 months ago


Can leaders really balance sustainability and profitability? A recent EY study of CFOs highlights the problem of CFOs being happen with the paradox that leadership teams face when investing in ESG / sustainability.

Arguably, Sustainability should be one of the highest priorities yet it also has one of the highest chance of having a budget cut. 66% of the CFO’s felt that the balance between long- and short-term priorities in the leadership team was not as they would like.

Why do leadership teams struggle so much to balance ESG / sustainability priorities?

There is an argument that company leaders and sustainability influencers have two major needs:

  1. Excellent data and people systems

  2. A solid business case to support the premise that sustainable business is profitable business.

How do organizations achieve meet these needs?

Get the right talent and team in place to assess, transform, and deliver ESG data. The world needs us to be stewards of the gift we have been given. There is a huge first-mover advantage and strategic value in having the ESG data; a solid business case can be quickly developed and companies that take the lead will likely profit.

The expectation is that ESG data is only going to get more and more important due to the interconnected nature of sustainability. Your key clients will, and probably are, already be knocking down your door to procure the Scope 2 and 3 data for their carbon net zero (indirect emissions and in the value chain) and if you’re not delivering they could go to other suppliers who will… Therefore, it is a business imperative to ensure the ease of delivering data and ESG reporting.

The senior leaders in sustainability in key positions I have been talking to (including those from large corporates, national environmental agencies, and the World Economic Forum), have the skills and strategic gravitas to get these results.

What is loud and clear in these conversations is the vital need and huge opportunity for a strategic leader to drive the data collection systems, internal transformation, and strategic positioning that will result in the ESG strategy being very profitable. These roles need well-honed people, strategic and analysis skills.

How do you solve the challenge of sustainability prioritization? Deliver measurable data that brings a strategic advantage. The key is securing the right people on your team. Let me help you make that happen.

Having joined Allen & York (global Executive Search and Recruitment Consultants in sustainability, net zero, ESG, and the environment), I now head up the global natural resources desk. I focus on sustainability and ESG across natural resources, please reach out to me if you would like to discuss your ESG and sustainability recruitment challenges: