My dream career is connected to sustainability. To be able to make possibly the most significant positive social/ environmental impact, I would need to influence as many people as possible and even more importantly mainly those who now cause the most serious harm to society.
For me, the best career would be to become a sustainability consultant. In this role, I could consult various impactful companies, not just influence one (as if CSR manager) and not having to use negative PR to force them to start behaving responsibly (as if NGO activist). I would create business plan to persuade them that behaving responsibly can be actually beneficial for themselves too. I would make them see that without loyal, satisfied customers their business just cannot be sustainable in the long-run.
How would I measure that I am successful in my role? I would know what I am recommending to each of the entities and I would have undertaken an analysis to have the specific data on the possible positive impact made/ decrease in their negative impact, using measurement methods such as GRI and LBG. Then I would get feedback regarding actually how many companies have really utilised my advices or to which extend. As follows, I would create a summary of the overal positive impact made through applying my advices.
I have identified so far that in the Czech Republic, there are no influencial consultacy companies which would offer sustainability consulting. Their mother companies have usually already started to provide it in a smaller or a bit bigger extend but general excuse I have heard when asking subsidiaries in the Czech Republic is that „local market is not ready yet“. However, I got to know that the main issue lies in something else: They do not understand what it can actually bring them and sadly also what sustainability or even CSR mean (perceived often as just philanthropy).
While I was interning at the United Nations in New York in summer 2012, I have used this unique opportunity to meet employees from Global Compact and the Division for Sustainable Development. They provide manuals for diverse subjects to help them improve their sustainable behaviour. Nevertheless, what the companies need and is not realistically within the capacity of the UN is advising companies on the individual basis, grounded by thorough analysis of what would make the biggest positive impact and would be at the same time the most beneficial for the company itself. I have already attended lots of seminars and conferences on CSR and sustainability, I have elaborated on my Master’s Thesis concerning Measuring Impacts of CSR, which I have then presented briefly at a CSR conference and I cooperate with CSR Consult which is very small consultancy company that is not now unfortunately in the state to grow.
Oikos and More Than Money Careers could potentially provide me with advice how to pursuade big and famous consultancy companies in the Czech Republic to try this topic and companies to be open to this kind of consultancy and so focus on long-term rather than just short-term. Moreover, if I gained contacts for sustainability consultants who are already now successful, that could definitely help me to pursue this career via sharing their best practices with me.
What I could do within the next three months is to improve my website regarding sustainability to make it more attractive and useful. Also, I could contact consultancy companies again to find out if any progress in their sustainability thinking was made and if not, try to positively pursuade them.
This post is by Marketa Jelinkova. Marketa is a member of oikos Prague and is currently working full time having graduate last year with a CEMS degree.