BUS 6420 – Need for Sustainability Manager – Assignment And Sample Answer

Assignment Instructions – Need for Sustainability Manager

A Sustainability Manager provides a specific focus on the environmental and social concerns of the company. In this assignment you will explore the importance of this position and the incorporated responsibilities.

Review what happens next at Top Shelf from the Top Shelf Scenario :

Top Shelf has a fairly typical ratio of managers to employees. However, your team knows that having a dedicated staff to focus on sustainability has worked well at other companies. Research sustainable management. Identify and research companies that have a sustainability manager (SM) or a similar position. Select three companies for use in this assignment. At least one of the three selected companies should also be in the retail industry.

Prepare a report making a case for Top Shelf to hire an SM. Cover the following in your report:

  • Explain the role and importance of an SM within a company.
  • Analyze the approach of your selected three companies toward sustainable management.
  • Provide rationale for Top Shelf to have a management focus on sustainability.
  • Explain the specific responsibilities the SM will take up at Top Shelf and the benefits and costs associated with the hire.

Sample Answer –  Report on the Vitality of Hiring a Sustainability Manager (SM) at Top Shelf

Role and Importance of a Sustainability Manager within a Company  

We currently live in an era where the society is acutely aware of all activities carried out by humanity and how some of them may eventually affect the environment. It is for this very reason that prominent conglomerates the world over increasingly hire sustainability managers (SM) to fill their ranks. These individuals are integral in these modern organizations since they play a pivotal role in ensuring that the firms commit to an agenda that espouses posterity. Resources are scarce commodities, which is why sustainability managers (SMs) are at the forefront of ensuring that they are not depleted and, in the process, securing them for future generations (Andreas, 2011, p. 67). Moreover, companies that hire these professionals have an edge over their business rivals since they are now able to evaluate the economic viability of their undertakings. It is through this multifaceted role that all environmental standards are upheld, allowing the company to produce its consumer good without threatening a green future. Sustainable managers (SMs) are assets companies since they play an active role in formulating strategies that will ultimately reduce any possible ecological damage. They also play a crucial role in liaising with local authorities, agencies and other bodies related to the national government in an effort to promote ecological sustainability. General Electric Multinational Conglomerate Company, Siemens, and the retailer H&M have taken a keen interest in this approach and have made concerted efforts to hire sustainable managers (SM) as part of their management team.

An Evaluation of the Approaches Employed General Electric Co, Siemens, and H&M Toward Sustainable Management

Sustainable management has been adopted wholly by leading brands across the world that seeking to leave a lasting legacy with regard to a green future. General Electric, Siemens, and H&M have committed to this particular cause and have, for a while now, been leading voices in sustainable management. Siemens was one of the first business entities to embrace this move, particularly because it dabbled in the production of imaging machines and, in some cases, even power plants. The nature of the business that it engaged in meant that the companies had to first figure out a way of becoming more energy-efficient and in turn score high in Corporate Knight’s metric ranking. A typical approach adopted in this particular case involved the creation of infrastructure that was, in essence, environmentally friendly thus living up to their ideals. Additionally, the company also makes use of products such as air conditioning structures and green heating. Through joint initiatives, Siemens has been successful in bringing the society, like-minded politicians, and international organizations together to acknowledge the need for partnership at various levels for a better future.  On the other hand, General Electric takes its sustainability efforts a notch higher by aligning its business strategy in a way that it eventually ends up minimizing its environmental impact. These efforts are carried out while meeting societal needs and advancing the development of communities. Healthy-imagination and eco-imagination are examples of efforts that the firm has adopted, making sure that they are in line with the Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) requirements. H&M adopts a more proactive approach when dealing with matters of sustainability. Their circular strategy aims to produce high-end pieces that also promote sustainability through the use of the organic material. It is noteworthy to acknowledge that these strategies were formulated by seasoned sustainability managers.

The rationale for Top Shelf Having a Management Team focused on Sustainability

From the aforementioned cases, it is fundamental for any well-meaning firm to make a concerted effort towards sustainability owing to the benefits that would accrue from a conscientious integration of this approach. A management team at Top Shelf that is focused on sustainability will provide the company with a competitive advantage that would go a long way in improving its image. Such employees, therefore, take a personal interest in ensuring that they raise the public’s awareness while introducing them to their sustainable habits. Productivity in the firm will also increase while the cost of production would reduce considerably (Hitchcock & Willard, 2015). This is because all employees will now pay close attention to efficient operation, all geared towards conserving the resources that are at their disposal. They are therefore better placed to comply with all relevant regulations in addition to attracting potential investors.

Responsibilities of a Sustainable Manager (SM) coupled with Costs and Benefits Associated with the Hire

A sustainable manager (SM) is at the forefront of ensuring that the company in question is steadily working towards staying green. This is done by developing action plans and policies that are to be adopted as the de facto modus operandi in all operational capacities. A sustainable manager (SM) is also responsible for disseminating information on the strategies that have been developed and an appropriate budget to fund such activities. Another key responsibility is ensuring that they keep track of the firm’s sustainability performance. Keeping track of these KPIs makes certain that the metrics are provided using a context-based system that reveals the sustainability efforts. The average annual salary for professionals filling this position hovers around $40,000 and $50,000 annually. With such an individual, the company is now assured of a firm environmental standing with an expert capable of analyzing and managing all sustainable plans.


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