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4 things to consider when hiring your first sustainability manager

What to look for in a sustainability manager

Published 6 April 2023

The sustainability manager role is a relatively new one in tourism and hospitality.

The good news is that your first sustainability hire doesn’t need to be highly qualified. A genuine interest in your mission and a willingness to learn and grow are excellent starting points. From there, you can shape the role into something that supports your sustainability goals and overall business operations.

When looking for a sustainability manager, keep the following in mind:


A personal interest in sustainability


Unless you’re a listed company with strict reporting requirements, your first sustainability hire doesn’t need to be a “unicorn” with decades of experience. Someone with the right personality and a background or interest in sustainability can learn on the job and be guided by solutions like Weeva on the next step to take.


Gravitas to influence change


Sustainability managers are change agents and project leaders. But to drive change, they need a certain level of seniority and influence in the business to call out leaders for unsustainable practices, change how things have always been done and motivate for investments that will improve the business’s green credentials.


Strong communication skills


Your sustainability manager must be comfortable engaging with and training people from every department. They should also be comfortable chatting with the community and guests about your sustainability projects to drum up support and awareness of your impact.


The ability to understand and communicate data insights


Sustainability is all about the data. Where are you now? Where do you need to be? What are you doing well? What could you do better? They don’t need to be data scientists but having some level of data literacy will help your sustainability manager to focus on the right projects and allocate the right resources. They should also be comfortable with producing reports (which Weeva does automatically for you) and reporting back to decision-makers on progress towards your sustainability goals.

Whether you’re appointing someone internally or hiring externally, be sure to create a formal description of the sustainability role, with a job hierarchy, reporting structure and key responsibilities. This creates continuity and keeps everyone aligned with your vision.

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