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Ethical behaviour ‘not important CSR skillset’

“Results driven” characteristics rank as the most valuable trait in sustainability professionals, according to a report commissioned by professional services firm EY. Of the 22 management behaviours tested, three of the top four fall into this bracket. These include developing expertise (ranked first), impressing people (second) and articulating information (fourth). Also high on the list is establishing rapport (third), an acknowledgement of how important working with others and building trust-based relationships has become in sustainability management. Curiously, towards the bottom of the list were ethical credentials, such as upholding standards (14th) and empowering others (equal 20th). Visionary thinking, be it related to developing strategies (12th) or providing insights (equal 20th), are comparatively poorly rated too.

Sustainability leaders who have 10-20 years’ experience have the strongest scores across the majority of behavioural competencies, while the most effective managers in this space tend to have postgraduate degrees. Gender is shown to have only a minimal impact on perceived effectiveness. The study was based on an extensive literary review, coupled with a survey of 97 senior corporate sustainability professionals.

EY: Behavioural Competency Model for Sustainability Leaders

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