SOURCE: GreenBiz Group

GreenBiz Group

October 19, 2010 13:58 ET

Corporate Sustainability Executives Riding High in Salary and Satisfaction, According to New GreenBiz Group Salary Survey

Inaugural Research Report Demonstrates the Growing Demand for Environmental and Corporate Responsibility Executives

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 19, 2010) - Corporate sustainability executives are well-paid and enjoy high job satisfaction and an optimistic outlook, according to the first-ever GreenBiz Salary Survey, published today by GreenBiz Group.

The report, released during the company's annual Innovation Forum Conference in San Francisco, surveyed more than 500 sustainability professionals about their job responsibilities, salaries, and overall job satisfaction.

GreenBiz Group is an integrated media company that defines and accelerates the business of sustainability. The Salary Survey, produced by the company's GreenBiz Intelligence unit, represents the first comprehensive look at the compensation, educational background, and other characteristics of those in this fast-growing field.

"Ten years ago, the formal role of the sustainability professional didn't exist," said John Davies, GreenBiz Group vice president and senior analyst. "Today, environmental and corporate responsibility executives are taking on a more significant role in the corporate landscape -- helping to do more good within their companies while also making a positive impact on their companies' bottom lines. The results of the Salary Report demonstrate the growing interest in sustainability-focused positions, as well as the significant job opportunities that exist within this segment." 

Highlights from the GreenBiz Salary Report include several interesting trends:

  • Hiring freezes continue to thaw: Large companies reported increasing headcount for environmental and sustainability roles. In early 2009, 27 percent of large companies reported hiring freezes and only 8 percent planned to increase headcount for environmental departments. Today, only 11 percent report hiring freezes and over 28 percent plan to increase headcount, a major swing. This also represents a significant increase from just six months ago, when 23 percent of the large firms planned to increase headcount.
  • Sustainability executives are satisfied and optimistic: Job satisfaction is high for those working in sustainability, and optimism that sustainability will be valued by their employers throughout the next five years is felt by more than eighty percent of our survey respondents.
  • Compensation is strong: Sustainability executives are compensated at salaries comparable to those of their peers, at least in companies with revenues greater than $1 billion. Vice presidents of sustainability earn an average of $192,064, whereas directors of sustainability earn an average of $160,320 and sustainability managers earn an average of $103,197.
  • Educated. Sustainability executives tend to be well educated as 65 percent of vice presidents, 57 percent of directors, and 58 percent of managers have master's degrees. Managers with master's degrees earned almost twenty percent more than those with bachelor's degrees.

For more information, or to purchase the full GreenBiz Salary Report, visit

About GreenBiz Group
GreenBiz Group defines and accelerates the business of sustainability. GreenBiz Group is an integrated media company focused on supporting professionals who view sustainable practices as a core part of their businesses. GreenBiz is focused on telling the stories, providing the insights and advancing the sustainability profession through, GreenBiz Events, GreenBiz Intelligence, and GreenBiz Connects. For additional information, visit

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