UK businesses are focusing heavily on sustainability, with board level hires of Chief Sustainability Officers growing rapidly.
That’s according to new research conducted by PwC, revealing that the UK is now only behind France, the US and India worldwide for the number of CSOs hired per company.
Out of the firms PwC surveyed, 37% have a CSO currently in place, which is just above the European average of 35%.
This is a new trend across UK companies, with more CSO appointments in 2021 globally than in 2016-2020 combined.
Around half of these hires in the UK have been internal and now 56% of British businesses have at least one member of staff who works directly in sustainability.
The study also revealed that the role of a CSO has developed and expanded, with it being a far less subordinate position and one that needs to know each end of the business inside and out to gauge how it is performing from an ESG perspective.
Carl Sizer, ESG Leader at PwC, said: “Sustainability has long passed the point of being a ‘nice to have’ and its importance as a strategic priority for business is evident in the growing number of CSOs being appointed at the UK’s biggest companies.
“Having a CSO on the board sends a strong signal to investors, customers and employees that sustainability is a key consideration in both strategic and operational planning.”