An inevitable consequence of the green business movement cross fertilising with US corporate culture and its love of business status monikers is the first appearance of the CSO, Chief Sustainability Officer, on the ever lengthening listing of C-level titles. Or so says the New York Times.
Could it catch on over here? Probably, yes in a small way.
UK media scrutiny of green IT is sharpening with new media blogs like Dan Ilet's Greenbang putting the spotlight on business green practices including high level business strategy and public commitment to deliver results.
Getting sustainability on the board agenda is critical but C-level titles will probably impress few if any UK media commentators. They are increasingly looking for substance not style in business communications on this issue. This is probably why we are seeing a movement by UK business to move from talking about carbon off-setting to talking about real cuts in energy consumption.
CSO is a sign of the times but probably a passing fad. A CSO should be where the buck stops when other C-level roles like the CFO and CEO should have sustainability high on their agendas too.
Nonetheless expect more CSOs popping up in the media from now on.