The 2012 CR & Sustainability Salary Survey: The Good News, The Bad News

2degrees recently hosted another great webinar on the newly released 2012 CR & Sustainability Salary Survey. 847 professionals were surveyed and the resulting report comes from collaboration between Acre Resources, Acona, Flag, and Ethical Performance. Striving to provide new and updated information relevant in the world of sustainability, the team definitely did not skimp in this webinar! Speakers, Paul Burke and Andrew Cartland provided an abundance of facts and figures that this year’s survey revealed. More importantly, they put these facts and figures in a context that made them easy to digest. After this year’s survey results were released, quite a few trends were recognized. Some of these trends reveal a great outlook for those in the sustainability field. While other trends show that there is always room for improvement.

Some of the Good News: Industries and roles are growing exponentially in sustainability, offering more job opportunities for those interested in making positive global impacts. The top three sectors that are booming, as Burke and Cartland see it, are extractives, retail, and technology. Furthermore, those working in sustainability geared fields are being rewarded more generously for their efforts. Thirty three percent of those who took the survey fell into the category of making $50,000-$80,000, which is quite an astounding number for such a young field. Even more good news: fifty five percent of respondents had either a master’s degree or a PhD. This means even more bright minds are working on today’s toughest sustainability issues!

Some of the Bad News: While overall this report revealed lots of positive points for those looking to get into a sustainability related field, the age old issue of the gender pay gap crept its way into the survey. Females proved to hold lower positions of power, while more males could be seen in positions of leadership. The pay gap this year was a weighty $16,000 on average. Cartland and Burke, however, are hopeful that gradually more and more women will be seen in higher paid positions. Burke also wrote an article, “Why bonus levels are lagging in CR and sustainability roles,” that touches a little more on the “bad” that is worth the quick read.

Overall we found that the webinar and survey tended to focus more on in-house Chief Sustainability Officers. The webinar covered insights into the salaries and benefit packages appropriate if you are building or managing a team in this market, the rapidly evolving corporate responsibility and sustainability jobs market, where the opportunities are, and the profiles of the people undertaking them. Want to find out more?  Check out the full webinar recording on 2degrees’ site here or download the full 2012 CR & Sustainability Salary Survey!

Interested in learning more about the sustainability consulting industry more specifically? SSC also checks the pulse on the sustainability industry through our survey leveraging the SSC Consultant Network. If you are interested in learning more about findings at what they could mean to you we suggest checking out the Sustainability Consulting Masterclass Series as well as these popular blogs: