© 2017 by Sustainable Means

Case Studies

Fortune 500, Consumer

Chief Sustainability Officer

Working for the CEO, a board member of GE and Apple, we provided in under two months, a slate of three of the world's top candidates, sourced from Fortune 20, 50, and 200 firms, respectively ranked #1, #2 and #7 in US sustainability rankings.

Our candidate went on to outperform over a >5 year highly successful stint at the company.

This Fortune 500 client had the biggest direct sales force in the world (>6 million), primarily women, and primarily in emerging markets. The CEO recognized that the key to revenue growth was engaging and motivating this sales force, helping them develop networks of trusted relationships within their local communities. She also recognized that the major impacts of climate change and other ecological costs of industrialized western prosperity were directly hurting those communities (China, Eastern Europe and Brazil were key markets).

Having experienced major brand building success with a narrative of social impact (the economic empowerment of women in developing nations), the CEO wished to move from double, towards triple bottom-line (financial, social and environmental value), engaging her sales force as champions of sustainability within their impacted communities. Simultaneously she was concerned with brand risk from the environmental impacts of her firm (a major paper and pulp user).

The CEO had seen how another high volume, value-based firm (Walmart), with a similar very large work force (>1 million employees), had achieved major employee engagement, brand protection, reputation enhancement and cost-savings, through pursuing a genuine and aggressive sustainability effort. Her strategy was to increase engagement and sales through a similar sustainability transformation effort, while in parallel reduce risks, costs and operational impacts.

We closed the CEO's priority candidate of the 3 finalists, despite a complex relocation. The candidate went on to outperform over a >5 year highly successful stint at the company.