Corporate Responsibility Salary Survey 2010 results out!

Corporate Responsibility Salary Survey 2010 results out!

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Want to know what global #CR professionals are earning? Go to & download the 2010 CR Salary Survey Report #csr
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 2:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) - April 28th, 2010 - The growing areas of corporate responsibility, sustainability and ‘ethical business’ have always been difficult to define. The Corporate Responsibility Salary Survey, now in its third year, aims to add clarity and transparency to the roles, salaries and backgrounds of the professionals working in this space. This year, we’ve gone global. Nearly 600 CR professionals from around the world took part and this year’s survey has provided us with the first ever detailed insight of the international corporate responsibility job market.

The industry over time:
The three years of surveying enable us to identify what changes have occurred in the CR job market in the UK over the last three years, as it has evolved from a relatively niche sector to an increasingly important business function for all areas of industry.
The top three areas of activity for in-house employees in the UK have remained consistent over the three surveys – Community Investment, Reporting and Environment. Consultants continue to focus on Reporting followed by Auditing & Assurance and Community Investment.
Across the sample, Reporting and Performance Measurement are the most ‘popular’ activities for both in-house employees and consultants globally. This reflects both what we see in our work and replicates the results of our previous UK-focused surveys.
Overall salary levels have been static over the last three years. However, there is some evidence that salaries for the most senior employees - both in-house and consultants – have fallen back slightly over the last 12 months, while the middle ranks have enjoyed an increase.
There is already a good deal of evidence to support the view that senior CR professionals are developing into more commercially-focused workers. UK salaries increased dramatically this year (we can’t yet compare international salaries as this is the first international report) and levels of remuneration are often a good reflection of how important an individual is for creating or protecting revenue.
In this year’s survey, as in previous years, consultants were not paid as generously as those working ‘in house’. If consultants are to compete on salary in the future, it is likely that they will need to move from providing technical advice and services, to providing management consultancy around sustainability. As budding opportunities from the transition to a sustainable world and economy emerge, we anticipate a growth in the numbers of individuals in these types of positions.
Gender split and pay differences:
While women working in CR in the UK continuously outnumber men by about 2:1 there is no evidence that the pay gap identified in previous surveys is narrowing. Women continue to dominate in Community Investment roles while men focus on activities relating to climate change and the environment.
The issues around gender are to some degree unsurprising given that other professions– also struggle with ensuring that women are appropriately compensated for their work and are offered the same developmental and promotional opportunities. The fact that, notwithstanding the current state of affairs, there is little difference in the levels of male and female job satisfaction raises the possibility that these imbalances are not regarded as significant by those affected (alternatively, it could be that women would have exhibit even higher levels of satisfaction if they were addressed!). 
Education and career path:
The CR field has well-educated employees who on average have been in this field for 14 years. However, many did not start of in CR as their first job and have switched to CR from other roles in academia, consultancy, corporations and others.
One especially interesting aspect of this year’s results is the picture of an emerging generation of corporate responsibility professionals who have only ever worked in the field.
Although the survey shows that 90% of respondents have arrived at their current positions from other spheres of activity, this means that one in ten has never actually worked in any other area. This confirms increasingly strong anecdotal evidence that a young, committed cadre of professionals is waiting in the wings to take over from the multi-disciplinary old guard when the time is right. No longer is it unusual for a practitioner to have dedicated their entire working life, short as it may yet be, to socially responsible business.
Andy Cartland, Managing Director of Acre, says “Unlike many long established professions, the connection between remuneration and job title is still not always predictable in corporate responsibility.  We are pleased that that through the CR Salary Survey we can provide valuable insight for professionals within the CR space aiding their understanding of where they fit into the global CR market”.
The recession appears not to have affected the breadth of activities undertaken, the resources available and – interestingly – salary levels.
Paul Burke, Senior Partner at Acona, says “This causes me to wonder to what extent these are indicators of the way in which CR is increasingly moving from a peripheral to a more central position in many organisations and is no longer just the preserve of larger companies with significant social and environmental impacts?”
This is the third instalment of the CR Salary Survey and there is much to be optimistic about. In particular, job security is at an all time high as 84% of CR professionals feel their job stability has improved or remained the same in the last 12 months. In the previous year’s survey, which was conducted at the peak of the downturn (November 2008), the equivalent figure was 70% and given the state of the economy this was remarkable. This recession was the first substantial test of the CR market’s metal and it passed with flying colours.
It appears we have just started to emerge from the recession but already we have observed a rapid pick-up in the CR job market. A reflection perhaps that an increasing number of businesses are getting to grips with the commercial opportunities that will arise as humanity shifts from a perilously non-sustainable condition - where a rapidly growing population will put pressure on water supplies, arable land, carbon sinks and clean energy - to a sustainable condition.

Acre: Acre is an international recruitment firm specialising in the corporate responsibility and sustainability sectors. With offices in London and Chicago and a growing team of passionate individuals, we have placed hundreds of sustainability professionals in a range of organizations around the world, from leading corporate brands to specialist consultancies and innovative start-ups. More info -
Acona: society and groups have expectations of how businesses should treat their customers, their employees and suppliers, the communities in which they operate and the environment. Acona’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) team works with companies to understand and respond to this agenda. The team is based in London, with staff all over the UK. We have a wide range of expertise and advise large, mainly corporate clients on the full range of social, environmental and ethical matters from tentative first steps through to measuring and reporting the outcomes. More info -
Ethical Performance: Ethical Performance is a subscription-based monthly newsletter for senior executives now in its ninth year of publication that is read by more than 3,500 CSR and SRI personnel in large companies and investing institutions and related organizations in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. More info -


Bethany Cox
+44 203170ext. 8030