As someone who works at the intersection of human resources and sustainability, I’m fascinated by the question of who is leading this change, and how they can do so effectively.That’s why I was pleased to read Carola Wijdoogen’s new book, "7 Roles to Create Sustainable Success: A Practical Guide for Sustainability and CSR Professionals," which launches Oct. 6.

Wijdoogen points out that there’s no "one-size-fits-all" approach to sustainability, but every sustainability team deploys seven common roles at some point:

  1. The Networker: Wijdoogen describes two types of networking roles: Stakeholder engagement and peer networks.
  2. The Strategist: This role is all about creating the sustainability vision and mission by defining the organization’s "why" when it comes to sustainability, whether that’s about growing profits, reducing risk, enhancing reputation, accelerating innovation, crystalizing the firm’s growth plan or something else.
  3. The Coordinator and Initiator: These roles support and spur implementation across the organization, so the people in this role must deeply understand the CSR mission, strategy and plan and how the organization works so they can "anchor sustainability in the structure, system and processes" of the company.
  4. The Stimulator and Connector: If the coordinator sets up the system to make taking action easier, the stimulator makes others want to take action.
  5. The Mentor: Put simply, mentors empower others. In this chapter, Wijdoogen describes how to make sustainability relevant to different teams and how to encourage individuals to understand its relevance to their own role and career growth.
  6. The Innovator: Wijdoogen breaks down how sustainability can be used toward innovation in different areas — from new products and services to the design process to new business models.
  7. The Monitor: The people who do measurement, reporting and analysis — the wonks of sustainability — help their companies learn from successes and failures.

Read the full article about successful sustainability team by Ellen Weinreb at GreenBiz.