Sustainability Leadership Competencies
Yarbrough, Jillian R.
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Sustainable development is defined by the Bundtland Commissions of the United Nations (March 20, 1987) as, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.” For businesses, this means the management and coordination of environmental, social and financial needs should occur in such a way as to ensure ethical and ongoing operations for the immediate and the future. Recent years have seen a significant increase in stakeholder pressure on firms to not only be economically sustainable but also to operate from an environmentally and socially responsible perspective (Wingarten, Lo and Lam, 2017). With an increased global focus on sustainability, the need for concrete sustainability-based guidance from organizational leaders is intensifying. For businesses, to meet sustainability expectations, leadership and management must have the ability to coordinate and manage environmental, social and financial needs, both immediate and long term. Based on interviews with leaders engaged in sustainability efforts and an extensive review of the literature, the researcher will present leadership characteristics that are important for current and future sustainability-based organizations. Further, recommendations will be made specifically for supporting sustainability and developing new sustainability leadership.