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Chief Business Development
Global Reporting Initiative

Job Description

About GRI

GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) is an international independent organization that has pioneered corporate sustainability reporting since 1997. GRI helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, corruption and many others.

With thousands of reporters in over 90 countries, GRI provides the world’s most trusted and widely used standards on sustainability reporting, enabling organizations and their stakeholders to make better decisions based on information that matters. Currently, over 40 countries and regions reference GRI in their policies. GRI is built upon a unique multi-stakeholder principle, which ensures the participation and expertise of diverse stakeholders in the development of its standards. GRI’s mission is to empower decision-makers everywhere, through its standards and multi-stakeholder network, to take action towards a more sustainable economy and world.

Our Vision: A thriving global community that lifts humanity and enhances the resources on which all life depends.

Our Mission: To empower decisions that create social, environmental and economic benefits for everyone.

Position summary and job purpose

The Chief Business Development (CBD) is responsible for developing and implementing GRI’s earned revenue strategy and building the organizational capacity, including building a strong sales function, and culture to ensure its success. The Network Engagement Team (NET) encompasses all of GRI’s earned revenue programs which currently account for the majority of GRI’s overall revenues. These programs include membership (The GRI Community), engagement programs, training and report services.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated capabilities 1. In designing and leading revenue generating, profitable programs focused on supporting sustainability reporting and other corporate responsibility topics, and 2. Developing and leading an effective sales force.  The CBD reports to the Chief Executive and is a member of the Executive Team. He/she works directly with GRI’s regional hubs and country offices (in 11 locations).

Job responsibilities

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive, diversified global strategy to strengthen and grow GRI’s earned revenue programs through which balances mission and revenue/margin objectives as well as headquarters’ and regional resources. 
  • Engage deeply in GRI’s overall strategies, people, programs and plans to represent the organization to clients and partners.
  • Actively engage in GRI’s Executive Team to align all functions to GRI strategy and priorities.
  • Effectively lead and manage the NET department (currently ~ 40% of GRI staff) and grow the team to its full potential.
  • This position will require up to 20% international travel.

Essential skills and capabilities

  • Demonstrated successes in creating sustained earned revenue growth with reasonable margins in a for-profit or non-for-profit organization focused on sustainability, corporate disclosure or related topic.
  • Demonstrated senior level experience and expertise and in Sustainable Development. Specific experience in ESG disclosure and GRI is a differentiator.
  • Proven track record of successfully leading and managing revenue generating and profit producing sustainability services, membership programs, training programs or related topics. 
  • Entrepreneurship: Proven history of innovation that creates market and brand value.
  • Demonstrated financial awareness: controls costs and understands P/L management.
  • Demonstrated success creating innovative business strategies inclusive of product and service development / sales / distribution.
  • Results oriented and capable to harness creativity into implementable, fundable activities. 
  • Hands-on creative person with the ability to think strategically and act tactically.
  • Ability to balance attention to detail with big-picture thinking.
  • Inspiring, passionate (about sustainability), curious and open minded.
  • Demonstrated capability to work under pressure and meet deadlines and revenue targets.
  • Strong leadership and management skills with ability to delegate, train, coach and motivate staff.
  • Excellent written and verbal English language communication skills (knowledge of other languages is an advantage) with direct experience in working with and presenting to Boards.
  • Excellent interpersonal, influencing and negotiating skills, to develop effective long-term relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong integrity, ethics and professionalism: accurate, reliable and knows how to deal with confidential information.
  • Collaborative management and working style with a diverse workforce; strong mediating skills.
  • Establish Strategic Direction: Commitment to a long-range course of action to accomplish a vision taking into consideration resources, constraints, and organizational values.
  • Organizational Awareness: awareness of developments, governance structures and politics.
  • Able to work in an international and multi-cultural setting.

Required experience

  • 10+ years of demonstrated success in leading and business development of sustainability-oriented services and client engagement programs.
  • Track record of growing organizations, meeting and exceeding revenue targets.
  • Experience working in a global and multi-national environment.
  • Preferred but not essential: Experience and knowledge of global sustainability themes (e.g., SDGs, climate change, etc.), corporate responsibility and corporate ESG disclosure. Existing strong network and name recognition among sustainability leaders.  Experience with GRI specifically and non-profits generally.
  • Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree preferred.