Head of Sustainability

Career Monkey
London (Central), London (Greater)
£85-110K plus bens, depending on experience
Closing date
18 Sep 2021
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Job Details

My client is one of the world’s largest restaurant group across the globe. They like to do things a little differently! From their world-famous culture of fun and recognition, to their focus on their staffs’ career potential. 

They believe that their success is driven by the power of their employees working in unison with a shared set of common goals and values. They are very proud that their UK and Ireland region is recognised as a key market not only in terms of profit and innovation, but also for the talent they grow and develop for the group.

They invest heavily in their people and helping them drive their personal development. As part of this they give each of their managers in the business the opportunity to go through a programme that is to measure and manage culture, building people’s self-awareness and helping them to transform their behaviours. This tool can then be used in coaching conversations you have with your team and line manager and to help build effective individual development plans. 

They celebrate success every day and to them recognition is much more than just saying thank you- it is about really celebrating achievements, milestones and behaviours. One of the ways they do this is through their own personal recognition awards. 

As a company they take their corporate social responsibility very seriously and encourage their employees to ‘give something back’ through companywide charity efforts. 

As an equal opportunity employer, they embrace individuality and diversity. They employ irrespective of background, age, ethnicity, colour, gender, disability, sexual or religious orientation and marital status. 

This exciting hire of Head of Sustainabilityis an important one and extremely integral to the business moving forward. 

My client doesn’t need to be told how important sustainability is. You’ve been working in this space for several years and have a track record in embedding responsibility and sustainability into a business’s operations and delivering against a strategy. They are looking for someone to help them to drive this agenda within the business in UK & Ireland, and to deliver some real tangible, practical change in their business. The pace of change externally, not to mention the raft of legislation from Westminster, means that this space has never been higher up the agenda of their business, or of greater concern to their customers and stakeholders. But it’s also a meaty challenge and won’t be easy – they are a huge, complex business with a franchised model, so delivering change takes tenacity and patience. 

This is huge opportunity for someone who wants to make an impact and influence at the highest level, a brand that’s firmly part of UK culture, in a sector that’s at the heart of public policy and media debate. They are looking for a Head of Sustainability who is as passionate about delivering business change, a champion for the importance of sustainable capitalism, but credible and pragmatic enough to understand the challenges facing a business in a highly competitive commercial environment. This isn’t a role for someone who lives in an ivory tower!

Day to day, they want you to lead their Environment Strategy and working group, you’ll have a direct report in the form of an Environmental Programme Manager, and they’re looking to invest further resource in this space. They have a strategic direction but need someone who can help galvanize the business into making it a reality. The role requires both the technical skills of a sustainability specialist but perhaps even more importantly, leadership skills in taking people with you and an ability to persuade and inspire, and to cut through what is often a complex area so that people understand what’s required of them. As such the ability to communicate effectively, with impact, both verbally and in writing is essential. 

They also want you to be an influencer across all elements of sustainability – including sourcing and welfare, our people, and communities. They want you to help them to evolve their thinking and to help to build their reputation as a modern, responsible brand that is making a positive contribution to society. 

They’re looking for someone with real energy and initiative, who can navigate the sometimes competing and contradictory goals of different areas of the business and even different elements of the sustainability agenda. 

The role will be part of the Reputation Team, which is part of the wider Marketing Team, however this is about influencing and advising across all functions of the business – from Franchisees to Operations, from Supply Chain to Development. 

Details of some of the areas and responsibilities this role will hold:

  • Shape, evolve and deliver the environmental strategy, running the Environment Working Group and reporting into the Responsibility Council 
  • Act as the Sustainability team lead ensuring legal compliance and implementing goals and targets 
  • Establish the business’ IMS (ISO 14001 and 50001) 
  • Lead a small sustainability team 
  • Develop their biodiversity strategy and ensure it lands across the business 
  • Develop policies and standards and work with business stakeholders 
  • Create operational metrics, track and manage delivery timelines, and communicate programme status to internal stakeholders 
  • Be a point of contact between the brand and relevant external stakeholders 
  • Be a key advisor and stakeholder across all pillars of Sustainability in its widest sense – welfare and sourcing, nutrition, community / social purpose, their people 
  • Attend meetings, events and seminars, representing the business externally to build relationships and enhance reputation with a range of stakeholders—including politicians, NGOs, thinktanks, trade associations, etc.— feeding all relevant insight and information back to the business 
  • Be a champion for Sustainability across the entire business, using your influence to drive change, working across other functions and other markets to share best practice 
  • 8 years+ experience in implementing sustainability programmes an in-house or consultancy role 
  • Have good subject matter knowledge of sustainability in its broadest sense (not just environmental impacts) 
  • Technical knowledge on topics such as packaging, waste, energy efficiency and use of natural resources 
  • Proficient at managing sustainability reporting to demonstrate progress against KPIs and targets; ideally experience in working with an IMS (and having set up an ISO 14001 or 50001) 
  • Knowledgeable about external groups and partners on sustainability 
  • Comfortable presenting executive level reports and analysis 
  • Keen interest in sustainability beyond traditional CSR programmes

There’s one more important thing to say about this client and brand, they are a fun place to work. Their culture is quite unique. They are not looking for a dry ‘suit’. Yes, you’ll need to be super smart and totally plugged in to the world of sustainability in its broadest sense. And this is a business full of bright people who like to get stuff done. But they also love a joke and don’t take themselves too seriously.

Personal attributes:

  • They are looking for someone who is a real sustainability guru, with a depth of experience in running environmental and wider sustainability programmes. 
  • This is a role that requires the ability to make an impact and influence at the most senior level. With their management team, senior leaders and franchisees. You will need gravitas and credibility. You’ll also need to be super bright, a naturally strategic thinker, and a confident and accomplished presenter and communicator. 
  • A problem solver who keeps the customer at the heart of decision making on sustainability topics. 
  • It sounds trite but you’ll also really need to be a people person. You’ll need to be able to develop relationships across all functions of the business, and all levels, to find the right answers, or to get the help you need to deliver a project. 
  • You’ll have an understanding of the balance between the external pressures and demands of stakeholders – and the internal pressures of a commercial business 
  • A self-starter who over-indexes on ownership and accountability 

A career with this brand offers much more than just fantastic earning potential. They reward achievement with amazing incentives and benefits, including; 

  • Company and performance related bonus 
  • Generous pension with up to 11% company contribution 
  • Private healthcare with the option to increase to include family cover and extra dental cover 
  • Annual holiday allowance starts at 25 days with the option to buy or sell up to 3 extra days per year 
  • After 5 years’ service, annual holiday allowance increases to 30 days 
  • Study support may be available for job-related qualifications 
  • Competitive maternity leave and flexible return to work options 
  • International career opportunities across the business
  • Pick n Mix Benefits, options include gym membership, health screening and travel insurance 

The brand is also a very sociable company and they strive to incorporate their company value of fun whenever they can. Their teams regularly enjoy nights out with their colleagues - including football, netball and socials all year with a great Christmas party to celebrate the year. 

Too much of an opportunity to miss!  Please get in touch with [email protected] ASAP for an immediate interview.


Career Monkey is a personable, London based recruitment agency, that specialises within the PR/Communications/Social Media space, both contingency and search, across varying sectors for both consumer and corporate disciplines.

Career Monkey recruits mid weight through to senior strategic management positions, both permanent and freelance. Clients include large networked agencies, smaller boutiques and varying brands. Always keen to discuss new briefs and new career ventures!

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07739 126 716
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