Location New York
Job-type Permanent
Salary $240,000 - $300,000 + Bonus, LTI
Reference 22699

The Bel Group has been focused on sustainability efforts that have a positive impact on people and the planet, for over 20 years. In the US, the teams across all functions have begun the Sustainability journey to embed sustainability principles and KPIs in all we do to drive relevance for our consumers and products while delivering on the Group mission, to champion healthier and responsible food for all. Feeding the world in a better way requires doing business in a better way. With better ingredients and better choices for a better future, Bel Brands USA isn't just producing snacks; we are a company who strives to make snacking better. We want to become a powerhouse in better-for-you snacking, so we are creating this position to strategically build our corporate brand and communications function while accelerating the sustainability impact across our two US businesses (the Bel Cheese business and the Materne Go Go SqueeZ business).

This role will report directly to the CEO for Bel US, will participate in the US Executive leadership team, and will manage a team to ensure our internal operations and our external advocacy reflects our desire to drive profitable growth while having a positive impact on people's wellbeing and the planet. This is a key moment in the Bel's history to clarify the roadmap across both US businesses and to amplify our impact through greater focus and resources to operationalize our sustainability goals. This role will lead Communications to mobilize our teams internally while proactively building the corporate brand of Bel US externally. A recently created position of a US Corporate Counsel will also have a dotted line to the Chief Sustainability Officer to lead the cross-functional efforts to manage any entity and reputational risks.

The Chief Sustainability Officer will have a dotted line reporting to the Bel Group Mission and Engagement Director who is based in the HQ in France to facilitate US contribution to the Group strategy and to build strong collaboration across the ecosystem of internal and external sustainability experts and stakeholders. At the Bel Group level, our mission is to champion healthier and responsible food for all with commitments and activities on 6 different pillars inclusive of: nutrition, packaging, fighting climate change, sustainable agriculture, people's wellbeing, and affordability and accessibility of our products.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Strategy setting

  • Advise and influence senior leadership across Bel Brands regarding environmental, social and ethical considerations, providing recommendations and direction on business decisions and processes

  • Set the US goals- and drive progress on those goals - delivering measurable and impactful results

  • Provide sustainability-related competitive intelligence to Bel's executive leadership, identifying long-term aspirations and commitment as well as imminent risks and opportunities

  • Assess the most significant opportunities and risks to Bel's corporate reputation in coordination with the legal, finance and communications team

Pilot our progress

  • Monitor and track progress to implement our sustainability roadmap and strategic projects or partnerships

  • Work with stakeholders to set up and monitor the policy / procedure for ingredient responsible sourcing programs

  • Validate sustainability claims in collaboration with the Marketing, Legal and Regulatory team

  • Proactively monitor trends and best practice as well as emerging leading practice on a wide range of topics including but not limited to human rights, biodiversity, circularity and packaging, climate change, transport, responsible procurement, and governance

Internal engagement

  • Manage internal communication to ensure we engage the 'hearts and minds' of the entire workforce concerning organizational, business and sustainability priorities.

  • Set and drive internal mindset and routines to ensure sustainability is considered in our decision-making, resource allocation, and that we are actively piloting our projects and impact

  • Engage the team in our collective transformation via both communication routines and internal engagement activities

  • Promote the advancement of DEI in partnership with HR who is leading this transformation

  • Partner with HR to develop our employer brand, facilitating our ability to recruit and retain talent

  • Champion Bel US's crisis readiness, ensuring we have the tools and training to respond appropriately

External engagement

  • Build the Bel US corporate brand, inclusive of a shared US narrative and vision for the entire Bel US organization in addition to specific communication tailored to each of our business units

  • Create a strong network of relevant external stakeholders to boost the visibility of our company's identity and sustainability efforts and actions

  • Be the spokesperson on Bel US's Communications or Sustainability efforts for the entire ecosystem (retailers, NGOs, coalitions, media, institutions, partners, etc) and support the CEO's communication

  • Partner with key functions to design and implement external-facing sustainability programs such as retailer partnerships, consumer-facing brand programs or partnerships

  • Consider how we leverage trade and industry groups such as the FMI (Food Marketing Institute), CGF (Consumer Goods Forum), IDDBA (Intl Dairy, Deli & Bakery Association) and Plant Based Foods Assoc.

  • Identify proactive opportunities for public position statements, pledges and letters (public and private) to signal Bel's position on issues to create impact and drive business growth

  • Partner with HR to lead the philanthropic strategy for Bel US. Manage the organizations contributions, donations, sponsorship, and other charitable activities.

  • Engage and partner with competitors in the industry to explore opportunities for collaborating and sharing best practices (ie. Land O Lakes partnership or partnering on promoting healthy snacking habits with other snack competitors)

Required Qualifications:

  • 15-to-20 years of work experience and at least 5 years in Sustainability for FMCG+ engineering/technical backgroundand with previous experience leading communications

  • Must have both strong credibility on a breadth of sustainability topics and be business oriented.

  • A strong interest and authentic activism will be key, including a desire to fight climate change

  • Technical and advanced mastery of issues, to advance the BU's sustainability topics working hand in hand with internal experts at global and local levels.

  • A strong and influential leader who can understand, challenge, inspire internal and external partners on technical topics ranging from nutrition, packaging, regulatory or assess the risk and potential impact of external communication and partnerships

  • Ability to drive internal change through compelling storytelling, onboarding and influencing others and communicating or training on new initiatives or ways of working when needed

  • A natural cross-functional leader to coordinate internal resources to operationalize the sustainability vision, to facilitate internal and external communication and cross-functional work related to corporate risk and reputation

  • Project management skills and the capacity to challenge and prioritize; ability to understand holistically how all functions are advancing on their Sustainability roadmaps and strong capability to manage short & long term

  • Ability to interact and proactively influence the external ecosystems such as retailers, public authorities, NGOs, business organizations, customers, competitors, etc

  • Management and leadership skills, ability to be a coach and develop a team

  • Effective and engaging communicator who desires to be the external ambassador for the sustainability efforts

  • Ability to pilot our progress via KPIs and project deliverables

Working Conditions: Work is performed largely in an office or home office environment. Hours of work will generally be during regular business hours, with at least 40 hours a week. At times, there will be some variation in work hours due to special projects, deadlines, and other concerns. Occasional travel is required.